Is the Torah Weak and “Of the Flesh”?
James Scott Trimm
When speaking about the truth of Torah with Christians, they often quote Romans 8:1-3 (or parts of it) which says:
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
(Romans 8:1-3 KJV)
Now the key to understanding these verses is the context. We must first look up to Romans 7:14:
For we know that the Torah is of the Spirit:
but I am of the flesh, and I am sold to sin.
(Rom. 7:14 HRV)
This verse is the key to understanding of all of Romans 7-8. In Romans 7-8 Paul contrasts the Torah with what he calls “the law of sin.”
Romans 8:4-5 continues:
4 So that the righteousness of the Torah might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk by the flesh, but by the Spirit.
5 For those who are in the flesh, think [the things] of the flesh, and those who are of the Spirit, think [the things] of the Spirit.
(Romans 8:4-5 HRV)
And then in verse 9 we read:
Now you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if truly the Spirit of Eloah dwells in you. But if a man does not have the Spirit of the Messiah in him, this one is not His.
(Romans 8:9 HRV)
Now when we bring these verses together we see that Paul describes in these verses two “laws” battling for control within him. The Torah, which is of the spirit, and what he calls “the law of sin” (Rom. 8:2) which is of the flesh, and which is NOT the Torah.
When Romans 8:2 refers to being made free from “the law of sin and death” in context it is speaking of this “law of sin” which is of the flesh and which Paul is contrasting with the actual Torah which is “of the spirit” (Rom. 7:14). The actual Torah then is what Romans 8:2 refers to in the KJV as “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”.
The “law” which Paul says is “weak through the flesh” in Rom. 8:3 in context is not the actual Torah, which is of the Spirit (Rom. 7:14) but the “law of sin” which is of the flesh.
It becomes clear when we compare Rom. 7:14 with 8:4-5, 9 that the “Torah” is “of the spirit” but what Paul calls “the law of sin” is of the flesh. The “law of sin” is NOT the Torah.
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