In my last post we were talking about the difference between spiritual laws and physical laws. Today I want to review a little bit, so we can see the progression through the book of Romans.
Here’s the verse we left off on.
We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.
Remember how Paul brought us to this point. In his letter, he started by talking about ungodly sinners with no knowledge of God. He also talked about those who were actively anti-God.
His next subject was religious people. These are the ones who think rules will get you to God.
He then shared about the principles of salvation. He explained how Christ set us free from death, sin, and the law.
At that point, everything he talked about was theoretical and positional. It was all about the finished work of Christ that He accomplished through His death on the cross and His resurrection.
But now, we’re getting to the important part. How is all of this applied to my life in practice?
Paul starts by talking about how we can offer ourselves as a paid volunteers of sin. We saw that when you offer to work for sin, sin will pay you wages.
In any job you’re selling yourself to the company for your paycheck. We basically say, “I’m yours, I’ll do what you tell me for a price.”
Actually, this wasn’t the normal lifestyle until the industrial age. Until then, most people worked for themselves.
So, we’re now at the point in Romans where Paul is talking about Christians who are working for sin. There’s a Scriptural word for that.
Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly – mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?
1 Corinthians 3:1-3
The word translated as worldly in this verse is actually the word, carnal or fleshly. It means that they serve God according to the dictates of their flesh.
The apostle equates this with being a spiritual infant. This tells me that every Christian goes through the carnal phase. But the real question is; for how long? The goal should be to get through this infancy as quickly as possible.
We need to understand that this is who he’s talking about at this point in Romans – infant Christians.
And that brings us to, probably, one of the most misunderstood and most misquoted passages of the New Testament. It’s used as excuse for all kinds of sinful lifestyles.
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do…For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
Christians who want to stay in their infant stage pull this out of context and say, “Look at this! Even Paul didn’t do right. So don’t judge me.”
What they don’t understand is that Paul was talking from the perspective of an infant Christian. This is not supposed to be the normal Christian life.
In my next post, we’ll begin looking at this section of Scripture in great detail. We’ll see exactly what Paul was trying to get across to us.
Question: How have you seen your Christian walk progress through the infant stage?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi