The Law’s Final Revelation
We have come now to the law’s final revelation, which the vast majority of the redeemed remain ignorant of. It is for those who hunger and thirst after righteousness until they are filled (Matt. 5:6). What is revealed is the root of sin: the Satanic deceit of thinking we are independent selves, who by ourselves can resist all Satan’s assaults of self-for-self. This is especially underlined for us by Paul in Romans 7. We know we have now become new creations in Christ and experience in our redeemed selves the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22, 23). But at the same time we are being constantly knocked off our steady walk in the Spirit by the assaults of all kinds of temptations. These drag us back toward sin-responses such as fear, hate, lust, pride, etc.
Because we are still under the delusion of being independent selves, we respond to those temptations which the law says we should not respond to. We therefore say we don’t want to respond, and we make resolutions that we won’t (Paul’s Romans 7 statement “when I would do good”). But then we are hopelessly caught. We struggle and seek to resist the pulls, but there they are. We feel guilty for having such pulls—which we call flesh—and experience inward guilt and often outward response. We blame those responses on a supposed flesh-nature which binds and drives us, so that we see ourselves as what Paul said in Romans 7:14: “carnal, sold under sin.” So we remain with our struggles and inner condemnations as being such flesh people. When we have actually sinned, we repeatedly return to 1 John 1:9 and thankfully accept the forgiveness and cleansing, though with the hopeless recognition that we shall very soon go through the same repeated syndrome of struggle, condemnation by the law and renewed cleansing.
But at last some of us come to a place of desperation. Only those who become desperate can find the releasing secret. Paul himself went this way. In Romans 6 he leads us through the deeper meaning of identification with Christ, by which we reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive unto God. But while we reckon that in Romans 6, it just doesn’t work out in the life of Romans 7! Yet Paul then goes on to leave Romans 7 forever behind (except for occassional foolish visits) and live in the reality of Romans 8, where there is no further condemnation, and there is freedom. The fixed law of the Spirit of Life forever replaces the former fixed law of sin and Satan control.
Paul’s great discovery was that the human self is basically neutral as far as the kind of nature it expresses. He says in Romans 7:18 that no good thing resides in our humanity (flesh). But then he says that neither does any bad thing, though he had mistakenly and so deceivedly thought it did. No!—if any good in him is expressed by the Spirit bearing His fruit through him, merely as a branch, so also, any bad is not in humanity, our flesh, but is equally the fruit of the bad spirit through us as a branch. Actually he said that in Romans 6:2022. Which fruit were we formerly producing? Fruit is not a branch product, but a vine product. It depends on which vine our human selves are the branches of! So if the good is the Spirit of good expressed by me, the bad is the spirit of bad—what Paul called “sin that dwelleth in me” in Romans 7:17 This is now replaced by Christ dwelling in us (Rom. 8:10).
So, at the point of desperation, Paul found a solution to his misery. He was not able to combat temptations under the pointing finger of the law’s “you ought to.” The solution was the radical revelation that he never was an independent self combating temptation and challenged by the law. He came to see his created self (as are all selves) as the mere container and then expresser of the Eternal Self. We are all created to contain and express the Eternal Self. But we have to learn that nothing functions except by swallowing up its opposite. We learn the operation of God’s opposite by yielding our human selves to the Satan occupant, resulting in “sin that dwelleth in me.” We are tricked into believing that we run ourselves (as Satan thinks he runs himself) and that we ourselves are the sin persons doing the sins. But we are only branches, not vines.
God sent the law through Moses to challenge us to be doers if we think we can! Down at last we fall. We are of course unable to be self-operating selves, because there is no such thing. Initially we saw our sins removed by grace. We did not yet see that they were Satan’s sins by us and not ours (John 8:44). But then comes the final discovery that the sin-doer was never we, but he in us as us. The law caught us out as if we were independent selves. Then came the condemnation from the law and the struggling to rid ourselves of the sin-power holding us. But at last we see! There never was anything wrong with our branch humanity made in His image. So therefore, we take no condemnation as if we were the culprit. It was he, “Mr. Sin,” pulling at us and often knocking us over.
This brings us to Paul’s Calvary revelation that Jesus on the cross was we on that cross, for He came to be our representative. Because sin was indwelling and expressing itself by us, He died on Calvary as us, His holy body as ours. He was thus “made sin” (2 Cor. 5:21)— made the sin expresser we were. In His death, the spirit of error left that body. Sin as us left. In the tomb His own resurrecting Spirit came into His body and raised it. He comes into our bodies also as we receive Him by faith. So Paul saw the truth about our human selves. The created human self, created “very good” in God’s image, had never had anything wrong with it except that it participated in physical mortality. Now it manifests the nature of the Spirit of truth and responds to His drives. It is dead in Christ to manifesting the nature of the spirit of error and responding to his drives. Therefore, we have also become “dead to the law,” because the law only had an apparent claim on us while we were living in the deceit of thinking we were independent selves running our own lives. So now there remains nothing for this outer law of God to point demanding or accusing lingers at. We are “dead to the law,” because there is no longer such a thing as an independent self to which the law can address itself.
- The Law of Opposites
- God’s Purposes To Be Fulfilled by His Family of Sons
- Our Confrontation with the Law of Opposites
- The Secret and Essential Value of the Law of God through Moses
- The Law’s Final Revelation
- Free at Last
- We Will Repeat About This Independent Self
- And Now That More Than Conqueror Reality