Questions & Answers

Harold S. Paisley

Question: Could it be stated to whom does "Him" refer; God or man in the statement of Romans 8:20? "For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope."

Answer: This verse unfolds mystery in the ways of God. It tells plainly that in God's wisdom the whole creation was allowed to be made subject unto vanity, that is frailty, not of its own will, but by reason of Him who subjected the same in hope. His purpose in and through Christ being to deliver it from the present "bondage of corruption" and bring it into the "liberty of the children of God." It is therefore evident that the "Him" in Romans 8:20 refers to God. The first creation was "subject to vanity' that is, made liable to be ruined by sin. He made man with a view to a far Greater Purpose -Redemption. This new creation being in Him will never be ruined by sin nor subject to vanity.

Question: An explanation of 1 Corinthians 2:13 would be appreciated where it is stated "words which the Holy Spirit teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spiritual." Is the usual interpretation "comparing spiritual things with spiritual men" correct?

Answer: The words comparing "spiritual things with spiritual" have been often misunderstood. Some find the RV helpful which gives it as "interpreting spiritual things with spiritual men." It is our understanding that the words are better "matching spirituals with spirituals," or communicating spiritual things by spiritual words. These are words of the Spirit's giving, although written by the apostle. The Holy Spirit alone is the Revealer, the Communicator and power to give a true understanding of the things of God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Question: The word "law" is repeated many times in Romans 7 and further in Romans 8. What is the significance? Is it the same law throughout?

Answer: The word "law," mentioned over twenty times in Romans 7-8, is a special theme and forms a practical subject for the Lord's people. There are four laws mentioned. The first is "the Law of God." This law which is holy and just and good (verses 12, 16 and 23) has demands of which even one born again finds himself unable to fulfil. "The law of my mind" (verse 23). This is the desire and character of a born again believer to obey God. The third law is "The law of sin" (verses 23-25). The principle of the old nature, before conversion, ruled and controlled, but is now dethroned, and wages war against the new nature which delights in the Law of God after the inward man.

Lastly, "the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:3). Here we have the great principle of the new life in the power of the Holy Spirit. This law of the spirit of life, which hath freed the believer from the law of sin and death, is the power to give deliverance and victory over the law of sin and death. God sending His own Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us [not by us] (Romans. 8:3-4).

We would add that these great subjects surrounding the various "laws" in Romans 7 and 8 are the very backbone of christian life and testimony in the evil age in which we live and witness for the One who died and rose again and through Him we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37-39).