Good morning followers…..so 2:00 a.m. finds me preparing to answer questions regarding the “How To Do Good” post. I was asked to elaborate or expound on Romans 7:4-5 which are two scriptures included in that post. To refresh your memory I will record the two scriptures taking them from the KJV: King James Version of the bible.
“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.”
The need for more insight was prompted by a reader who feels that all good works bears fruit unto God. She also wants to know what the fruit unto death are. These questions in themselves makes for a great discussion and incites biblical doctrine as well as illumination from the Master Teacher Himself: The Holy Spirit. Let us proceed.
Part I: Bearing fruit unto death
What we’re going to do is work the scripture backwards. Paul states: For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins which were by the law did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.The key to understanding fruit unto God and fruit unto death I’ll base upon Romans 6:23; For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The law dear followers puts sin into motion. The law gave life to sin.If there was no law there would be no sin. If there was no law that said “Speed limit 60″ then going 100 mph wouldn’t get you arrested. If there was no law that stated ” Don’t drink and drive” then weaving across the highway under the influence of alcohol wouldn’t get you arrested, license revoked and heavy fines to pay. So then the law is good in that it pinpoints and reveals what is sin. Yet there is one thing that law can’t do: keep you from sinning. This fact is proven every day of our lives through news media, social media, and through things that we witness with our own eyes. The law to a certain degree provokes or two better words.. arouses and erects the sinful nature within us. Let me give you an example that will show you what I’m saying. The very thing that the law says not to do is the very thing we in our sinful natures want to do. There is a driving force within us to do what we shouldn’t and one major insanity of our sinful nature is..the delight or ecstasy we receive in doing wrong. This is wild isn’t it?
I remember as a child my mother gave a strong directive of “DO NOT TOUCH THE COOKIES IN THE COOKIE JAR!” Followers I hadn’t given those cookies a thought until she gave the directive. Mom left and went over to her sister’s house which was about two or three minutes from us. I was in the den watching television with my siblings but my mind kept staying on those cookies. I kept hearing the directive from mom in my mind but I also entertained the euphoric recall playing in my mind: the touch of the butter cookies, the taste of the butter cookies, the shape and size of the butter cookies. Followers I tell you I romanced those butter cookies in my mind so much so that I left my siblings, went into the kitchen, climbed the chair and got into the cookie jar. I didn’t take a whole bunch of cookies because I didn’t want mama to notice that I’d disobeyed the directive given. Followers those few cookies that I took seemed to taste better than any of the same ones I’d eaten before. Insane right?
Well….Mom came into the house very shortly after I’d taken the cookies. I could almost say she came in immediately or suddenly. I’ll bet that I still had crumbs around my mouth. She asked me what I was doing in the kitchen. I told her I was getting me some water. I thought I’d gotten away yall. Mom said: ” you weren’t getting any water. I was standing at the window watching you when you got up in the chair and went into the cookie jar!”
Oops. Sounds like an Adam and Eve episode doesn’t it? Well……
Let’s exegete this true scenario. A directive, law, or command was given; “Do Not.” The sin or wrong: “Go into the cookie Jar.” What made going into the cookie Jar wrong: the law. Was the law, the cookie jar or the cookies themselves wrong or sin: of course not. Now what was the result of disobeying the law: temporal satisfaction, the birth of other sins and punishment. I got a good ole’ fashioned hind parts spanking.
The sins within me were made manifest by the law. The fruit of the sin within me were the fruit of death. The sin within me produced nothing pleasing to God or mama. The sin within me produced fruit that led to punishment and separation and I’ll explain that later in giving you the conclusion of the cookie jar saga.
Now was mama wrong for putting the cookie jar and the cookies in the house? Of course not. It was her house and she could put in it whatever she wanted to. She had a purpose for both the jar and the cookies. Did she not want me to have any of the cookies? Of course she wanted to share the wonderful delights with me yet, she wanted to give me them in her timing and not mine. She may have had a specific or special way she wanted to give them to me. She may have wanted to include something else with the cookies and present them to me in a way that would bring me enjoyment and not pain by hurting my stomach or something. She wanted to give them to me herself. She didn’t want to leave me to my own to partake of the cookies because I may have harmed myself by eating too many of them resulting in me getting sick. She may have wanted to give them to me in a time when I had already had other things on my stomach more nutritious. All in all mom, the cookie jar, nor the cookies were wrong…I was.
Let’s take a look at the sins that the directive showed to be within me: disobedience, stealing, and lying. These are fruit of death. The wages or reward or payment for sin is death. Sin destroys.
The conclusion of the cookie jar saga was this. I got a spanking and when mama decided to give my siblings their portion of the cookies, I got none. I had to sit and watch them enjoy their cookies together. I was separated from the togetherness, the unity of my siblings’ joy. I was angry with mama and my siblings for the joy they shared and my attitude showed it. The anger and the attitude were also fruit of sin. Please know dear followers mama may have had empathy for me yet it didn’t move her to go against the judgement I chose through disobedience. Though she may have forgiven me the sin she didn’t take away the consequence of the sin. Lesson learned.
One act of sin births other sins, sins that steal from us, kills us and destroys us. Here we go again; “The thief cometh not but for to steal and to kill and to destroy, but I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
Notice we stated before that the Law could not keep us from sinning. It simply pinpoints or manifest what is sin. And this was Apostle Paul’s discourse in Romans 7. The law is good in that it shows me where I am going and doing wrong but it does not help me not to do wrong. The law is good in that it points to me the way to do good or walk in the righteousness that pleases the Lord but the law doesn’t help me to maintain the good or the righteousness. The directive from mom didn’t keep me from sinning. And sinning produced fruit of death.
I was also asked: What are you saying or mean when you say “In the Flesh?”
In the flesh means for many this: They haven’t received or invited the Lord Jesus into their hearts to reign and govern them by both his Spirit and His word. Therefore, they are governed by the sinful nature that is within them. Though within the sinful nature they are able to do good, the good that is done is not fruit unto God. Many will be separated from the Lord in the next season in eternity though they did good things. The greatest thing that they didn’t do was give their hearts, mind, and body over to the will and care of the Lord Jesus.
For others, in the flesh means: they have allowed the Lord Jesus to set up residency in their hearts but hasn’t in some areas allowed him to fully governed. Having both natures, these are able to sin at will. However, the saving grace for these people is: I John.1:5-10:
“This then is the message which we have heard of him and declare unto you, that God is light and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth (are not practicing the truth). But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS, HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST TO FORGIVE US OUR SINS, AND TO CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us.
II Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
Part Two: Bearing fruit unto God…..continued