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Let it be borne in mind, then, that caps, in the New Testament, has the same literal and relative uses as nez, in the Old, but that beyond this it has also, and especially in the writings of Paul, the fully developed ethical and figurative sense of a nature opposed to God. This is the sense which interests us now. It is not the signification of what is mortal, frail, weak, in man, but human nature as at enmity with God. We take the position that that state or condition of our nature which the apostle defines to be év gapkì, in the flesh, is a state of the mind as well as the body, the condition of our whole being, and defines our natural depravity, our condition by nature, as apart from all redeeming and saving grace.
The description év gapkì, in the flesh, Rom. viii, 8, 9, is the same as katà oápka, after the flesh, verses 4, 5, 13; or as opovnja tñs oapkòs, the mind of the flesh, carnally minded, verses 6, 7; or as ¿v Tĩ oapki, in the flesh, chap. vii, 5. In the same sense also katà oápka, after the flesh, is used, 2 Cor. x, 2, 3, and xi, 8. This carnal mind is the same as και παλαιός ημών άνθρωπος, our old (or former) man, Rom. vi, 6; and the old man, Eph. iv, 22; Col. iii, 9. The natural outgrowth or development of this carnal mind, this old man, is oõua tñs åpaprias, the body of sin, Rom. vi, 6; called also ouatos Tūv duapTtāv tñs oapkós, the body of the sins of the flesh, Col. ii, 11; and Toù oupatoç TOÙ Oavátov toútov, the body of this death, Rom. vii, 24. And this flesh, or carnal mind, with its collective whole of natural appetites and outgrowth of evil
, is called thy cápka oùv toiç παθήμασι και ταϊς επιθυμίαις, the flesh with its affections and lusts, Gal. v, 24; and also mahacòv ävOporov oùv tais mpášeouv aŭtoő, the old man with his deeds, Col. iii, 9.
Now it is evident from all these and such like expressions, that we are to understand the carnal mind to be that state of the human soul and body, morally, wherein they are left to
simple naturals,” deriving all their governing influences from within themselves, the instincts, appetites, desires, affections, aptitudes, and inclinations of nature, where redeeming grace supplies no governing principle or saving power. This is nature apart from the Spirit of God; nature, not in its metaphysical sense, as a simple creation of God, but nature in its historic and actual sense, as a derivation from God through Adam; nature as affected by the sin of Adam, developing it
self under its own infirmity and disease, without the renewing and controlling influence of the Spirit of God.
But if copš denotes the carnal state, the state of actual nature as apart from the renewing grace of Christ, it is still a distinct question, and one of the first importance, How far does this state imply evil? What is the state thus set forth? This we can answer only by attending to the logical predicates of oopš in the New Testament. What do the Scriptures affirm of it? Here is the grand point.
1. This carnal mind is a state of death: Rom. viii, 6, “For to be carnally minded is death.” This is not natural or physical death, for Oávatos, death, here stands opposed, not to natural life, but to “gur kaì cipívn, life and peace.” And this "life and peace” were the fruit and state of that ppóvnua toŨ TIVEÍNatos, mind of the Spirit, which stands opposed to the opóvnua tñs gapkòs, mind of the flesh, or carnal mind, in the first member of the verse. The carnal, or fleshly mind, therefore, is characterized by spiritual death, death to God, the absence of the divine life in the soul. So also, in verse 13: " For if ye live after the flesh ye shall die; but if ye throngh the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." This life and death result from opposite states of the soul; the one where it is left to obey the inclinations of nature, the other where it is subjected, and hence subjects the body, to the Spirit of God.
2. This carnal or fleshly mind is exopa eis Oɛóv, enmity against God. Rom. viii, 7. The word enmity is in the abstract, not in the concrete; absolute, not relative; denoting essential quality, not degree; and is hence more intensive. It does not say the carnal mind, or flesh, is hostile to God, which might imply any degree of opposition, however feeble; but it is hostility to God, the essence, not the measure of enmity, in no part subdued and reconciled.
To the same effect is the notable passage, Gal. v, 17: “For the flesh lusteth [hath desires] against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, AND THESE ARE CONTRARY THE ONE TO THE OTHER.” This is not an affirmation that the “soul hath desires against the body, and the body against the soul.” The antagonisin here is not laid between the material and organic nature on the one hand, and the spiritual and immortal nature on the
FOURTH SERIES, VOL. XIII.-16
other. This would be to lay down the dualistic principle of heathenism, before referred to, which Paul himself confronted in the Gnostic philosophy, in its earliest appearance in the Essenistic tendencies of the Jewish converts. The antagonism brought to view in Gal. v, 17, lies between fallen nature as apart from grace, and left to its own inclinations, and the Spirit of God as the author of spiritual life, and holy affections to the soul; between nature as left to itself, and nature renewed and governed by the Spirit of God. Its natural desires are opposed to God.
3. It is affirmed of the flesh, or carnal mind, that it “oix ÚTOTággetal, does not subject itself to the law of God.” And the apostle stle immediately adds, “oodè yap dúvatai, for indeed it is not
δύναται, able [to subject itself,] Rom. viii, 7. The reflexive form of the verb útorápoetal gives this sense, does not subject itself. The conjunction yap is here properly causative, according to its usual sense, and might be translated because—“because it cannot ;” or “because it is not able.” I have given it partly the intensive and partly the causal signification, “for indeed it is
« not able.”
Here, then, is an inability, want of power, to submit and conform to the law of God, directly and in the most literal form, affirmed of the flesh, the carnal mind, or natural state of man. It is not a denial of the liberty of the will, metaphysically considered, or considered as a constitutional power of the mind, but an inability to submit and conform to the holy laws of God. And this inability belongs to human nature as such, as an inherited effect of Adam's sin. The same idea is reproduced in verse 8: “So then they that are in the flesh, dem apéoal où dúvavtai, have no power to please God.” In this place, also, the nature of the inability is defined: “ They have not power to
: PLEASE God.” In chap. vii, 18, speaking of this same carnal mind, and of its inability, Paul says: "For to will is present with me, but how to perform that which I will I find not." The power of simple volition was there; all the faculties of a moral agent were there; but the power to conform to the law of God in its spiritual claims was not there as a property of the carnal or natural state; “ For the good that I would I do not, but the evil which I would not, that I do.” This is the inability of our nature apart from grace.
We hold with Augustine here, that since man by his freewill became estranged from God,“ this free-will, left to itself, is now only active to sin," and man needs now a new supervenient grace in order to be brought back to goodness.” Indeed, as that acute reasoner maintained against Pelagius, “all rational beings are brought into dependence on God for the development of their powers as really as for their first creation.” The natural capacities are not complete and sufficient of themselves, but require the continued concurrent action of the supernatural spirit. But in the fallen nature there is superadded to this natural dependence hostility to the holiness and authority of God, and the will has no executive power, and the heart no inclination of itself to holy exercises. The power “to please God” is lost. We take the statements of Scripture here as they harmonize with common sense and common experience and philosophy. “Wherefore,” says our seventh Article of Religion, (copied from the tenth Article of the Church of England,)“ we have no power to do good works, pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good-will, and working with us when we have that good-will.” “Without me," says Christ, "ye can do nothing." "No man cometh unto me, except the
. “ Father which hath sent me draw him."
4. In Rom. vii, 18 it is affirmed that no inherent goodness belongs to the flesh. “For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing.”
This is an important statement. The èv čuoi, IN ME, here, is specifically defined to mean Év oapki pov, IN MY FLESH; that is, in my natural state, my state by natural birth, apart from grace. The word dyabós, good, in this passage, denotes not only moral excellence, but excellence of that specific kind, or quality, which the law of God requires. The whole scope and connections of the passage determine this. Nothing was found in the flesh, or carnal state, of the person here represented, which answered to the requirement of that law which was "holy, just, and good," and this disconformity was the cause of the agony described in this seventh chapter. That very state of the soul which the law required was not found in him by nature. What more can be said ?
On this point the apostle is elsewhere explicit. In Eph. ii, 3,
after stating it as a trait of their natural condition, that prior to the work of regeneration, “we all,” that is, both Jews and Gentiles, "fulfilled the desires of the flesh and of the mind," he adds, “and were BY NATURE children of wrath, even as others.” Observe here, that what is affirmed is affirmed of the
we all,” of “Jews and Gentiles,” of these Ephesians and “others," a description that comprehends all the human family without exception or distinction. Again, it is affirmed that this “ALL” are children of wrath” “BY NATURE.” Here is the important point. This word púois, nature, occurs fourteen times in the New Testament, and is uniformly translated as here, except that in two instances it is translated kind. (James iii, 7.) In every instance the word keeps strictly to its radical meaning of generation, birth, innate constitution, or that quality, or characteristic, which is in consequence of natural generation, as denoted by the words genus, kind. “NATURE,” says Bengel,
, here “denotes the state of man without the grace of God in Christ.” This is exactly the idea of the word flesh, as used in Romans viji. Olshausen makes it tantamount to “sinful birth," as if it had read, “and were by sinful birth children of wrath,” etc. This he proposes, not as a translation, but as a doetrinal sense, sustained by the meaning of the word, putting ït in antithesis to xápıtí, by grace, in verse 5. The sense of the passage would then stand thus: “By nature [sinful birth] ye are children of wrath ; by grace are ye saved.” This is unquestionably the doetrine of the apostle, and distinguishes between the two conditions of natural and spiritual birth, after the example of our Lord: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” And so also John: “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John i, 12, 13; iii, 6.
5. In Gal. v, 19–21, there are predicates of capf which belong only to the operations of the intellective and higher nature of man, operations of the mind as distinguished from the body. In that passage “the works of the flesh" are enumerated, among which are some that belong distinctively to the lower and animal nature, as "adultery, fornication, lasciv