Life and Death
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Sin's Vapor Trail is the Stench of Death.
O wretched man that I am, who will save me from this body of death?

When a person is saved from their past sin's, nevertheless sin's enticements innately remains in their flesh and is waiting activation at the sensual entrances within the thoughts of our being.  If you say that you no longer sin, then you make God a liar and the TRUTH is not in you(See 1st John 1 verse 8 thru 10.) As we have seen in the Garden of Eden, sin is stealthy, and spiritually hides itself in the mind of flesh even within those who say they are saved.  We all remain subject to the gratifying pleasures akin to this world, and when ignoring God's Spirit of unseen Grace IN Christ Jesus, the saved may even succumb to sin's grosser pleasures. (See John 16 verse 7 thru 15.)  Sin is death, and death separates man from the only Holy Lord God of the Living. 

Note: Paul, the Jew, was instructed at the feet of Gamalial, in accordance to the perfect manner of the Law (Torah). (See Acts 22 verse 2 thru 3.) Paul, being an educated Jew, was without excuse in his knowledge of the Jewish ordinances, traditions with the sayings that were inscribed in the Torah.

In his flesh, the Apostle Paul the man, was just like you and I.  Paul, through our first parents, Adam and Eve, was an offspring from the root of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, wherefore he originally did not understand that he was being held in bondage by the Tree's one tap root of self absorption.  

But sin, taking occasion (exacerbated) by the Commandment (in the Decalogue), wrought in me all manner of concupiscence (cravings). For without the Law (in the Decalogue) sin was dead. For I was alive without the Law once (at one time): But when the Commandment (Decalogue) came, sin (was shown by the Decalogue to have) revived, and I (now) died. And the Commandment (in the Torah), which (I thought) was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. (Romans 7 verse 8 thru 10.)  

These scriptures, in Paul's letter to the Romans, presents a number of questions that need to be answered through God's Spirit of TRUTH:  For without the Law (in the Torah) I was alive, once! Think about it! Paul, the Jew, was educated in the Torah according to Gamalial. Then at what point could it have been when Paul was seemingly without the knowledge of God's Law in Commandments?  There is one time to consider.  It was at Paul's conversion into the saving Grace WITHIN Christ Jesus. (See Acts 9 verse 3 thru 18.) At that beginning point of Paul being IN Christ, Paul was made free of his past sins, for it appeared that the old man of sin had passed away, and behold all things were made new for he became new born soul. But oops! 

A conundrum of confusion came to the forefront of Paul's mind.  Now let's take into consideration what  ĎSaintí Paul has to say about his real, and not allegorical struggles with his flesh: For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.  But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law [of God], confessing that the Law is good.  So now, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin, which lives within me.  For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my nature of flesh: For the willing is present in me, for I have the desire to do what is good, but I do not practice the good.  For what I do, is not the good I want to do: No, the evil I do not want to do, this I keep on doing.  But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. (See in full context Romans 7 verse 15 thru 20.)

And so, the born again Paul with his revelation of himself, mirrored in the Law of Commandments which he had previously said that we establish, continues with his thoughts, ďI see another Law working within my members, warring against the Law of my mind [with his conscience of sin quickened by the knowledge of the Commandments of God], and bringing me into captivity to the Law of Sin and Death, which is in my members! (See Romans 7 verse 23 thru 25.)  We are to understand, that sin continues to reside within Paul's physical body of flesh as well as in the flesh of all of the redeemed. O wretched man that I am, who will save me from this body of death. I Thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So now, with the mind I myself serve the Law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin (and death.)

Now what is this other law, but the evil force of sin itself that is made more manifest by the knowledge of the quarantining Laws of God, the Ten Commandments.  Paul discovers another unseen force within him he calls the 'Law of Sin and Death', which is distinct from the Decalogue Law of God that condemns sin for what it is, 'death'.  In a prior chapter we metaphorically established sin, as the ultimate spiritual virus, which seeks its own rights to exist on its own terms.  Apparently, we have not known that the renegade rule or "Law of Sin" was the agent that brought death to humanity, for sin is that ultimate unseen spiritual virus that promotes itself in death, and that of its captives.

After Paul's Salvation of his soul, stealthy sin, with its idolatrous deceptions in the flesh of humanity's natural being, was originally dead to Paulís knowledge.  How can this be happening to "Saint Paul", God's apostle to the gentiles?  The joy of Paul's salvation IN Christ Jesus had been displaced by Paul's new awareness of the flesh's propensity to do its own will.  Stealthy Sin, remained hidden deep within the neuronal roots of Paul's self preservation, for sin will seek to preserve itself at any cost.  Then the movements of sin's desires in the flesh were exacerbated into wrong action, and the quarantining spiritual Commandments of God came again to Paul's mind, and the knowledge of the presence of sin was shown to have already revived in his flesh, and thereby held Paul in the possession of sin's deadly tentacles.  But sin, finding opportunity in the Commandment (the Commandments weakness because of the weakness of the flesh) to express itself, (but sin) got a hold on me and aroused and stimulated all kinds of forbidden desires, lust and covetousness.  For without the Law. [in Commandments], sin is dead; that is the sense of sin, is inactive and seemingly a lifeless thing.  Once I was alive, but quite apart from and unconscious of the law [of sin and death].  But when the Commandment came, sin lived again, (that is, stealthy sin was shown to be still existing in the corrupted flesh), and I died, for I was sentenced by the Law of God [in Commandments] to death.  (See Romans 7 verse 8 thru 9.) Amplified

Now, after your Salvation IN Christ Jesus, can you not hear in your own self, the unrighteous call of sin in your flesh?  The Infinite God Almighty is Spirit, and His Word in the Law of Commandants is Spirit, and the Holiness of His Spiritual Law condemns the spiritual renegade Law of Sin and Death.

* The Law of God, in Commandments, condemns sin's desires at its source in the flesh of man kind.  However the same Law of God in Commandments doesn't cause a person to sin, but nevertheless God's holy and just Commandments exacerbates the knowledge of sin's lawless condition in the flesh.  A little example would be like encountering the existence of a splinter in the surface of the flesh. The more we poke, prod and needle at the splinter, the more excited the physical flesh becomes.  With all the the probing in the flesh, the offensive splinter may cause enough pain that we may try to ignore it's presence until the flesh festers up, and may require more extensive attention from a physician.  Likewise, the Commandments of God needles the deep infection of sin, but even so, the good and Holy Commandments can not extract the causative agent that causes death.   The renegade Law of Sin and Death will continue to rebel against God, and when sin is discovered by the Law of God of isolating Commandments, then sin will arouse all kinds of excuses to justify the offense, and the sting may react with more violence.  A person will have to recognize the stench of death that sin emits, and then with godly sorrow, humbly submit themselves to the Chief Physician of their souls for the extraction of the deadly infestation.  Jesus Christ, alone is the only WAY Who has within Himself the cure for sin's sting of death. (See 1st Corinthians 10 verse 12 thru 17.)

Consider that in the Garden of Eden, Elohim gave Adam one warning Command that Adam needed to obey for his own protection: Thou shall not eat of the Tree of Knowledge, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.  When the first Man/Adam and his sin is confronted by His Maker, then sin's own law immediately seeks to adds more sin to sin. Please note sin's exacerbation of itself, for Adam first blames his wife, as an excuse for his treasonous actions against the Almighty God, and then Adam blames God for giving him his wife, Ishshah.  (Genesis 3 verse 9 thru 12.) 

The Blame Game

In the free flowing course of time, both Cain and Abel presented an offering to God.  Abel offered worship to God through the sacrifice of his best lamb.  The lamb was of God's creation that was naturally born and the lamb would grow without any effort of man.  The offering was in respect to Abel's heart of thanksgiving to Elohim.  Abel's mind set was pleasing to Elohim God, and the Almighty excepted Abel's offering.  However, we witness that Cain's offering to God was of the works of Cain's own hands, and the offering was less than acceptable to the Creator God.   Cain's offering was the result of his own effort, derived from his tilling of the land and his earthly plantings of seed into the soil of the earth.  Cain's harvested vegetable offering was tied to the infertile condition of his heart, and the self importance of his mindset was unacceptable to God.  Cain became indignant, then God said to Cain: Why are you angry, and why is your countenance fallen?  If you do well, shall you not be accepted?  If you do not do good then 'sin' crouches at the door, and 'his' desire is to have (rule over) you, but you are to over rule 'him'. (See Genesis 4 verse 4 thru 7.) 

Satan is the entity of sin that lays in wait to consume the person that relies on the will of their own selfish flesh.  Sin's hidden desire exploited the unrepented anger in Cain and fomented its will in Cain's anguish, thereby overruling Cain's conscience. Then Cain, in his jealous rage, murdered his brother Abel.  The good in Cain's mind had no desire to over rule his own willful emotions, therefore Cain's jealousy would ignore his conscience and his mind would acquiesce to the vile entity of sin and death.  Cain's unabated jealousy resulted in the murderous death of his brother Abel.  Cain's murderous action against his brother was quite apart from the existence of any 'just rules' that would condemn the violent actions of sin.   The law of sin has many etceteras, and without the quarantining Laws of God then sin exacerbate itself in the flesh of man.  If there is no declared sin in the flesh of man, then the many etcetera's of sin have hardened the the conscience of man and sin and death are increased, for there is no condemnation of sin to convict the person who lives in this body of death.  With Paul's conversion to the Messiah, he came to understand sin's collusion with his own body of death.  However, the wisdom of man kind confuses the understanding wisdom of the Apostle Paul, and remain entrenched in sin and death.

In the flow of time, the Almighty God would give to Israel the Decalogue of Commandments that are contained within the first five books of the Torah.  God's Ten Commandments were set forth on Mount Sinai to reveal the causative agent of man kind's entanglements within the clutches of death. Sin innately remains in the corrupted flesh of all of mankind, and proliferates its cause and affect throughout the course of time.  Throughout the centuries, it is impossible to conceive of the total consequences of the violence of sin's rebellious nature in the flesh of all of mankind.

Paul, after his Salvation encounter with Jesus Christ, came to understand the nature of the deadly infection of sin that remains in his body of flesh.  This awareness is because of sinís symptoms of self-promoting desires, that were being exhibited as confusion within the flesh of Paul's mind.  We could liken the nature of sin to be the ultimate spiritual viral singularity, promoting it self, while dwelling secretly within the flesh of all human kind.  Paul came to understand the self promoting Law of Sin and Death, and the sin that exist within himself that he hates.  The self idolatrous nature of sin, exist in Paul and at times sin overpowers his own will, and makes him do the 'evil' things he is opposed to, and prevents him at times, from complying to that which he agrees is 'good'.  WHO shall save me from this body of death?

As good and as holy as the Commandments of God are, they fail to relieve the double minded Paul of his sense of failure when stealthy sin encourages his desire within his corrupted flesh.  Ironically, that sense of the presence of sin, is brought about by an awakened conscience through the Commandments of God that condemns (judges) sin for the death it promotes.  In man's very best state in the Salvation of Christ, latent sin is hidden in the flesh of our minds, and will revive to bring forth the nature of self idolatry that triggers one's death and separation from the heart of Holy God, even as demanded by Holy God's Laws of quarantine promoted in the Decalogue. 

Thus, Paul in his schizophrenic, self-illustration has concluded that the Commandments of God, which he is mindful of, cannot save him from his lethal infection of sin in his body, for sin has already brought the corruption of death to his self serving flesh.  The Commandments of God were never meant to be curative, and can never bridge the chasm of sin and death that had totally corrupted the genetic flesh of all of man kind. 

So this brings us again to Paul's lamenting question, followed with his definitive answer, which also should be that of all the disciples of Christ: "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of death?" and his affirmative answer: "(Giving) Thanks to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind, I am serving the Law of God, but on the other [hand] with my flesh, the (self serving) Law of Sin". (Romans 7 verse 24 thru 25.)

For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the Law, but under (God's) Grace (His Protection IN the Body of Christ Jesus).  What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the Law, but under (God's Spirit of) Grace? God forbid.  Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? (Romans 6 verse 14 thru 16.)

Who then is your master to whom you obey?: 
Is it the author of sin, whose fruit is death, or
Yahweh God, the Creator of Life, Whose Fruit IN Christ Jesus is His Holiness that brings forth fruit onto Life?

In Chapter 7 of his letter to the Romans, Paul had revealed the strength of sin, but previously in his writings in Chapter 6, Paul had already made the full case for the Grace of God IN Christ Jesus that brings to believers, freedom from the sting of sin and death.  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it (sin) in the lusts thereof. For sin shall not have dominion over you; for you are not (to be) under (the control of) the law (of sin and death), but under (the control of God's Spirit of) Grace(See Romans 6 verse 12-14.)

However, we have seen that the leaders in the various churches have presented a liberality in their shallow interpretation of grace.  Branding about the word grace, these leaders fail to realize that God's Grace is administered by Holy God's Holy Gift of His Spirit of Grace IN Christ Jesus.   In their ignorance of the Holy, the self acknowledged pastors and teachers, leave the people of the pews, wallowing in the mire within the clutches of their own sins. Through God's Holy Spirit, Paul presents a rebuke to any sinful liberality: What then, shall we sin, because we are not under (the condemnation of) the Law (in Commandments), but under grace? God forbid. (Romans 6 verse 15.) For they that are after the flesh, do mind the things of the flesh: But they that are after the Spirit, mind the things of the Spirit of God. This word is cemented to Paul's following spiritual logic: For to be carnally minded is DEATH, but to be spiritually minded is LIFE and Peace (with God). (See Romans 8 verse 4 thru 6.)

Unfortunately, we shall see in the King James version of the Bible that the beginning of the following scripture in Romans 6 verse 17 is less than the fullness of  Paul's thoughts, for the scripture erroneously reads: But God be thanked. The words 'be thanked' should have been correctly interpreted from the Greek word 'charis' that has a true meaning of 'grace'.  Therefore the scripture should more properly be rendered: By God's Grace, you were the servants (slaves) of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of Doctrine which was delivered to you. Being then made free (by God's Communion Doctrine) from sin, you became the servants of righteousness. For now, (meaning 'at this time') being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto holiness, and (in) the end (of time) everlasting Life. (Romans 6 verse 17 thru 18 and verse 22.)

What then is that form of Doctrine that Paul speaks about?  Please consider, with a diligent mind, that the apostles' doctrine as seen in the 2nd chapter of the Book of Acts, is God's Doctrine IN Christ. (Do not miss Repent and Believe.) Yahweh, the Almighty God is Eternally Holy, and has not changed His Covenant Doctrine IN Christ Jesus.  Take and drink all of you: This is My Blood of the New Covenant that is shed for many for the remission of sin(Mathew 26 verse 26 thru 28.) For a greater understanding of the TRUTH and Mercy of God, please review Paul's scripture writings taken from Romans 6 verses 17 thru 21, and witness the results of God's Covenant Words of LIFE, spoken by the WAY, the TRUTH and LIFE of men, Jesus Christ: Being then made free from sin, you became the servants of Righteousness. For now, (at this very moment) being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto holiness (purification, consecration, separation) from sin), and (in) the end everlasting LIFE. (See Romans 6 verse 17 thru 23.) It is within the redeems participation in fellowship with Holy God's unseen Spirit of Grace and Life that makes a person of faith IN the Christ of God, to be freed from the condemnation of their fleshes' sins of death. 

Hopefully, through the Spirit of God, the reader would grasp that the form of doctrine, is God's structured Instructions that brings about His Spirit of Grace IN Christ Jesus too provide His Grace for the remission of the sins of our flesh.  We call that form of doctrine, Holy Communions, but the word 'Communion' did not exist within Paul or the other apostles' vocabulary, but later the Greek word 'Koinonia' was rendered in English as 'fellowship'.  It is thought that the word Communion is attributed to the early church father, Augustine. who used the Latin 'communionem', in his belief that the word was derived from "com"- meaning "with, together" plus "unus" meaning "oneness, union." The Infinite Yahweh God Almighty did not predestine any man to perish in sin, but through His New Covenant in the Blood of Jesus Christ, all that He for knew IN His creation of time, should come to repentance and be saved in the Righteousness of our Lord God Almighty. God's New Covenant does not leave those He is saving in the clutches of the sin that is innate to our corruptible flesh, but the Almighty makes the willing soul IN Christ Jesus victorious, and more than conquerors over our flesh of sin through the Life giving Blood of His Righteous Son:  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are IN Christ Jesus, who walk not after the (control of the) flesh, but after the (leading of God's) Spirit. For the Law of the Spirit of Life IN Christ Jesus, has made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8 verse 1 thru 2.)

Not by Might or Power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord!

 The Grace from God's Holy Spirit of Grace and Life abounds to the repentant saved person with our Confessed Failures of the Flesh.
We are being sanctified through Christ's cleansing Blood at God's Table of Grace.

Therefore brethren, having boldness to enter into the Holiest by the Blood of Jesus, by a new and living Way, Which He (Christ) has inaugurated for us, through the veil that is to say His Flesh: Let us draw near with a true heart, in the full assurance of faith, having are hearts sprinkled (with His Life Blood) from an evil conscience.  (See Hebrews 10 verse 19 thru 22.)

The only remedy for the death of man-kind is faith in the poured out Life Blood of Jesus Christ, the innocent Son of Adam, and the Incarnate and Only Begotten Son of God.  The proof stands as the TRUTH:  For Jesus Christ, the Man, was crucified to death on a cross, but was raised from the dead by the Spirit of God, and God's justification by His Grace for all of mankind that would believe.  Therefore, by the imputed Living Faith of Jesus Christ, we the believers are justified, even as transgressors, because of faith in the Son of Man's absolute obedience and Trusting Faith IN His Holy Father God Almighty.  Now, Paul fully recognizes that he and we through God's Gift of Faith IN Christ Jesus are absolutely dependant upon God the Father, Who gives Life and Love, more abundantly to all repentant sinners, through His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Therefore, if any man be IN Christ, he is a new creation: Old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.  For all things are of God, Who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and has given unto us the ministry of reconciliation. To wit, that God was IN Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and has committed unto us His Word of Reconciliation. (See 2nd Corinthians 5 verse 17-21.)  And what is His Word of Reconciliation?  Drink all of you, for This is My Blood of the New Covenant which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

After God's justification by the Faith of Jesus Christ, then the fullness of God's New Covenant is that 'form of Doctrine', which provides for the redeemed of God, to continue to reap the benefits of Cleansing and Sanctification of the flesh of our natural being.  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the TRUTH is not in us. If we continue to say that we have not sinned, we make Him (God Almighty) a liar, and His WORD of TRUTH is not in us.  But if we confess our sins, He (God Almighty) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (by the Life giving Blood of Christ Jesus). (See John 1 verse 8 thru 10.) Nothing is hid from the Eyes of Eternal God. (See Hebrews 4 verse 12 thru 13.) In our fellowship at God's Table of Grace, the nakedness of our flesh of sin, is covered IN the Righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Gift of God is His Life Saving Grace given to us in the Life Blood of His Only Begotten Son, administered through God's Holy Spirit of Grace. For the Spirit and the Water and the Blood are One.  For if we walk in the Light as He is in the Light, we have fellowship, one with another, and the BLOOD of JESUS CHRIST, God's Son, cleanses us from sin.  There is no code or standard that leads to eternal Life except through the Sanctifying Life giving Blood of Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ alone, as the Incarnate Son of Man/Adam, is the absolute Standard of Love and Grace acceptable to His Holy Father God Almighty.  Jesus Christ is the very last genetic Son of Adam, for He was incarnately born of the Love of His Father Yahweh God, and Jesus defeated our sin and death within the original genetic flesh of Adam through His Perfect Sacrifice, as a Son of Perfect Love and Obedience to His Holy Father God Almighty.  With the Love of His Father within His Bosom, Jesus Christ pours out His Soul within the Spirit of His Holy Life Blood as a Presentation Offering to God, for the souls of mankind.  Blessed be our Holy God and Father, Who first loved us, even when we were yet sinners, and Who by His Spirit of Life has made our souls to be alive within His Risen and Beloved Son.

Wherefore

If the ministration of death, written and engraved in stones was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look upon the face of Moses because the glory that was on his countenance, but was a glory that was to pass away.  Will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?  If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings Righteousness!  For what was glorious, now has no glory in comparison with the surpassing Glory [of the Spirit of God].  And if what was fading away came with Glory, how much greater is the Glory [of the Spirit of God] and that which lasts (with eternal life)!   (2nd Corinthians 3 verse 7 thru 11.)

The Glory of the Commandments of God, was revealed in the face of Moses, who stood in the awesome Presence of the Almighty God, the Law Giver. The Law of God in Commandments does not save a person, but is somewhat glorious in that it reveals the sentence of death for the transgressor.  For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is Life and Peace, (IN Christ Jesus). Seeing that the Glory of the Lord passed away from the veiled face of Moses, so shall the condemnation of the Law in Commandments be done away for the believer that abides IN Christ Jesus.  But consider also that because of a person's unrepented sin, the Glory of God may leave them to their own fleshly council, having spurned the guidance of the Holy Spirit of Christ IN God.  Why would one die in the flesh of their self justification, when God's Good  News of Life and Peace dwells IN the faith of God's Righteous Son, Jesus Christ.  The purpose of the Law of God remains steadfast,  (See Romans 7 verse  8 thru 12.) until all is fulfilled with the conversion of souls that understand that they are lost in sin and death, and need the redeeming Life giving BLOOD of God's Only Begotten Son.  Now, the Glory that is Eternal, is to be found in the faithful souls, where the spirit within their mind is lit on fire by God's Spirit of Life IN Christ Jesus.  The fullness of God's Glory IN His Son shall not pass away. For as many that are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Romans 8 verse 14.)

To continue to the next chapter, please click on The Law, a Quagmire of Confusion.

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Robert Glenn Pratten with my beloved wife Rose Labez Pratten