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Saturday, April 23, 2011

End Times objections

In addition to the "quick and clear" view of the end times.
http://hisrelentlessaffection.blogspot.com/2010/11/end-times.html

I felt to add a "Page 2" that answers common questions, especially from those who thought their view of the end times involved a pre-trib rapture. Those questions and answers are pasted below.

Arguments against this view of the end times answered.

What about “no man knows the day or the hour?"
Refers to the “day of the Lord.” The final day, Daniel 12:11"From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.
12"How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days!” There is in this precise passage a “mysterious” 45 days at the end. God the Father will pick the final day from these 45 days, so it really is not about “times and seasons, it is about a specific day and hour, that “no one knows.”

What about “this generation shall not pass away before...”
So God is out to stumble pride as its own self-inflicted judgment. The means and measures by which this is accomplished is another conversation, but one thing is clear, God’s selective mode of revelation will always raise problems for natural reason that will defy solution by mere brain power regardless of exegetical skills. It is the humility of repentance that clears the way for the entrance of light (but then again repentance is also the result of revelation as seen in the case of Paul and the future remnant of Israel; Zech 12:10). I make this point because it explains what I think underlies the larger purpose of the Father in Jesus’ use of the term ”generation”. I am suggesting that Jesus well knew the versatility of the language and that it would be a potential source of perplexity.
Jesus well knew the versatility of this term, as evident from his unique and profound use of it in His rebuke of the Pharisees in the preceding chapter. The confrontation with the Pharisees in chapt 23 sets the stage and context for what follows on the same day in the Olivet prophecy. In Mt 23:29-36 Jesus describes a phenomenon that is far too little considered in biblical theology. It is what some have called ‘corporate solidarity.’ Jesus cites the self-assured boast of the Pharisees, “If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets,” as proof that His contemporaries are in the same generational line of those that slew the prophets. It is THIS GENERATION that remains in an unbroken continuum “until YOU shall say blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord’” (Mt 23:39). The day of national repentance ends the age enduring opposition of ‘this generation’.
More than an issue of mere bloodline, the concept of generation represents a particular spiritual disposition or nature. So long as this perversity of spirit and God rejection persists in the Jewish nation, so does the exile continue, and so does “this generation” remain; it only ends when ‘all these things’ shall be fulfilled. This is consistent with the use of the term in Moses and the prophets (Deut 32:5, 20 et al), in John Baptist, and it was Stephen’s use of the same essential indictment, if not the precise term, that cost him his life (Acts 7:51-52; cf. also 1Thes 2:16).
Notice the the Lord’s unique use of ‘you’ in His indictment. It is the same in Stephen’s apologetic. It is the generic ‘you’ of corporate solidarity, hence an abiding generation. It is a generation that does not escape judgment, regardless of its particular location in chronological time, ‘UNTIL’ …. This is why Jesus could speak of a future day of public acknowledgment of His messianic dignity, and describes it in terms of the generational ‘until YOU will say.’ It is why He could indict His own contemporaries as present in the killing of the prophets in the very persons of their fathers (“whom you slew”). And it is why Zechariah can speak particularly of the last generation of Jewish survivors of the last tribulation as ‘looking on Him whom THEY have pierced,’ as though they were the actual historical murderers of the Messiah. And they were; because they performed it in the persons of their Jewish forebears. Thus, the surviving remnant of Jacob’s trouble will see themselves as part of an ongoing generation, the generation that has always resisted the Spirit and slain the prophets. This, of course, assumes a powerful revelation, but we believe that such revelation will be amply communicated through the witness of the tribulation church. This witness, though very powerful, will not at first prevail to turn the larger part of the remnant to faith, but it will be the effectual seed that the Lord will quicken at the moment of His appearing, “when the Deliverer comes out of Zion to turn ungodliness from Jacob.” Only then will they ‘look on Me whom they pierced.
Finally, and here I go back to the amazing way that God hides His mysteries. It has always been striking to me that immediately after Jesus says “this generation shall not PASS AWAY till all these things be fulfilled,” He then most significantly adds: “Heaven and earth shall PASS AWAY, but My Word shall never PASS AWAY.” I believe that Jesus well knew and even anticipated how that ‘that’ generation would appear to pass without the fulfillment of “all these things.” I believe it is precisely because He knew that His words would be pointed to by the gainsayer as evidence of the failure of prophecy that He adds the revelatory caveat that sooner would heaven and earth PASS AWAY than one jot or tittle of His word to fail or fall to the ground. Impossible! So by divine design, we are left with a choice of faith, but this need not require a choice between the false alternatives of a spiritualizing preterism or unbelief concerning the Lord’s prophetic accuracy.
Yours in the Beloved,
Reggie Kelly (Reggie answered this better than I ever could, so I just pasted his take on it)

What about “He comes as a thief in the night”
2For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.
3While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.
4But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief;
5for you are all sons of light and sons of day We are not of night nor of darkness;
6so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.
What about “He could come at any moment”
2nd Thes. 2:1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,
2that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
3Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy (The abandonment or forsaking of faith or commitment to follow the Lord, often described as a turning away)
comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
4who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.
5Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things?
6And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed.
7For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.
8Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;
9that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders,
10and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
What about Rev. 3:10?
10“Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”
To be “kept" by God is not to be removed but to be preserved through. Like the Hebrews during the Egyptian plagues. Like Paul during his many persecutions and like Jesus specifically warned and prayed for his own disciples...warning --John 16:1"These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling.
2"They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.
3"These things they will do because they have not known the Father or Me.”
...prayer---John 17:15"I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from )the evil one.

What about Rev. 4 the 24 elders?
In Rev. 4:1, John does not represent the church. John is about to have an incredible vision, but this one apostle is never given as a symbolic representative of the entire church.
Rev. 4:4 the 24 elders, my best explanation is 12 tribes of Israel and 12 apostles=24. I can’t think of any good reason, why 24 would represent the church.
Twenty Four : 24 - Biblical Numerology Meaning: deals in reference to a heavenly government and a heavenly worship.
What about, “The church isn’t mentioned after Rev. 4“
Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst." Church is a gathering of people where Jesus is the center. The “elect” and the “saints” are mentioned, so if any two of them gather, guess what, that is ‘church.’ Many are saved during the tribulation, so the Holy Spirit and the church, are busy and active during the tribulation.

kairos

The Lord spoke to our congregation through our pastor, that we are in a Kairos time, a time specifically opened up by God for us to move forward in something that God has called us to. He is not a 'guru' he is a pastor, so it is up to us to seek God and to persevere in what He has called us to. One thing for me is the accumulation of some insight into the church's roll in the end times. I need to be open to spreading that any chance that I get, "to take the tablets and run with them." Hab. 2:2
Up until this point, this has met with a resounding "thud!" In this Kairos time it is not up to me to 'bear fruit,' that is the work of God. If He tells me to go into the room and break the alabaster box of perfume, Obedience Is My Only Option, and it does not matter if the disciples and those around question my actions and call it stupid,and a "waste."
Obedience Is My Only Option.
Homeschooling friends recently let me into their house to share the "quick and clear" word of God from Matt. 24 and Daniel regarding the end times that was given to me by Reggie Kelly. No one said, when I was done, "Well that settles it, this is the truth." But I spoke, and they listened and had some questions... and now days later it comes to me, the fruit is not up to me, just the obedience. Praise God.
So this blog is still about my real life, my main struggle right now is anger and resentment, I lose track of mercy and gratitude and end up in a dry and weary land of my own making quite often, BUT GOD rich in mercy, keeps up a conversation with me, and breaking will come and fruit will come, and change will come, sanctification is a life-long process ending only when this flesh finds itself separated, empty and in the grave. God forgive those teaching a sanctification that is whole and complete and entire on this earth. Romans 7 proves them to be wrong, mislead and misleading. Mislead is forgivable, "misleading" teaching a falsity, is scarily dangerous and we are deeply warned against it in scripture.
Recently the truth of "ministering unto the Lord" has been re-given to me, and I pray for the grace of God to take it up again. His mercies are new every morning.
A word of encouragement, while reading through the gospel of John last night with friends, the words about a woman with a newborn forgetting the pain of childbirth came to me in a new light, the light of going through a long and painful process with an unbelieving friend/relative/co-worker, the travail of those days will be forgotten when we are holding the newborn in our arms. Thank You Jesus, all glory to you, for hiding truth from the wise and giving it to the simple. At that time Jesus said, "I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants." Matthew 11:25

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Romans study #24 7:14-25

It happens for the glory of God, the simple answer to the why
in the life of a believer.

Romans 7, this last section is famous, many argue over what is
a very clear and straightforward meaning. Holy Spirit come and
remove the blinders, the veil and the things that hinder us grasping
the living truth of these words, In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Romans Bible Study #24
Romans 7:14-25
The Reality of Religion
Indwelling Sin vs. Indwelling Savior


Romans 7:14-25
The Conflict of Two Natures
14For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin.
15For 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.
16But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good.
17So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
18For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.
19For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.
20But 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.
21I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.
22For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man,
23but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.
24Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?
25Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. NASB

14-16I can anticipate the response that is coming: "I know that all God's commands are spiritual, but I'm not. Isn't this also your experience?" Yes. I'm full of myself—after all, I've spent a long time in sin's prison. What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can't be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God's command is necessary.
17-20But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
21-23It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
24I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?
25The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different. THE MESSAGE

There is actually a controversy that Paul is not talking about himself as a Christian in these verses. It is obvious that he is and so I won’t spend even one second on that controversy. Like a lot of controversy about Bible passages this stems from the person coming into the reading of this passage with a belief that he wants to “prop up" and prove. This leads to a blindness when reading the passage. A third grader reading this section could answer the question, “Who is Paul talking about in these sentences?", but many theological ‘experts’ cannot.
This is the very real struggle of the Christian life. It is a difficult life. We are swimming upstream against our nature, our flesh moment by moment. This is a very practical and very real section of scripture and we need to see what is being said, without denying it or running from the truth of it.
You fall, it happens, and then Paul is giving us a pattern on “getting up.” You do not deny that you just fell, in fact you say that the very law that convicts you and points out your failure is good. Indwelling sin, your flesh, still remains as a player in this game and it landed a punch.
I am a wretched man. I need a great God. I have a great God, His life in me, will overcome and be ultimately victorious. That is the pattern on how to get up. As a woman said the other night at work, and I immediately wrote it down, “We need all the help we can get!”
We are not called to “settle in sin” or “make peace with sin.” This is to be a battle, a struggle that takes place from a position of rest and victory. As Steve says, it is like we are watching the replay of a game, we know who wins, so we don’t get upset at the temporary setbacks.

The height of glory at the beginning of verse 25 is tempered with the reality of the battle still raging at the end of verse 25. The battle rages, this can not be denied. The glory of being “in Christ” and all the benefits listed in a previous lesson is still a huge hope and a joy for us, but we are not blind optimists, we are realists. Yes, I fell and I will fall, my righteousness is not the issue here. My perfection is not attained, but I know what sin cost my Lord, and I battle, with the strength of His might. I am not separate from fallen humanity. I am not surprised or ‘taken aback’ by any fall of any of my brothers. “Restore such a one in a spirit of meekness.” When the apostles were ready to call down fire on the unrepentant village, Jesus reminded them, “You know not what manner of men you are.” It is true, when we are standing in, “I don’t believe they did that,” judgment of anyone, we are displaying pride, and it stinks in the sight of God, whose grace saved us and keeps us.

John Piper quote - “So argument #10 is that Paul's shout of victory in verse 25a, "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord," is not a signal that he has moved to a new, triumphant kind of life above the battles and losses of Romans 7. Instead this shout of hope is followed by a sober, realistic summary of everything we have seen, namely that Paul, the Christian, is both a new man and an old man. He is both indwelt by the Spirit and harassed by the flesh. He is freed from the dominion of sin and indwelt by remaining corruption. This will be his lot until he dies or until Christ comes. That is the Biblical realism of Romans 7.”
Again quoting Piper “So the question is: How are we to live in view of this double truth about ourselves? The answer comes from watching the amazing way that Paul speaks to us about our deliverance and our newness in Christ. What he does again and again is to say: This new man is who you decisively and irrevocably are in Christ. This free man is your deepest and truest identity. Now act on it. Look to Christ, trust his help, and by his Spirit become what you are.

If your besetting sin is anger, affirm that in Christ you have died to that identity and in Christ you have his patience and kindness. Look to him and trust in him and rejoice in him. And fight against anger as one who has the victory in him.
If your besetting sin is heterosexual or homosexual lust, affirm that the truth that in Christ you have died to this fallen and distorted identity. I recall many conversations with Joe Hallett who came out of the homosexual life and lived among us with AIDS for 10 years and died a few years ago. He never tired of saying: Do not say "I am a homosexual." Say rather, "I struggle with homosexual desires." That was not a superficial mind over matter trick. It was a profound Biblical insight into Romans 6 and 7: In Christ our old selves have died – whatever their distortion and corruption – and we are decisively and irrevocably new. In Christ Jesus homosexual, fornicator, adulterer, covetous, thief, alcoholic, are not who we truly are. Affirm that by faith in Christ. Trust him as your all-satisfying treasure and look to him for the help to become (as much as possible in this life) who you truly are in Christ.”

Martin Luther quote, “Paul, good man that he was, longed to be without sin, but to it he was chained. I too, in common with many others, long to stand outside it, but this cannot be. We belch forth the vapours of sin; we fall into it, rise up again, buffet and torment ourselves night and day; but, since we are confined in this flesh, since we have to bear about with us everywhere this stinking sack, we cannot rid ourselves completely of it, or even knock it senseless. We make vigorous attempts to do so, but the old Adam retains his power until he is deposited in the grave. The Kingdom of God is a foreign country...There is no sinless Christian. If thou chancest upon such a man, he is no Christian, but an anti-Christ. Sin stands in the midst of the Kingdom of Christ.”

A young man wrote to Paul Washer lamenting his sinfulness. Paul wrote back to him that he was more joyful than this man was even though this young man was probably more spiritual than he was. “The reason, young man is your joy comes from your performance, quiet time, avoiding certain sins, you are an idolater, your joy does not come from what Christ has done and is doing for you, your joy is coming from what you can do for God, You are an Idolater!
God has destroyed all my hope in self and I am cast upon Christ and His glory.”
The motivation of God is His Glory and that should be our motivation also.


Other scriptures that back up the idea that this is a battle. Last thing from Piper.
Become What You Are

Let's close by looking at how Paul says this, so that you can see it is really there in the Word of God. The way he does it is with a strong statement of fact that Christians are new, accompanied by an equally strong command that we become new. Here are some of the examples in the New Testament.
1. Statement of newness: Romans 6:14, "Sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace." Command to become new: Romans 6:12, "Do not let sin reign in your mortal body."
2. Statement of newness: Romans 6:18, "Having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness." Command to become new: Romans 6:19, "Present your members as slaves to righteousness."
3. Statement of newness: Romans 6:6, "Our old self was crucified with Him." Command to become new: Romans 6:11, "Consider yourselves to be dead to sin."
4. Statement of newness: Colossians 3:9, "You laid aside the old self with its evil practices." Command to become new: Ephesians 4:22 "Lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit."
5. Statement of newness: Colossians 3:10, "You have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him." Command to become new: "Ephesians 4:24, "Put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth."
6. Statement of newness: Galatians 3:27, "All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ." Command to become new: Romans 13:14, "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ."
7. Statement of newness: Galatians 5:24, "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." Command to become new: "Romans 13:14b, "Make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts."
8. Command to become new: 1 Corinthians 5:7a, "Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump [of dough]." Statement of newness: 1 Corinthians 5:7b, ". . . just as you are in fact unleavened."

When Paul says in Romans 7:25b, "I myself with my mind am serving the law of God," he means, By the transforming power of the Spirit I set my mind on the treasure of Jesus Christ and all that God is for me in Him (2 Corinthians 5:19; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Colossians 2:3, 9); and all that I am in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17) and all I will become through Him (Philippians 1:11). And I believe Him and trust in His help and power. And I act on that faith. And if I stumble, I do not yield to the temptation to deny Christ or my true life in Him. I repent and I revel in His forgiveness and I fight on.

Friday, April 8, 2011

the only way

Jesus Christ won the victory through death and resurrection, but we will spend all day looking for an easier way. There is no other way, and it was never to be easy...and before you quote Paul or John, stop and think about their lives, their very real lives. The church does not get taken out before the tribulation, the tribulation is the means of making the bride pure and spotless, and presents the church with the chance to glorify the Father, and shine as a light in the darkness. "If you want to find Jesus, follow the path of suffering." Reggie Kelly

Monday, April 4, 2011

prophet

"The first function of the prophet is to restore true worship to the church."
Art Katz

Part of a message on "Eternal Hell" part 2

available for free download here
http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/viewcat.php?cid=173&min=80&orderby=titleA&show=20

this message is about 1/2 way down the page
p.s. I recommend any and every sermon by Art Katz

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Romans Study #23 7:7-13

Romans Bible Study #23
Romans 7:7-13
The meaning of religion
word: covet



7What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, "YOU SHALL NOT COVET."
8But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead.
9I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; 10and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me;
11for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
13Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful. NASB


7But I can hear you say, "If the law code was as bad as all that, it's no better than sin itself." That's certainly not true. The law code had a perfectly legitimate function. Without its clear guidelines for right and wrong, moral behavior would be mostly guesswork. Apart from the succinct, surgical command, "You shall not covet," I could have dressed covetousness up to look like a virtue and ruined my life with it.
8-12Don't you remember how it was? I do, perfectly well. The law code started out as an excellent piece of work. What happened, though, was that sin found a way to pervert the command into a temptation, making a piece of "forbidden fruit" out of it. The law code, instead of being used to guide me, was used to seduce me. Without all the paraphernalia of the law code, sin looked pretty dull and lifeless, and I went along without paying much attention to it. But once sin got its hands on the law code and decked itself out in all that finery, I was fooled, and fell for it. The very command that was supposed to guide me into life was cleverly used to trip me up, throwing me headlong. So sin was plenty alive, and I was stone dead. But the law code itself is God's good and common sense, each command sane and holy counsel.
13I can already hear your next question: "Does that mean I can't even trust what is good [that is, the law]? Is good just as dangerous as evil?" No again! Sin simply did what sin is so famous for doing: using the good as a cover to tempt me to do what would finally destroy me. By hiding within God's good commandment, sin did far more mischief than it could ever have accomplished on its own.
The Message


Covet - Genesis 3:6 - when studying a word most people say start with its first occurrence in the Bible
When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
This is a difficult word, nechmad. From the verb, chamad, it means “delight, desire, craving.” This verb means “to covet, to lust after.” Not surprisingly, the tenth commandment deals directly with the mental sin of lustful desire. This is not about the action of picking and eating. This is about the inner wish to consume, even when I have not yet acted upon that wish. If the power to act is not harnessed at this point, the rest is inevitable.
You might think that as long as the door stays shut, you are safe. But this door has no handle. All that is required to open it is the desire to open it. Before Eve’s desire was kindled by the serpent, the Tree slept blissfully in the Garden. Now it is awake with anticipation. Now it is the object of coveting. And who made it so? Certainly not God. He made the Tree and planted it there, but the Tree He planted was just one among many; one whose purpose was to be a reminder. A casual glance in the direction of the Tree would have been sufficient to remember who God is. A mezuzah on the doorpost – that’s all the Tree was intended to be. A reminder that God determines what is good and what is evil. But no longer. Before she picked the fruit, before she felt its cool skin and smelled its aroma, before she took the first crisp bite, Eve had already thrown away its godly purpose. Now the Tree belonged to her.

In Twelve Step circles, this is called technical recovery. It means that I don’t act out my addiction, but my mind is still absorbed with addictive behavior. I am clean on the outside, but rotting on the inside. Eve hadn’t eaten anything yet, but she was already far from God. This aspect of the core of sin is the most difficult to confront because it has a hidden face. Only you and God know.

Sin is not really about grasping selfishness. It only deteriorates into that much later. It begins with discontent and the desire to be better than the way I was created.

"For this, "YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET," and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." (Romans 13:9).

The word for covet in Romans 13:9 is the same Greek word for lust or long for. There are many things a person might have a strong desire for but when it occupies one's mind so that one's pursuit to get something allows him to forget about the concerns and needs of others, then he is said to covet.

God does not allow any 'Christianizing' of lusts. We are not serving another when we give a lonely woman a little sexual attention. A person has committed abominable wickedness when he justifies his or her immorality by calling it serving or caring. Immorality always hurts and is always wrong. So is greed of any sort.
There are good desires and bad desires. What makes a desire a bad desire? If that desire arises because you are losing your contentment in God and all that He has for you in Jesus, it is a bad desire. Coveting; desire equals deserve. I want it, I deserve it, that is all there is to it.

Verse 7a Grace is the human impossibility, that is the divine possibility, it is contrasted with the highest human possibility, religion. There is no bridge between these two things. We do not get from law to grace by gradual, laborious human ascent. Religion compels us to the perception that God is not to be found in religion.
Verse 7b
Your gospel is making the law into sin. It makes sin worse, stirs sin up, creates covetousness.
the lie comes in two ways, when it looks at the law
1) hopeless self-indulgence the law is impossible, just live the way you want and forget about even trying
2) Hopeful self-righteousness yeh you can do this law, buck-up, try harder, figure out a formula that works and stick with it
Jesus Christ performed perfect obedience and we connect with this righteousness through faith alone.

Verse 8 The commandment is good. Sin in dwells us we are bad. The commandment draws out the sin in us.
The flesh cannot submit to God’s law. The Law is God’s law, an extension of God. As such, men can not live up to it. Only His life can “do” His laws. Our life is simply shown to be utterly sinful when confronted with the command of God.

Men are not God. It is not our perogative to say a thing is right or wrong. It belongs to God to do that. In direct relationship with God, I depend on Him to show me the way. When I choose to be my own guide, find my own way, I break off dependence on Him and become independent. It is an independence that separates me from LIFE. So sin brings death.
The commandments are good, and obeyed and followed bring life, but in us, dwells the thing that refuses the commandments, sin. Sin, which could hide and be in the background before being confronted by the law, is exposed and seen for all its ugliness and pride.
The deception of sin is the illusion that such direct knowledge is life, whereas in fact it is death. If I can know what is right and wrong, then I can do it.
The commandment presents piety as a possible human achievement , it says “Yeh, you failed, but get up and try again, try harder.” Think of a better formula, get a better plan.

So the good of the command and the law is that it reveals there is no good in me. So even in the pursuing of God through religion is seen to be sin.
God comes to us through mercy and grace.
This is the lead in section for the most famous part of Romans 7 and Barth really opened my eyes to the foundation, that Paul is laying here. Simply put, religion, our attempts to follow the commands will ultimately prove two things. The command is good and I am bad.
And that is where Romans 7 is headed.