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A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Monday, May 27, 2013

Hey, Paul didn't say he gave up being moral as something to be despised.

"Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ...."  Phil. 3:8

What did Paul count "dung" in Philippians that he abandoned in order to win Christ. [Philippians 3].  Paul knew the advantage of being a Jew [Rom. 4:1] which consisted of being near to the promises and having the oracles of God [Scripture].  Paul knew it was better not to covet than to covet. [Romans 7:7ff]  He did not come to Christ in order to abandon goodness of life, but to really attain it. [Romans 8:2, 13,14].  The Spirit does not work the motions of sin and death in the believer.

What Paul rejected was the idea that anything of the flesh [nature] could give him access to the Spirit. Hence, true morality was impossible for him, no matter how hard he strived.  In order to "win Christ" he must give up all confidence in nature [natural generation from Abraham] and throw himself on the mercy of God in Christ.

The result of this is not immorality and wicked behavior, but true morality free from hypocrisy and deceit.  Our nature inherited from Adam produces immoral behavior, no matter how sweetly it is perfumed [Galatians 5:19-21] and none of these who live in the flesh will inherit the kingdom of God, for obedience to God comes only by the Spirit.

The gift of God in Jesus Christ is the Holy Spirit, given to those who are to be heirs of eternal life and they are justified by faith and counted holy.  Thus they, by grace are enabled to achieve a measure of true morality, morality from the heart and soul, bringing forth the fruit of the Spirit described in Galatians 5:22-26]  This morality is not the ground of their salvation, but the result of it.

But it is good to remember that those who say that they are in the light, but walk in darkness are deceived and fool themselves and try to fool others.  [1John 1:5-7]

Romans 8:13, 14  "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

Christ is no minister of sin, but of wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.

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