The Rapture in Romans 8
Updated: Feb 15, 2020
One of the adverse effects of the almost universal lack of trust in the exact words of a King James Bible, is the almost universal inability of the average Baptist to grasp doctrine on his own. One of the tenets of this site is that a perfect Bible requires a perfect text. That statement is so fundamentally obvious that even an atheist could grasp it, and yet my brethren are repelled by it.
Most Baptist preachers are comfortable with their standing in their peer groups and terrified to have to make doctrinal decisions that may jeopardize that standing. Instead, they wait for a consensus to form and hope that whoever is publishing the literature that they depend upon will confirm their common understanding. The thought that they, some lowly wretch on the totem pole of prestige, should have the power to pick up a book as accurate as God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost in union, is beyond their willingness to believe.
I, and many of my readers are not so shackled. Therefore, being too ignorant to know that we are too ignorant to know, we believe what is published in our bible. As a result, we flourish with understanding. I preached on Romans 8:1-4 yesterday to begin to give my church some background on the rapture. It can be accessed here: http://www.onesoulatatime.net/uploads/2/0/6/4/20644152/1100_9-10-2017.mp3
Romans 8 culminates many of the themes that the Apostle Paul has been developing for the previous 7 chapters. One of those is that our flesh is no good. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not, Romans 7:18. You will notice the little phrase in parenthesis, (that is is my flesh). Why did Paul do that? Because no born again believer can ever say that no good resides in him. He has the fullness of the Godhead dwelling in him. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power, Colossians 2:9,10.
Therefore Paul makes it clear in parenthesis that when he says no good dwells in him, he is speaking only of his flesh. If the flesh has no good in it, then how can God rapture it and take it to heaven? He can because he gave our flesh an imputed righteousness. Romans Chapter 4 is the chapter on imputed righteousness and it is not talking about Abraham as a complete person, it is talking about his flesh. What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? Likewise, the flesh of a Christian has an imputed righteousness whereas our new man is the righteousness of God.
Romans 8 ties these things together. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you, Romans 8:11. So when is it that Christ will quicken our mortal bodies? The rapture is the obvious answer to that. Paul will now take time to develop the method God uses to prepare our bodies to be assimilated into heaven. That is the purpose of the Spirit of adoption (verse 15). Our new man does not need to be adopted, it was born of God. Our flesh was not born of God.
Until then we live a strange existence wherein the very first fruits of the Spirit of God regenerating this earth dwells in us. That word, "regeneration", is only used in the Bible twice. The first time is in Matthew 19:28,And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. He speaks of a time when all of the earth will have been regenerated so that he fall of man is no longer in evidence.
The lion will lie down with the lamb, the lion will eat straw as an ox. A child can play on the hole of an asp. Jesus Christ will dwell among us on this earth. All of nature and all of heaven will be in perfect harmony. We, who are the saved of Jesus Christ have the washing of regeneration, Titus 3:5. We have what Paul calls the first fruits of the Spirit, Romans 8:11. Every born again believer has within himself a new man. That new man is the first fruits of the Spirit as the Spirit of God plans and brings about a regenerated earth.
He will not change a single thing about the inward man of a Christian. That is not the case with our flesh. Our flesh needs to be adopted by God since it clearly was not born of God. Not only does Romans 8:23 speak of the first fruits, it defines the rapture, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. There it defined the term, adoption. The adoption is when our mortal bodies are redeemed. That redemption is a sure hope because God has given us the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father, Romans 8:15. We are not in bondage any more.
It is impossible to pick up a copy of the Pure Cambridge Text of a King James Bible and to point to any instance wherein it errs. Instead, when a believer is liberated to know that he can trust his bible every time that the word "spirit" is used, that it is exactly right, and cannot teach heresy, he can begin to believe his bible more than the commentaries.