10 October 2012

Paul's Former Way of Life

. . . the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience--among whom we all once lived [anestraphemen pote] in the passions of our flesh . . . (Eph. 2:2-3)

For you have heard of my former life [anastrophen pote] in Judaism . . . I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I . . . (Gal. 1:13-14) 
These are the only two places where Paul uses these two words together. Anastrepho: Conduct, walking, living. And pote: former, once, at that time.

In Ephesians 2, he speaks of his former conduct as immorality. In Galatians 1, he speaks of his former conduct as morality. Rule-breaking, rule-keeping. Which was it?

Both. And not swiveling from one to the other--rather, at the same time. His Jewish zeal was wicked. His goodness was bad.

In coming to Christ, we leave behind both our bad and our good. We don't leave badness and come to goodness. 'Goodness,' if considered strictly as conforming to a norm, may be done in pure evil, utter Self. We leave both our badness and our goodness and come to Christ. Being good can be just as resistant to the gospel as being bad, the only difference being that goodness doesn't know it's resisting the gospel.

1 comment:

Mark Goudy said...

Thanks Dane. This is very helpful.