Chapter # 7 Paragraph # 1 Study # 2
October 9, 2016
5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not [in] the oldness of the letter.
1901 ASV Translation:
5 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.
6 But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that wherein we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.
- I. Paul's Reasoning.
- A. Introduced with "for".
- B. Focus upon the past.
- 1. When we were in the flesh...
- a. "In the flesh" has a point of reference: "when we were...".
- b. Given that point of reference, we conclude that Paul is writing of the time of our experience prior to "faith" in the Gospel and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
- c. The terminology does not point to "flesh" as simply a reference to the physical body because we still "are" in that condition.
- d. Thus, we have to conclude that he is addressing the period of our bondage to "The Sin" with its repercussions.
- 2. The "passions of the sins"...
- a. The word translated "passions" by the Authorized Version is typically translated by those same translators as "sufferings" (as it is in Romans 8:18, the only other use in this letter).
- b. The major idea seems to be the subjection of a person (body, soul, or spirit) to some unpleasant experience so as to attempt to motivate that person to take some course of action to alleviate the unpleasantness. The resultant "sufferings" consist of deep conflict within between the major players: body, soul, and spirit.
- c. "The sins..." are the users of those "unpleasant experiences" to attempt to motivate the person to take action to protect "himself/herself" according to the "wisdom" of "The Sin".
- 3. Worked in our members unto the fruit-production to The Death.
- a. The "working" is about providing "energy" to pursue a given direction.
- b. This "working" produced the "energy" required by our physical members to produce action.
- c. These "actions" were "fruit" that leads to "death".
- 4. These "passions" are, according to Paul, "through The Law".
- a. The question is this: what is it about "The Law" that makes it the tool of the production of these "death" producing "passions"?
- b. The answer is given a bit later (7:8 and 7:11) where "commands" are deliberately used as bases for condemnation because of behavior that, without law, have no condemnation attached. The "passions" involve the conflict of the inner person over the various demands of the involved entities that become, by intensity, mutually exclusive and, by that, become occasions of deep conflict and consequent rage.
- C. The present reality.
- 1. But now...
- 2. We have been "demolished (as subjects to "Law")" [Aorist Indicative Passive First Person] "from "The Law".
- a. As per Paul's illustration, "our 'husbands' have died".
- b. The outcome: The Law no longer has anything to say about us as "wives" because we are no longer "wives". The Law's ability to address us with condemnatory descriptions has been totally destroyed.
- 3. This "demolishing" is rooted in the fact that "we have died" [Aorist Active Participle Nominative Plural] in respect to "that" "by which we were being held fast" [Imperfect Indicative Passive First Person]. Since our "husbands" have "died" we are no longer "wives" to them.
- 4. The consequence is that we are slaves in newness of spirit and not oldness of letter.
- a. This has to refer to the New Spirit Who has become our new "husband".
- b. It also has to refer to the Old Law that was recorded in letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs of condemnation.