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"Insights" from the New Testament Greek

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 "Insights" from the New Testament Greek

By Bob Jones, Northside Bible Church, Jacksonville Florida

Part 1 of 2

  Paul says in Rom. 6:12 (KJV) "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof". When I recently studied this passage, I was surprised to find the Greek word under "obey" is "hupakouo", meaning literally "to answer a knock at the door".

  So, "sin" knocks at our door! Upon close examination of this Greek text, we notice another very important "insight" in Rom. 6:12. The word "sin" is "hamartia", the general Greek word for sin, meaning "to miss the mark", but, it has the Greek article "the" in front of it. The use of the Greek article "the" in the Biblical text is profound, and in this case "personifies" the noun "sin". "The sin", in the Greek text is not just "sin", but a technical term and a title that the author expects us to already be familiar with.

  Being English speaking people, we must search the Greek text to find all the passages in the New Testament where this title is used in order to understand what Paul means by "the sin". New Testament Greek scholars only find the term "the sin" in the book of Romans, between Rom. 5:12 and Rom. 7:23, and there it is used some 23 times! Paul is speaking of manís "SIN NATURE" in Romans 5:12 through 7:23! Here he describes the inner struggle within the child of God, and urges us to live by our "new nature" in Christ, and not by our "old sin nature"!

  So thatís what tends to drag us down! After the new birth, we have a dual nature, and it is no longer "natural" for us to intentionally sin. To knowingly sin, we must go against our new nature, against our conscience, and resist the leading of the Spirit of God. The fact that we continue to have that nagging "sin nature" is amplified by the Apostle John in 1 Jn. 1:8 and 10, where he states that we are deceiving ourselves and calling God a liar if we say we have no sin. As children of God, the old sin nature no longer has power over us, unless we give in to itís temptations. (knock knock)

  Other synonyms for our "sin nature" are: "the old man", as in Rom. 6:6, Eph. 4:22, and Col. 3:9; "carnal", as in 1 Cor. 3:1-3 and the "flesh", as in Gal. 5:16. We, as Christians, must understand that we have a dual nature. God has ordained this struggle within His children, and, to be blessed and used by God, we must learn not to give in when our "sin nature" "knocks at our door".

  Have you ever wondered why the Apostle Paul says in Rom. 7:24 "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of death?" Paul is speaking of his own inner struggle with his "sin nature".

  In part 2 of this "Insight", we will discuss the need for divine assistance in order to live above our "sin nature".

  Bob Jones