Might & Power – BT4
But there is another side of this A not= B and B not= A equation
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Paul said in Galatians 5:17, “The things of the Spirit (B) are against/oppose to the things of the flesh (A), so that ‘you’, that is the Spirit-born, Spirit-kind of person you have become – see Identity, will not be able to ‘accomplish or perfect’ the things that are begun in the flesh.” In math that looks like: B not–> A because B not= A. The fleshly things of the natural man without the Spirit of God (A) are simply natural to them. But they are unnatural to the person in/of the Spirit! The dominion rule of the Spirit of God is now causing that person to not be able to do what was previously natural to do. Wow! Because the flesh and Spirit are opposites, nothing from one can lead you into the other!
That’s why Paul said you have to leave Romans chapter 7 in order to get to chapter 8, which is all about the completely different-in-kind New Life in the Spirit. After Paul takes a big detour in chapters 9-11 to talk about how God’s sovereign plan fits in with man’s free will and particularly how Israel fits into the plan, Paul resumes in chapter 12 about continuing this surrender of our control to the Spirit for zoe genuine-life.
There is no sliding scale transition from “by the flesh” life, even if it is very religious like Jews are, from chapter 7 (A) to “by the Spirit” zoe genuine-life in chapter 8 (B). No matter where you think you are on the 1-10 scale of “flesh A” in chapter 7, you can’t decrease “flesh” by simply adding “Spirit” until you finally get to 0 flesh, or mathematically: A not–> B by adding more B to decrease A. Also, once you cross over to chapter 8 “Spirit B” life, you can’t simply add “flesh A” ideas to decrease the “Spirit” scale until it finally gets to 0 because: B not–> A. They are 2 completely different-in-kind births, lives, scales, and you can’t smoothly transition from one to the other in either direction! You are either “by the flesh A” or “by the Spirit B.” You can’t mix them in any way! But that doesn’t keep you from living “by the flesh A” or “by the Spirit B” within either scale. Paul’s point and the point God was making to me, is that you can’t “finish, accomplish, or end” one scale using “resources” from the other scale. They simply don’t mix! Yet, that’s exactly what I see so many Christians and musicians doing – “borrowing” from “the flesh A” success resources of “might and power” to help improve (they think) the “things of the Spirit B” like evangelism and worship. You can’t use the things of Romans chapter 7 to live in the Romans chapter 8.
Then how do we get from the “flesh A chapter 7” to the “Spirit B chapter 8” in order to switch Identities? We have to come to the end of our “flesh A chapter 7” rope, to the end of ourselves, to the end of our “might and power” (A) and surrender our control completely to Jesus! We must agree with Paul as a Jewish-Christian in Romans 7:23-24, 26 “Although I delight in the Torah Law of conditional-favor of God in my inner being (spirit B – see Identity), I see in my flesh (soul and body A – see Identity) another law (a) waging war . . . making me captive to the law of sin (b) that actually, ongoingly dwells in my flesh (A). O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this flesh (A) of death?” Paul isn’t telling us to somehow improve upon the flesh (A) or to use the “might and power” of his flesh (A) to improve upon his dire situation. He said that he needed to be delivered (c) from it! Jesus said to proseuchomai conversationally-pray, “Deliver us from the evil [one]” (d). Paul quoted: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion” (e), and was confident “The Lord shall actually deliver me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom” (f). We need a way out, not a way to better a bad situation! <Notes> a) nomos as “principle or instruction”, b) Paul speaks much about the OT Law multiplying sin: 1 Corinthians 15:56; Romans 5:20, c) rhuomai: snatched or drawn up/out from, rescued, d) Matthew 6:13, e) Romans 11:26 citing Isaiah 59:20, f) 2 Timothy 4:18.
Until we get this revelation of ourselves and cry out for the answer, and until we are willing to “let go and let God” by surrendering we will never get to Romans 7:25: “Thanks be to God – it is through Jesus Christ our Lord!” But Paul knows exactly where he is at as a Jewish-Christian, even though he has just now confessed the source of his deliverance! It hasn’t come yet, because “I myself actually, presently/ongoingly serve the Torah Law of conditional-favor of God with my mind (a), but with my flesh (b) I actually, presently/ongoingly serve the law (c) of sin.” Surrendering our control is the only way out! It’s absolute! <Notes> a) he often uses mind interchangeably with heart and spirit, b) soul and body, c) nomos as “principle or instruction.”
Surrender doesn’t just happen once to get you into the Spirit B chapter 8, but must happen routinely to keep you in Romans 12:1 to keep the “Spirit” scale rising: “I appeal to your brethren . . . to definitively/wholly present your soma bodies (A) as a living sacrifice, holy (consecrated) and acceptable to God, [which is] your logikos logical/rational latreia liturgical ritual service.” Instead of going to the Jewish temple or today’s church services to go through a bunch of rituals for God to please God, we can take the “shell” of our person and definitively/wholly offer that to God as our liturgical service of sacrifices. This is exactly what “let go (A) and let God (B)” means! That’s how we get from A –> B.
As Christian musicians, you just can’t make fleshly things more spiritual or can you somehow better spiritual things using things of the flesh. They belong in different worlds and the 2 world oppose each other. The only way to get from one world to the other is to abandon where you are. A big part of The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit in today churches is borrowing from the ‘success tools’ of the world to further church growth. It may look like it’s working, but it’s just making those churches worldly! You also can’t improve the world by giving it a little bit of church. Christ calls for total surrender on a routine basis if you routinely want the things of the Spirit! It all starts by dying with Christ in water-baptism before you can be resurrected to a new life with Him. But you have to routinely offer your bodies as living sacrifices in Romans 7 if you want to live by the Spirit in Romans 8 as Romans 12 makes all too clear!