Life and Death
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Sin's Vapor Trail is the Stench of Death.

Sin's enticements are yet waiting within the entrances of the thoughts within the core of our being.  Sin is stealthy, and spiritually hides itself in the mind of flesh even those who say they are redeemed.  In the flesh, we remain subject to the gratifying pleasures akin to this world, and when ignoring the Spirit of God's unseen Grace, the saved may succumb to sin's pleasures. (See John 16 verse 7 thru 15.) 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.  Sin is death and separation from Holy Lord God Almighty.  For this reason the Spirit of God's Word, Jesus Christ, became the flesh of Adam, the Son of Man, and in His Obedient Love for His Father, Jesus/Yeshua condemned the spiritual law of sin and death within His own physical flesh.

But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence (cravings). For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once (at one time): But when the commandment came, sin (was shown to have already) revived, and I (now) died. And the Commandment, 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 we need to seek for the answers through God's Spirit of Truth:  For without the law I was alive, once! Think about it! Paul, the Jew, was educated in the Torah. Then at what point could it have been, when Paul was without the knowledge of the Law in Commandments?  (Consider Paul's conversion Acts 9 verse 3 thru 18.)

Now, after your Salvation, can you not hear in your own self, that which ĎSaintí Paul has to say about his real, and not allegorical, struggles with his sinful 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 his self, mirrored in the Law of Commandments, continues with his thoughts, ďI see another Law working within my members, warring against the Law of my mind [with his conscience enhanced by the knowledge of the Commandments of God], and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin, which is in my members [understand, sin resides within Paul's physical body and yours]. (Romans 7 verse 23 .)

What is this other law, but the evil force of sin itself, made more manifest by the knowledge of the quarantining Laws of God, (Ten Commandments).  Paul discovers another force within him he calls the 'Law of Sin', 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 did not know that the renegade rule or Law of Sin was the agent that brought death to humanity, for it is that ultimate unseen spiritual virus that promotes itself in death, and that of its captive.

In Paul's Salvation of his soul, stealthy sin, with its idolatrous deceptions in the flesh of our being, was originally dead to Paulís knowledge. How can this be happening to "Saint Paul", the apostle to the gentiles?  Sin, remains hidden deep in the neuronal roots of self preservation, and will seek to preserve itself at any cost.  Then the quarantining Commandments of God came again to Paul's mind, and the knowledge of the presence of sin was shown to have revived in his flesh, and 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), and I died, for I was sentenced by the Law of God [in Commandments] to death.  (See Romans 7 verse 8 thru 9.) Amplified .

* While the Law of God in Commandments would condemn sin 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 the Commandments exacerbate the knowledge of sins 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 ignore it until the flesh festers up, and may require more extensive attention from a physician.  Likewise, the Commandments of God needle 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 will continue to rebel against God, and when sin is discovered by the Law of God, then sin will make all kinds of excuses to justify the offense, and may react as such, with more violence.  A person will have to recognize the stench of death, that sin emits, and with godly sorrow, humbly submit themselves to the Chief Physician of their souls for the extraction of the deadly infestation.  Jesus Christ, alone has within Himself the cure for the sting of death.

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 law immediately adds more sin to sin. Please note that 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.)  Later in time, the Almighty God gave the Decalogue of Commandments with the Torah to Israel,  to reveal the causative agent of man kind's entanglement with the clutches of death. Sin remains innately in the flesh of all men, and proliferates its cause and affect in 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 man.

Paul, after his Salvation encounter with Christ Jesus, came to understand the nature of the deadly infection of sin that remains in his flesh.  This awareness is because of sinís symptoms of self-promoting desires, that were being exhibited as confusion within the flesh of his mind.  We could liken the nature of sin to be the ultimate spiritual viral singularity, promoting it self, while dwelling within the flesh of all human kind.  That which Paul knows of the Law of Sin within himself, he hates, for 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'. 

As good and as holy as the Commandments of God are, they fail to relieve double minded Paul of his sense of failure when 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, latent sin, hidden in the flesh of our minds, will revive, to bring forth the nature of self idolatry that triggers one's death and separation from the heart of God, even as demanded by Holy God's Laws of quarantine in the Decalogue. 

Thus, Paul in his schizophrenic, self-illustration has concluded the Commandments of God, which he is mindful of, cannot save him from his lethal infection of sin, for sin has already corrupted his self serving flesh.  The Commandments are not curative, and can never bridge the chasm of sin and death that had corrupted the soul and even the genetic flesh of man kind.

So this brings us again to Paul's lamenting question with his answer, which also should be ours: "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.  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 Sin, whose fruit is death, or
God the Creator of Life, Whose Fruit in Christ Jesus is His Holiness that gives 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 under (the control of) the law, 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 Gift of His Spirit of Grace. 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 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 law, 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. Leading to the same thought: 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 a misinterpretation of thought: But God be be thanked. The words 'be thanked' should be interpreted from the Greek word 'charis' meaning '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 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 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, the apostles doctrine as seen in the 2nd chapter of the Book of Acts. (Do not miss Repent and Believe.) Yahweh, the Almighty God has not changed His Covenant Doctrine.  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, now insert the scriptures from Romans 6 verses 17 thru 21, to the  Covenant Words spoken by the Truth: 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), and (in) the end everlasting Life. (See Romans 6 verse 17 thru 23.) It is within our participation in fellowship with Holy God's unseen Spirit of Grace and Life that makes a person of faith free from the condemnation of their sins of death. 

Hopefully, through the Spirit of God, the reader would grasp that the form of doctrine, is God's structure of instruction that brings about His Spirit of Grace in Christ Jesus too provide for the remission of the sins of our flesh.  We call that form of doctrine, Holy Communions, but the word 'Communion' did not exist in 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 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 us victorious, and more than conquerors over our flesh of sin through the 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 the) 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 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 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 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 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 for man kind's justification.  Therefore, by the imputed Living Faith of Jesus Christ, we are justified, even as transgressors, because of the Son of Man's absolute obedience and Trusting Faith in His Father God.  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 us 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.) 

After justification by the Faith of Jesus Christ, then the fullness of God's new Covenant is that 'form of doctrine', which provides for our continuing Cleansing and Sanctification of our flesh.  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 Blood of Christ Jesus). (See John 1 verse 8 thru 10.) Nothing is hid from the eyes of God. (See Hebrews 4 verse 12 thru 13.) In our fellowship at His 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 Grace given to us in the Life Blood of His Only Begotten Son, administered through His Holy Spirit of Grace. 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.  Jesus is the very last genetic Son of Adam, for He was incarnately born of the Love of His Father Yahweh God, and defeated our sin and death within the flesh of Adam through His Perfect Sacrifice of 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, even when they reveal that man kind is dead in their sins, was revealed in the face of Moses, who stood in the awesome Presence of the Almighty God, the Law Giver.   Seeing that Glory of the Lord would pass away from the face of Moses, consider also that because of a person's unrepented sin, the Glory of God also passes away.  The purpose of the Law of God remains steadfast until all is fulfilled with the conversion of hearts that understand that they are lost in sin and death, and need the redeeming Life BLOOD of God's Only Begotten Son.  Now, the Glory that is Eternal, is to be found in the faithful hearts of mankind, that are lit up by the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, and that Glory shall not pass away.

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