My answers to the questions
1. Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be, and that I do nothing on My own but speak just what the Father has taught Me". John 8:28 NIV. He also said, "Verily, verily, I say to you, He that believes on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father". John 14:12. ... (Babylonian teaching denies this).
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2. Speaking to Christians Paul wrote, "That at that time [before rebirth] you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world". Ephesians 2:12. If they were "aliens" to heaven before conversion, now that they were reborn into "the commonwealth of Israel" they were "aliens" to the world. Return to Personal Comment
3. "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Romans 7:24. He is looking for deliverance, not forgiveness.
A wretched man is NOT a Christian! A Christian is a man, or woman, of hope, of joy: and of many other things like those. "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost". Romans 15:13.
A Christian is free!
"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death". Romans 8:2.
"For when we were in the flesh [before rebirth], the motions of sins, which were by the law [of sin and death], did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law [of sin and death], that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve [the Law of God] in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter". Romans 7:5-6.
Thus, in the seventh chapter of Romans we have a simple, clear-cut situation. Either the man is a Christian, or he is not. There can not be two ways on this point, and we dare not measure him against ourselves, and say that he is a Christian because that is how we are, for this is no proof. We must compare him with the word of God which says that he is, "carnal, sold under sin [a slave to sin]", and, "not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be". Romans 7:14; 8:7.
In this chapter is set forth the experience of a man who does not know "how to perform that which is good", and who cries out that in him, "dwells no good thing". 7:18. If this is the experience of one who is a Christian, one who has received the gift of the Holy Spirit IN him, ("Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His") Romans 8:9, or, "Christ in you, the hope of glory...." Colossians 1:27, then why does he say that there is no GOOD thing in him, for surely, "God is good". A Christian, the brother or sister of Christ, has the image of God within them, as Jesus did!
The man actually goes on to say that "sin dwells in me" and brings him "into captivity" in 7:21-22, which makes it obvious that he is not serving the Lord Jesus Christ. He does not know HOW to do good! But the promise of God is that "the truth [and the Spirit of truth] shall make you free". John 8:32.
This man calls out for "deliverance", not from temptation, but from "the body of this death", or the "law of sin" which dwells in him, which is not what a Christian cries for. Such a one asks only for the power to overcome temptation as Jesus did, (Revelation 3:21), and to live a life of victory "in the flesh", the same flesh that Jesus had. Hebrews 2:14.
For a whole lot more on this subject try E. J. Waggoner's "Bible Studies in the Book of Romans", chapters six, seven and eight.
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