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Eisegesis Unplugged

The purpose of “Eisegesis Unplugged” is to encourage readers and lovers of Scripture to focus first and foremost on what it actually says and means, as written by those whom God inspired. And since the Holy Spirit is the actual author, ultimately we are talking about the authority and integrity of God’s Book and the Honor of His Name. (See series introduction in the previous post)

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 NIV)

Assertion: “’Anything else’ refers to powers other than one’s own will.”

The passage chosen for this month’s consideration is one that is familiar to many. It was commented upon in the context of a discussion about the doctrine of Eternal Security vs Conditional Salvation. But that is not the topic at hand. I just want to see if the interpretive assertion given in the discussion is exegetical or is another example of eisegesis.

In these verses the Apostle Paul is engaging in hyperbole in order to make the point that nothing can separate us from God’s love. The point of the asserter is that his free will would allow him to separate himself from God’s love and abandon salvation because it is somehow excluded from the words “anything else” in this verse. The Apostle is trying to cover every possible situation, both current and future, wherein we may find ourselves and yet still be loved by God. But is the human will the focus here or is it the love of God? And what would the impotent human will (law of my mind — Romans 7:14-25) have to say to the omnipotent will of God? Is it not clear that the “Law of sin and death” is the real will at work corrupting that which was created good before the fall from paradise? If “Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6b) then He already loved me while I hated Him. Where would I go to flee this love? In Psalm 139:7-10, King David makes this futility clear! If there were such a place, and I could travel there, would His love somehow cease to exist?

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. 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. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? (Romans 7:14-24 NIV)

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. (Psalms 139:7-10 NIV)

"It is utterly and absolutely impossible that the sentence of the divine Judge should ever be revoked or reversed. Sooner shall the lightnings of omnipotence shiver the Rock of Ages than those sheltering in Him again be brought under condemnation.” (Arthur W. Pink) 

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