Saturday, February 18, 2017
[Continued from yesterday]This is Paul’s meaning. The state of slavery described in Romans 7 is a slavery to wrong desires; not merely to “flesh” in the abstract, as implying our material nature and environment, but to the “mind of the flesh”—the lower nature and environment made a part of one’s conscious self. What the Law could not do, God has done by the gift of the Spirit of Christ: He has given the victory to the higher self. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (II Cor. 3:17) “The Law of the Spirit—the law of a life in communion with Christ Jesus—has made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Rom. 8:2) Whereas life was a hopeless struggle, ... it now becomes a struggle in which the handicap is removed, and victory already secured in principle, because God has come into the life. The Law was external; it was a taskmaster set over against the troubled and fettered will of man. The Spirit is within, the mind of the Spirit is the mind of the man himself, and from within works out a growing perfection of life which satisfies the real longing of the soul. In the full sense freedom is still an object of hope; but the liberty already attained makes possible the building up of a Christian morality.
... C. Harold Dodd (1884-1973), The Meaning of Paul for Today, London: Swarthmore, 1920, reprint, Fount Paperbacks, 1978, p. 136-137
(see the book; see also Rom. 8:2; 2 Cor. 3:17; Phil. 4:13; more at Bible, Freedom, Law, Liberty, Morality, Nature, Victory)
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