Southern Christian University

James A. Turner                     


Please read all of the references. They will help you to get a fuller understanding.


We begin our study this evening, with Romans 5:15.  It is surely a wonderful passage.  "But not as the trespass, so is the free gift."  What free gift?  The gift of Christ is the way of salvation for us.  "For if by the trespass of the one, (Adam) the many die, much more did the grace of God, and the gift by grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound unto the many."  So, really what he is teaching is that where sin abounded, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace abound, and the gift, of course, is Christ.  Verse sixteen “ and not as through one that sinned (Adam) so is the gift; (Christ) and not through one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment came of one under condemnation; but the free gift came of many trespasses unto justification.  For if by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one, much more shall they that receive the abundance of grace."  Now, notice that statement.  It is conditional, they that receive the abundance of grace.  We are made free moral agents.  We have a right to receive God's gifts, his mercy, and his grace, or we can reject it.  "And so those that receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one Jesus Christ. 


So then as through one trespass, (Adam) the judgment came unto all man to condemnation, even so through one act of righteousness."  Of course, that act of righteousness was Christ. He kept the Old Testament law perfectly (Mt. 5:17-18).  He was a sin offering for us. (II Corinthians 5:21)  “The free gift came unto all men to justification of life."  I am reading from the American Standard Version “and the free gift” is in different print showing that it is supplied.  But Christ is a free gift.  Salvation is a free gift, as we will read in Romans 6:23.  "So free gift came unto all men to justification of life."  Hebrews 2:9 says that Christ made it possible that all men can be cleansed from sin.  Of course, that does not mean there is going to be universal salvation, but he made it possible.  He is that free gift of salvation. "For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one shall the many be made righteous.  And the law came in beside, that the trespass might abound."  Now, what does he mean by that statement?   One of the purposes of the law, as we will be reading in the seventh chapter of Romans, “was to make sin exceeding sinful”.  It was to give people a better knowledge of sin. Now our conscience will naturally tell us that some things are right and some things are wrong based on experience and observation, but when it comes to many things, you have got to have the law of God to know what is right and what is wrong.  And so that is the meaning of verse twenty.  This is one of the primary purposes that the Old Testament law served was to give a greater knowledge of sin.  But where sin abounded, grace did abound more exceedingly."  D you remember when we studied from chapter three where some were slanderously reporting that Paul was teaching,  let us do evil that good may abound.” (3:8).  I think this is what they based that on.  You know how people put their own interpretation on things, and Paul was teaching that where sin abounded, grace abounded more exceedingly, and so they said, he is teaching, let us do evil that grace may abound. 


"But where sin abounded, grace did abound more exceedingly, that as sin reigned in death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."  Now, we have a good song that is based on verse fifteen through the rest of this chapter.  “Grace That Is Greater Than All  Brother Turner sings at this point.  "Marvelous grace of our loving Lord.  Grace that exceeds our sins and our guilt.  Yonder on Calvary's Mount out poured there where the blood of the lamb was filled.  Grace, grace.   God's grace.  Grace that will pardon and cleanse within.  Grace, grace.  God's grace.  Grace that is greater than all our sins.  Dark is the sin that we cannot hide.  What can avail to wash it away.  Look there is flowing a crimson tide, whiter than snow you may be today.  Grace, grace.  God's grace.  Grace that will pardon and cleanse within.  Grace, grace.  God's grace.  Grace that is greater than all of our sins.”  I think that is a very scriptural song, and a song we need to sing quite frequently.  I can remember the day when denominational preachers were teaching as though salvation was by one thing only, like grace only.  And some of our brethren moved, in the opposite direction, as though grace does not have anything to do with our salvation.  And that, if anything that extreme, was worse than the false doctrine that they were teaching.  And here I would like to make a comment.  We need to be careful and not try to be too quick to answer some false doctrines.  I believe it is just as wrong to answer false doctrine with false doctrine.  You may win an argument, but it is just as wrong to use wrong arguments to meet false doctrine as the false doctrine itself.  In fact, it may end up doing greater harm.  And let us be careful about that. 


Chapter 6. 

Do you see why he raises the question, "What shall we say then?  Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound."  See, he has just taught that where sin abounded, grace abounded more exceedingly.  It would be easy for some to conclude, “Well, the thing that we need to do is just sin more and more, and let God’s grace abound more and more.”  But he said, no sir.  God forbid.  We who died the sin, how shall we any longer, live therein?"  How does a man die to sin?  When he obeys Christ, by his obedience to Christ he is separated from sin.  Death in every sense in the Bible is a separation.  Are you ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death.  We were buried therefore with him through baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.  For if we become united."  I like the King James better.  "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall also be raised in the likeness of his resurrection.  Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away, so we shall no longer be in bondage to sin."  So he that hath died is justified and saved from sin!  So the man who has obeyed the gospel, he is put to death, that old man of sin. He has been cleansed from every sin.  For he that hath died separated himself from sin by his obedience to Christ.  He has been justified, and he is no longer in bondage to sin.  Notice this passage teaches that baptism is the likeness of the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Christ.  It is in this sense that one obeys the gospel.  Remember in II Thessalonians one where it talks about Christ coming with his mighty angels in flaming fire to take vengeance on them that obey not God and “obey not the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”. The gospel is something that must be obeyed, and it is obeyed in a form.  When a sinner believes on Christ, repents of his sins, confesses the name of Christ, and is baptized into Christ for the remission of his sins, he has obeyed in a form the death, the burial and the resurrection of Christ. 


I can remember the days when people would say, “why you folks believe in a water salvation, but we believe in a blood salvation”.  And they would make fun as though water does not have anything to do with a man's salvation.  They would say, “How can water cleanse a man from sin?”  Water doesn't cleanse a man from sin.  And when the prophet back yonder told that captain of the army of Syria to go dip in the River Jordan seven times, there wasn't anything in the River Jordan to cleanse him.  But when he dipped seven times, he was cleansed, why?  Because he did what God, through the prophet, told him to do (II Kings 5:1-14).  Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved,” and surely we can depend on what the Lord said.  It is hard for me to understand, as many passages as there are in the New Testament which teach so plainly that baptism is absolutely essential to salvation, why do men want to go contrary to what God has said and try to tell people otherwise.  


In regard to the blood, the blood of Christ was shed in his death.  I know it is John nineteen, and I think it is around verse thirty-four, where it says that Pilate sent the soldiers to break the legs of Jesus and those two malefactors that were hanging on each side of him.  And they broke the legs of the two malefactors, but when they came to Jesus, they found out he was dead already.  They pierced his side and forthwith came out blood and water.”  So Christ's blood was shed on the cross of Calvary.  Acts 20:28 Paul says, he purchased the church with his own blood.  Well, where did he do it?  His blood was shed on the cross.  The sinner applies the blood, the cleansing power of God, when he is baptized into Christ in the likeness of his death, burial, and  resurrection of Christ. No sins are forgiven apart from the cleansing blood of Christ, but each sinner must take those steps necessary to apply the blood. God instituted the Passover Feast for the people of Israel before the event that it was to commemorate. The Passover lamb represented Christ., the lamb of God that was to come ( Isaiah 53:7-8; I Peter 1:18-20; I Corinthians 5:7; John 1:29). The people of Israel were instructed to apply the blood of the lamb to the lintels and door posts of their houses (Ex. 12:7) and God said, when I see the blood I will pass over you” (Ex. 12:13). God did not kill the first born of man and beast in their houses because they applied the blood to the lintels and doorpost of their houses, but he killed the first born of man and beast in all of the houses of the Egyptians.


We sing a great song based on Ex. 12:13, When I See The Blood . The alien sinner applies the blood when he is baptized, and a Christian applies the blood by walking “in the light” and by repentance and prayer (I John 1:7-9; Acts 8:20-24).


We have three passages telling us how one gets into Christ and into Christ's church  (Galatians 3:26‑27, and Romans 6:3-7, and I Corinthians 12:13).  Can one be saved outside of Christ?  If so, then we can be saved without baptism!  But if one cannot be saved outside of Christ and outside of his church, then he cannot be saved without baptism.  There are many who are ready to say, “Christ, yes, but the church, no.”  They are saying that the church is not essential to our salvation.  Well, when one is baptized into Christ, Acts 2:47 says that, “the Lord added to the church daily such as were being saved”, and I Corinthians 12:13, "For by one spirit where we all baptized into one body."  And that one body is the church  (Ephesians 1:22‑23 and Colossians 1:18).  So baptism puts one into Christ and into Christ's church.  And in respect to the church, God is going to present the church to himself a “glorious church, not having spot, nor wrinkle, nor any such thing.”  (Ephesians five), So if we want to be presented to God, and he is going to present the church “as a glorious church, not having spot, nor wrinkle, nor any such thing.” 


Okay, let us read again verse eight.  "But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more."  Christ is spoken of as the first fruits of them that slept.  A number had been raised from the dead before Christ was raised from the dead, but they were just raised to physical life again.  But he is raised to die no more.  "But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death no more hath dominion over him."  See, that's the difference between Christ and those who were raised prior to his resurrection.  "For the death that he died, he died unto sin once."  Now, he had no sins, but he died for our sins (Isaiah 53:4-6; I Corinthians 5:7; II Corinthians 5:21; I Peter 1:18-20).  And by one offering, he made everything perfect for the way of forgiveness for us.  Verse ten, “For the death that he died, he died unto sin once, but the life that he liveth, he liveth unto God.  Even so reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus.” So every faithful child of God is dead and alive at the same time.  Dead in that he has put off or separated himself from the old man of sin.  He has separated himself from sin, but he is alive, alive unto God in Christ Jesus.  He has spiritual life in Christ (John 5:24-25; Ephesians 2: 1-6).


"Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye shall obey the lusts thereof."   A child of God can live in such a way that sin will not reign in his life.  The Bible plainly teaches that all Christians sin.  Remember how John said, in I John 1:8, "He that saith he has no sin makes him a liar, and the truth is not in him."  So every child of God from time to time sins.  But there is a difference between sinning because of weakness and letting sin reign.  When sin reigns, sin controls.  And so Paul is saying, you present yourselves, all of the members of your body; in such a way as to serve God and sin will not reign in your mortal body.  "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey the lusts thereof.  Neither present your members unto sin as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin:  But present yourselves unto God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God."  (Alive in Christ)  And again, do you remember how Jesus spoke of that spiritual life?  John 5:25, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God:  And they that hear shall live."  He is speaking of that spiritual resurrection.  He is talking about those that are dead in sin, not those that are physically dead.  And then he goes ahead in the same chapter to talk about those who are physically dead.  John 5:28‑29, "Marvel not at this:  For the hour cometh, when all that are in the grave shall hear his voice, and come forth; they that have done good, to the resurrection of life; they that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation."  There he is talking about the physical, bodily resurrection.  And when that time comes, it will not depend on the free moral agency of man then, but every person will come forth. 


Okay, again verse fourteen is emphasizing again that sin is not to have dominion over a child of God.  "For sin shall not have dominion over you:  For ye are not under law, but under grace."  Now, this is one of the passages that even some of our brethren now are saying that grace does away with law, but it means that things are very different for us under the law of Christ. There was no spiritual birth under the law of Moses, neither was there any complete forgiveness of sin under that law, but under the law of Christ there is a new birth (John 3:1-8; Titus 3:5) and complete forgiveness of sin (Acts 2:38; Hebrews 8:8-13; John 6:45-46; Isaiah 54:13). We are under a law of grace, but we must live in harmony with that law of grace.  Do you remember when we studied I Corinthians nine where Paul said, “I become all things unto all men that I might gain some. Those without law, as being without law, not being myself without law but under law to Christ.”  What would be the purpose of all these epistles that we are studying if it is not the law of Christ, if we are not under law then why all of this?  All of the instruction is given, because it's the law of Christ, and we are under His law.  But it is a law of mercy and grace for all who humble themselves and do their best to follow the will of God, it is certainly a law of mercy and grace.  Verse fifteen, "What then?  Shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace?"  And again, the answer, "God forbid."  Now, if we are not under the law, if we are not under the law to Christ, how could we sin in the first place?  If it is just a matter of grace, then as some are teaching, that rules out law.  Well, how could we sin? 


Romans 6:16, "Know ye not, that to whom ye present yourselves servants unto obedience, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether sin unto death, or obedience unto righteousness?"  Again, let me remind you that this book talks about obedience.  Every accountable person is serving one of the two masters, Christ or Satan. Every accountable person is obeying one or the other, according to this passage, that whoever you present yourselves.  When somebody says, well, I have not presented myself to Satan.  Well, if you haven't presented yourself to the Lord, Satan has you already, you are already under his control.  Remember Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short to the glory of God."  And if a man does not believe, he is disobedient. Unbelief is disobedience.  "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not judged, but he that believeth not on him is judged already because he has not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3: 16-18).  So just refusing to believe condemns man.  Unbelief is disobedience.  And so every accountable person is serving either Satan or he is serving God.  "His servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death."  And that would be spiritual death.  The man that does not believe on Christ, he is in spiritual death.  He has been separated from God because of his sins (Isaiah 59:1-2). If he does not repent and obey that will lead to eternal or the second death, which is stated twice in chapter twenty and chapter twenty-one of the Revelation.  The second death is the lake of fire.  "Where there is sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?  But thanks be to God, that whereas ye were of the servants of sin."  Now, he is not thankful that they were sinners back there, but what he is thankful about is that they turned from being sinners and obeyed the Lord.  "But thanks be to God that, whereas ye were the servants of sin, ye became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching."  I believe the King James says form of doctrine, but it means the same thing.  "Where unto you were delivered.  And being made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness."  I think he is talking about when they obeyed the gospel and that last step when they were baptized in the likeness of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection.  Of course, baptism is a burial in water.  If they had translated correctly, from what I have been taught, instead of baptism, it would have been immersion.  And that is plainly shown by what we read here from the sixth chapter of Romans and from Colossians 2:12, "Having been buried with him in baptism, wherein we were also risen with him through faith in the working of God who raised him from the dead."  So thanks be to God, they had obeyed that form of teaching, they had obeyed a form of the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Christ.  And remember that Paul emphasized that in those first few verses of I Corinthians chapter fifteen. 


Verse nineteen, "I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh:  For as ye presented your members as servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now present your members as servants to righteousness unto sanctification.  For when we were servants of sin. (before their obedience) we were free in regard of righteousness."  As long as a man continues to go in the way of sin, there is no way he can be going the way of righteousness at the same time.  Verse twenty-one, "What fruit then had we at that time in the things whereof we are now ashamed?  For the end of those things is death."  And, of course, spiritual death leading to eternal death.  "But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God."  When they obeyed the gospel they became free from sin.  They were no longer the slaves of Satan! "And you have your fruit unto sanctification and the end eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord."  All of us need to realize that salvation is a free gift. There is no way we are going to earn it. No one becomes so good, and so kind, and so merciful, that the Lord owes it to him. No one earns or merits salvation in Christ; it is a free gift of God. 


But a gift does not rule out conditions.  I may have already given my watermelon illustration, but if I have, please excuse me. A number of years ago I preached for a church in the country where more than one brother in the church grew watermelons.  And I think every year that I was there, one or more of them, usually more than one would say to me, “Brother Turner, if you will come to my house when my watermelons get ripe, I will give you all the watermelons you want.”  And sometimes I took them up.  And when I did, I put in my car all the watermelons I figured I could use properly, and I did not offer them one dime, and they did not expect me to.  I had taken them up on the condition, “come to my house when my watermelons get ripe.”  But you know a strange thing about it, I do not think there was but one that drove forty or fifty miles to Montgomery-- we lived in Montgomery at that time-- to bring me some watermelons.  But if I met the conditions for the gift then I received the watermelons.  Salvation in Christ is a free gift from God but we must meet the conditions in order to receive the gift.  And the same illustration would apply, of all the big companies that have set up trust funds to promote certain things on the basis of an institution meeting a lot of conditions to receive those funds.  They receive gifts from those trust funds on the basis of meeting the conditions, but those funds are still gifts to those institutions. 


Chapter Seven. 

In the first part of chapter seven, Paul uses the marriage illustration to illustrate how that by the death of Christ, we were discharged from the Old Testament law.  It does teach in respect to that close relationship of marriage, but the primary thing is that he is using the marriage illustration to show how that when Christ died on the cross, we were made free from the Old Testament law.  “Know ye not, brethren, for I speak to them that know the law, how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?  For the woman, that hath a husband is bound by law to the husband while he liveth; but if the husband die, she is discharged from the law of the husband.  So then if, while the husband liveth, she be joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress:  But if the husband dies, she is free from the law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be joined to another man.  Wherefore, my brethren, ye also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ, that ye should be joined to another, even to him who was raised from the dead, (Christ) that we might bring forth fruit unto God."  The law of Christ could not go into effect until he had fulfilled that law, and until his death.  Under the Old Testament law, the people were married to God, but under the New Testament law, we are married to Christ.  The church is the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:22-32). 


Verse five, “For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were through the law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death."  I hope we are able to get to the epistle to the Hebrews, and if so, when we read the eighth chapter, we'll try to emphasize this real well.  But under the Old Testament law, a person became a part of the commonwealth of Israel just by a physical birth.  The parents were to teach their children when “thou riseth up, when thy liest down, and when thy walkest by the way”, they were to teach their children to know the Lord (Deuteronomy. 6:6-7). But under the New Testament law, before one is a part of the commonwealth of Israel, which is the church, one must first be taught.  And so the law left them in the flesh.  We have an entirely different situation today.  We become a part of the commonwealth of Israel by a spiritual birth, an entirely different situation.  Verse five again, "For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were through the law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.  But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that wherein we were held:  And so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter."  Again, you remember how Paul taught the same thing in the third chapter of the book of Galatians.  “Now, that faith has come, we are no longer under the law.  The same is discharged from the law.”  And Colossians 2:14, "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances according to that which was against us, and which were contrary to us, and took them out of the way, nailing them to the cross." 


We have had some brethren in recent years that taught that the law was not completely fulfilled until the destruction of Jerusalem.  No such thing!  It took maybe the destruction of Jerusalem to get the Jews away from that system of worship, but the law was completely fulfilled when Christ died on the cross.  If not, what is the meaning of Colossians 2:14, "Blotting out the handwriting according to that which were against us, which were contrary to us.  Took them out of the way.  Nailing them to his cross.”  Verse seven, "What shall we say then?  Is the law sin? (In other words is the fault with the law?)  God forbid.  Howbeit I had not known sin, except through the law, (It took the knowledge that came from the law before he knew that he was a covetous person.) for I had not known coveting, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.  But sin, finding occasion wrought in me through the commandment, all manner of coveting.  For a part from the law sin is dead."  Again, see if there was no law, man could not sin.  But when he got the knowledge of the law, that it was is wrong to covet, he knew he was a sinner.  "And I was alive a part from the law once,  (He did not know, at least, that he was a sinner) but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.  And the commandment, which was unto life, this I found to be unto death."  Now, I hope you will write in the margin by verse ten, in case you forget, the next time you study this passage, Leviticus 18:5. The law gave the promise of life on perfection in keeping the law.  It read, he that doeth them shall live in them.”  Well, if we were under such a law as that today, we would not make it either.  Write down Deuteronomy twenty-seven and twenty-six.  It said, "Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them."  Okay.  Putting the two together, do you see why Paul said, “the commandment which was unto life, this I found to be unto death.  He knew that he broke the law.  And Deuteronomy 27:26 left him condemned.  Of course, we know that those who kept themselves in   covenant relationship with God under the law by offering up the animal sacrifices that the law required, and doing all the things that the law required, they received temporary forgiveness.  And if they died in that covenant relationship with God, when Christ died his blood made complete atonement for them, (Hebrews 9:15).  "For sin, finding an occasion through the commandment, beguiled me, and through it slew me.  So that the law.  (Old Testament law.) is holy and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.  Did then that which is good become death unto me."  In other words is the law responsible for me being separated from God?  "God forbid."  And notice this verse, this is one of the primary reasons for the Old Testament law.  Remember Galatians 3:19, “It was added because of transgression until the seed shall come to whom the promise was made.”  Here is another very important one.  "But sin, that it might be shown to be sin, by working death to me through that which is good; that through the commandment sin might become exceeding sinful." You will do well to highlight the latter part of verse thirteen.  One of the primary reasons for the law, that “sin might become exceeding sinful”. The law gave that knowledge, and showed in a very definite and abundant way how “exceeding sinful” doing wrong is.  


Now, beginning with verse fourteen to the rest of the chapter. If you take everything Paul says in this passage there is no way that he can be talking about himself as a Christian, when in this passage he says, “what I want to do I can't do, and what I don't want to do that I do.”  And I am confident that I gave a number of passages in the questions on this to show that you would have him just contradicting himself over and over again to conclude that he is talking about himself as a Christian.  I have heard some of our preachers reason that he is just talking about how that in the flesh, we want to do right but we can not do right, but Paul says otherwise.  I Thessalonians 2:10 again, "You know how holy and righteously and unblameably we behaved ourselves toward you that believe."  That does not sound like he could not do as a Christian what he wanted to do.  Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I that live, but Christ that liveth in me.  And the life that I now live, I live in the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself up for me.”  So you see the difference.  I have been crucified.  I am not living any longer as I lived back there, after the old fleshly man and doing what I wanted to do!  But I am living, as Christ wants me to live.  And remember Jesus said in Matthew sixteen, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."  A Christian must get self, that old man of the flesh, out of the way.  And that is the biggest job that most of us have is keeping old self out of the way.  All right, Galatians 5:16, "Walk by the spirit.  And ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh."  Well, here he is saying he did, that he could and did keep self out of the way. Galatians 5:24, "Those that belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with the lust and the passions thereof."  Philippians 1:21, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."  That surely doesn't say that as a Christian he lived as a sinner.  Again Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthened me."  I Corinthians 9:27, "But I buffet my body and bring it into subjection:  Lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."  So Paul says I keep my old physical body under control, I buffet it.  And I Corinthians 11:1, Paul said to the Corinthians, "Be ye followers of me, even as also I am of Christ."  So there is just no way that you can properly interpret verses fourteen through the rest of the chapter as Paul talking about himself as a Christian.  But he is talking about himself or talking about the person back under the Old Testament law.  And remember that law left them in the flesh; it was entirely a different law from the law of Christ.  All right, the chapter division in this case is not good.  Remember chapter divisions are man‑made.  But notice then chapter 8,

Chapter Eight

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus."  No condemnation, to what people, those that are in Christ Jesus.  How many are in Christ Jesus, those who have obeyed the first principles of the gospel and try to continue to live right.  Coming back to the matter of the blood of Christ being necessary for Christians.  Remember John 1:7, "If we walk in the light, is he that is light, we have fellowship, one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his son cleanseth us from all sin."  So the blood of Christ continues to cleanse.  When we learn that we have sinned and repent and ask for forgiveness, “he is just and righteous to forgive us our trespasses and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (John 1:8-9).”  


"For the law of the Spirit of life.  (The New Testament law)  in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and death."  And again, remember that Paul speaks of the Old Testament law as a ministration of death written and engraved on stones, in 

II Corinthians chapter three, around verse four or five.  "For what the law.  (Old Testament law) could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh."  Do you see the emphasis, weak through the flesh?  And my if we were under a law today that said, cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things that is written in the book of law to do them,” then we would probably be in spiritual death most of the time. "What the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:  That the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."  Back under the law, they were left in the flesh.  They walked after the flesh, but we are not in the flesh.  We are after the spirit; we have been born again, by a new birth (John. 3:1-8; Titus 3:5).  "For they that are after the flesh mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  For the mind of the flesh is death."  (Spiritual death)   Some would think maybe physical death, but there are those that have lived to be over a hundred that have lived contrary to the will of God all of their life from the time of their accountability.  He is not talking about physical death here; it is talking about spiritual death.  "For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the spirit is life and peace."  Spiritual life, in Christ, that leads to eternal life. 


Verse seven "Because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  And they that are in the flesh cannot please God."  Have you not heard people reason, why this fellow over here he is already such a good person.  He is already living right, and all he needs is to just be baptized.  According to this passage, no such thing!  And I have heard people say that I am first going to see if I can live right, and if I can live right, then I will obey the gospel.  If he goes that route, he will never live right.  As long as a man is in the flesh, he cannot please God.  It's necessary for that spiritual birth first, before a man can put away the things that belong to the way of the flesh.  Let us read again, verse seven.  "Because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God."  Now you may have some good moral people who are honest and sincere, but if they have not obeyed Christ, the flesh is still controlling them according to this record.  And “let God be true and every man a liar”.  Every man who is to the contrary to what God says as Paul said back in chapter four.  "Because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God:  For it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  And they that are in the flesh cannot please God."  And every accountable person who has not obeyed the gospel of Christ is in the flesh, and he cannot please God as long as he is in the flesh.  But notice, "But ye are not in the flesh."  So they had been born again, and they were not in the flesh.  We have been born again, we are not in the flesh!  Verse nine “But ye are not flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you.  But if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.  And if Christ is in you, the body is dead."  You remember how Paul said to the Colossians, “put to death therefore the members of your body.”  And then the Ephesian letter gives the formula of putting off and putting on.  Living the Christian life is a continual process of putting off those things that belong to the way of the flesh and putting on those things that belong to the way of Christ.  "And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall give life also to your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwelleth in you." 


Remember that Peter on Pentecost said, “repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The promise is unto you and to your children, them that are far off even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”  God is still calling men to salvation through the teaching of the gospel, (II Thessalonians 2:13-14) and so God still gives all of those that obey him a gift of the Spirit as an earnest of his inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14; Acts 5:32).  Verse eleven again, "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall give life also to your mortal bodies."  Again remember we are to be dead to the way of the flesh and alive unto God.  "Through his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 


We need to stop here, and we will begin our next lesson with Romans 8:13.