The Body of Sin
by Charles Doughty
Jay Wilson says the “body of sin” (Romans 6:6) is a principle, a figure of speech, “the fleshly mindset.” He mistakenly called it the SARX during our debate. It is not SARX, it is SOMA. I take it to be a literal body. SARX is used figuratively as in the lusts of the flesh, but SOMA is never used figuratively, except for the “body of Christ,” and not at all in the context of the question of sinlessness.
If the SOMA body, in this text is a figure of speech, then according to 1 Corinthians 15, all that will be resurrected is a figure of speech. Is this a literal body here, or a figure of speech body? We need a resurrected body. The body will never be “destroyed” until death.
The whole context of Romans 6 is that Jesus’ body went into the tomb and came out. And we will be (future) in the likeness of that resurrection. When Jesus resurrected from the dead, he never died again. He never reverted back to a physical body. We do. So the analogy breaks down.
Jesus never stayed in a physical body. He dieth THNESKE no more, (Rom. 6:9).
Two things are in question here in baptism. First, we die to sin, no doubt about that. But that death is THANATOS death. We still live in a physical body that is affected by the law of sin and death. But we have not yet experienced the NEKROS death like Jesus did. (Rom. 6:4).
Second, we are not resurrected with Him. Wilson teaches that we get the resurrection “now!” (New Creation, p. 7.) Paul does not say that, (Rom. 6:5), the resurrection is still future. But Paul goes on to say, Romans 6:11, “Impute yourself dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. We are to “impute” ourselves as NEKROS dead to sin. “Consider,” “Reckon,” yourselves as a NEKROS corpse or morgue to sin, which you are not. And here is where Wilson’s duplicity comes in.
He pictures the Christian’s death to sin as a corpse, morgue, the elimination of the carnal nature, knock your SARX off, he says. In the waters of immersion, God raises up a race of superhumans.
Romans 6:11 says that by setting your affection on things above, we’re living a resurrected life, but not in the body. Your affections of spirit and soul are resurrected, but not your body.
Rom. 6:6: “that the body of sin MIGHT BE DESTROYED…” KATARGETHE. It is in the Subjunctive Mood, and also a purpose clause, which puts it in the future into the realm of the abstract or hypothetical, in the realm of possibility. This is interesting, because if the body of sin was removed in baptism, then why did not Paul use it as a statement of fact in the past tense?
Rom. 6:5: We have a guarantee that WE SHALL BE. This is clearly future. Look it up, ESOMETHA in the Moulton’s Lexicon, first person, plural, future, indicative. WE SHALL BE (future) united with him in the likeness of his [bodily] resurrection.
Are we going to have glorified bodies in heaven? or bodies of sin? We both would agree, glorified bodies. Our body of sin has to give way to a glorified body, right? We both would agree. The question is “When?”
Is our glorified body a figure of speech or not? “Touch me,” Jesus said of his bloodless body. Was Jesus’ glorified body a figure of speech? When we were baptized, did we get rid of the body of sin? Was it a week after? Was it 40 days or 40 nights after we were baptized when we were tested? Was it when we got the proper mindset? If it gives way at baptism, then you would think that everyone has a body that does not sin.
Let’s turn it around. If it were to say that the body of sin “WAS DESTROYED” (PAST TENSE) than, 1. we will have a body that doesn’t sin, Jay will be right. If that “MIGHT BE” is changed to past tense… If we analogize that to Jesus, that means that Jesus did die again. “Rom. 6:9 Jesus “dieth no more…” But we die again, don’t we? …If we got in baptism what Jesus got in his death, burial, and resurrection, as Jay says…
1 Peter 4:1 says that Jesus “ceased from sin.” He had a body that could sin, but after his death, burial, and resurrection, he could no longer even be tempted. Jesus even bore our sin, (1 Peter 2:24) and was made to be sin for us, (2 Cor. 5:21) but after the cross, Jesus was done with sin. Ceasing from sin will likewise take place with our death and resurrection.
For the sake of argument, let’s assume Jay’s “backsliders” in Montana didn’t get the body of sin destroyed, and they sinned the minute after baptism or 40 days after. Let’s assume Wilson’s right. They didn’t get the body of sin destroyed, eliminated, eradicated. They never had it in the first place. You would think that Jay could point to one disciple or himself that has a body that can’t sin. But there are no takers. Paul is a liar! if Jay is right. Paul is teaching something that never happened, either by a principle or a literal body of sin.
If the body of sin was destroyed in baptism, (that is, an elimination or eradication, an entering into sinlessness… By what rule of hermeneutics do we make the “body” of sin a principle in Romans 6, when it is the SOMA, and then make it literal in Romans 7:24, 8:10-13, 23, 1 Corinthians 15:44, Philippians 3:21, and everywhere else.
What is the SOMA in other parts of the scripture? Here is a good definition, first mentioned principle in the Greek, for SOMA body… Mt. 5:29, “…that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body…” James 3:6, “tongue defiles the whole body…” Heb. 10:5 “a body hast thou prepared me…” The only figurative use of SOMA is the body of Christ.
The body of sin is also a body of death, Rom. 7:24. Is the body of death a spiritual body or a physical body? The body of death is going to be destroyed, because it says in 1 Cor. 15:26, the last enemy death shall be destroyed. So we have two bodies, the body of sin, (Rom. 6:6) and the body of death, (Rom. 7:24) and both of these are to be abolished at the same time. And we have two laws, the law of sin (Rom. 7:23, 25) and the law of death, (Rom. 8:2) and both of these will be abolished at the same time.
This theology will seriously curb sin. This teaches us not to sin.
There are more than just three kinds of sin.
There is the sin of infirmity, ASTHENEIA, which means weakness, lack of strength, the inability to produce results. It is used in Rom. 8:26, 2 Cor. 12: 5, 9, 10. and 11:30. In Luke 13:11, this poor woman had a spinal curvature whose condition was attributed to a demonic force. Romans 15:1, instead of looking down at people for having these weaknesses, or sicknesses, we ought to help these people.
The last enemy to be destroyed is death (Thanatos)-1 Cor. 15:26. Else, what will they do who were baptized for the Nekros? 1 Cor. 15:29. You were baptized for your dead body. The fact is THANATOS and Hades are both to be cast into the lake of fire. This is the 2nd death, Rev. 20:14.
Paul said, ‘I die (apothenesko) daily,” 1 Cor. 15:31.
Wilson is using current expressions today which are unknown in scripture. Why won’t Jay make the body of sin physical? What’s the difference between a physical body that doesn’t sin and a spiritual body that doesn’t sin? Nothing. He really believed the physical body doesn’t sin, so why does he have to make the body spiritual? Is he afraid to make it physical?
“Let not sin REIGN in your mortal, dying, THNETO body.” Why would Wilson change from spiritual body in Rom. 6:6 to a physical body in Rom. 6:12. “Who shall deliver me from this body of death, THANATON?” Rom. 7:24. Why would we have a spiritual body in Rom. 6:6, (according to Wilson) and then make it a literal body in Rom. 7:24?
Now, in Rom. 8:10, we’d have a big problem because it says the body is dead (NEKRON) because of sin. It is obvious that in the physical body, there is a battle between the Spirit life and the flesh. But the body is NEKROS, NEKRON because of sin. Is this a physical body or spiritual body?
Of course it is physical. You see, sin entered our body. Paul said the law of sin warring (Rom. 7:23) “in my members,” MELOS, which means “in the limbs of the body.” Sin entered our body the day we sinned, and it became NEKROS.
Jay puts the NEKROS corpse death in Romans 6 where we have died to sin, but that death to sin (Romans 6:2 and 6:8) is APOTHANOMEN, THANATOS death. So he puts the NEKROS death where it does not belong, in the Christian’s death to sin; instead of putting it where it should belong, which is when we sinned and the law condemned.
Rom. 8:11, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead (NEKROS) dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead (NEKROS) shall also quicken your mortal (THNETA) bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”
The body is NEKROS because of sin. Everyone of us, when we sin, are as good as dead. Nothing can bring us back to life, unless you have the Spirit in you, unless he dwells in you. And so the death that we have to sin with Christ Jesus is not a one time deal, a knocking off of SARX, flesh; we have died with him, THANATOS, a death of separation.
THANATOS: DEATH, DYING; THNESKO, TO DIE; THNETOS, MORTAL, DYING
Rom 6:2, How shall we that are APOTHANOMEN to sin, live any longer therein?
Rom. 6:7, For he that is APOTHANON is freed from sin.
Rom. 6:8, Now if we be APOTHANOMEN with Christ, we believe that we shall live with him
Rom 7:4, ye also were made (R.V) ETHANATOTHETE to the law by the body of Christ that ye should
Rom. 7:6, But now we are delivered from the law, that being APOTHANONTES wherein we were held
Gal 2:19, For I through the law am APOTHANON to the law, that I might live unto God
Col 2:20, if ye be APOTHANETE with Christ from the rudiments of the world
Col 3:3, For ye are APOTHANETE, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
NEKROS: DEAD, Death of body
Rom. 6:11, Likewise, reckon ye yourselves to be NEKROS indeed unto sin, but alive
Rom. 8:10, the body is NEKROS because of sin; but the Spirit is life
Eph 2:1, were NEKROS in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked
Eph 2:5, when we were NEKROS in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ
Col. 2:13, And you, being NEKROS in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he
The scripture is consistent that we were NEKROS dead in our sins, and in our baptism, we die and are dead THANATOS to sin. The special verse is Romans 6:11, the word is impute. Paul tells us in conclusion that we should consider, reckon, and impute ourselves as NEKROS dead to sin, which we are not. But in our minds, we are to reckon it as such. Why? So that we might not let sin REIGN in our mortal THNETO dying bodies, (Rom. 6:12) If we knocked our SARX off, and entered into sinlessness, such an admonition would be pointless.
These are all in the present tense, and they are linear, continuous action. Let not sin reign. (Rom. 6:12). That henceforth we should not serve sin. Rom 6:6. There is a difference between committing a sin, and letting sin reign in our life. There is a difference between committing a sin, and serving sin. One is a point in time, the other is continuous action.
For instance, the same continuous action or linear action is brought out in the Amplified Bible in 1 John 3:7-9, He who practices righteousness is righteous… But he who commits sin [who practices evildoing] is of the devil. No one born of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin, for God’s nature abides in him. Then there is the point action, punctiliar action, 1 John 2:1 If anyone should sin, we have an Advocate with the Father-Jesus Christ the righteous.
And so, Jesus died both THANATOS (Rom. 6:3, 4) and NEKROS, (Rom. 6:9) and we were buried with him by baptism, (Rom. 6:4) into his THANATOS death, and went into the tomb with him, and then, as Jesus was raised EGEIRO, which means to arouse, awaken, raised, from the NEKROS death, (Rom. 6:4), “he shall also quicken, (future) ZOOPOIEO “bring back to life,” (Rom. 8:11), your mortal, THANTOS, (dying) bodies by His Holy Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:11 is the companion verse with Rom. 6:4. You’re already dead. Your body is NEKROS, but you’re also dying, THANATOS, mortal. And the Holy Spirit will raise us back to life. Jesus was both raised up, EGEIRO, (Rom. 6:4) and resurrected, ANASTASIS, (Rom. 6:5). We got the raising up, EGEIRO, in our baptism, Eph. 2:5, 6, Col. 2:12, Col. 3:1, but we did not get the ANASTASIS, the resurrection. “we shall be also” (future) in the likeness of his resurrection,” (Rom. 6:5.)
So there is an analogy between the cross and our baptism, but the analogy is not entirely across the board, and Paul seems to use his terms carefully in that Romans 6 text, so there would be no contradiction. Jay wants us to get everything that Christ got. That is his “mechanism” for acquiring divinity. But we did not die a NEKROS death as Christ did, and we were not resurrected ANASTASIS, as he was either. But Jay wants it all in a one-shot deal, doesn’t he?
Why doesn’t Jay want the body of sin to be a physical body? His position is defenseless. He believes his body of sin has already been destroyed or abolished. What’s the difference? The sinless perfectionist doesn’t want to admit that it’s physical because he doesn’t think his body is dead. It’s untenable with his theology. Jay can’t advocate that the physical body is abolished, and so he has to spiritualize a prophecy.
In Romans 8:10, Paul makes it clear that the body is dead… NEKROS dead because of sin. He goes on to say in Rom. 8:13, that we must continue to mortify the deeds of the body. Is this a physical body? In Romans 8:23, all of creation is groaning under the bondage of corruption. When are we delivered from that? In our baptism? Our baptism gives us the down-payment of the Holy Spirit. In Rom. 8:23, we await for the adoption and redemption of our physical body.
Paul had to treat his body severely, buffet it, and keep it in subjection, his physical body. But he said in 1 Corinthians 15:35 that the glorified body is yet to come. In 1 Corinthians 15:44, It is sown a natural body and raised a spiritual body. This is speaking, 1 Cor. 15:42 of the ANASTASIS resurrection of the NEKROS dead.
And yet, Jay has the audacity to assert that the fulness of the Godhead dwells in us. How can the Godhead be in our body? He violates every rule of hermeneutics. He doesn’t know the difference between a natural body and a spiritual body. He makes a spiritual body in Romans 6, and yet wants the Godhead of Col. 2:9 to dwell in us, in our natural bodies. You won’t get a spiritual body till the resurrection.
And so we need to reconcile the present with the future. Wilson is like a Charismatic in reverse; he blurs the present with the future. Like the Charismatic, he’s laying claim to divine power that doesn’t belong to him – not the apostolic power of the past – but the power of the Christ’s second coming and the resurrection, the body being raised in glory and in power, (1 Cor. 15:43) which delivers the us from the body of death (Rom. 7:24), giving us the final redemption of our body (Rom. 8:23) and allowing us cease from sin (1 Peter 4:1).
This is the ANASTASIS, Rev. 20:5, 6. It is true that baptism is a type of resurrection, in fact, Revelation pictures the Christian’s life as having begun with a first resurrection. “On such the second death hath no power.” Why is it ANASTASIS here? Because John is writing about the things which are, which were, and which shall be, (Rev 1:19, 4:8, 11:17, 16:5.)
In Colossians 2:11, 12, “putting off of the body of the flesh…” “the uncircumcision of the flesh”, forgiving you all the trespasses, and canceling out the certificate of debt against us. This circumcision is made without hands, it is the circumcision of Christ, it is the operation of God, He quickened us together with him. I believe in the mind of God, when God circumcises the flesh, it is all put off, the old “nature,” the old man was crucified. Let’s define our terms.
What is the true “nature” that was put off. The word is PHUSIS, nature, or PHUSIKOS, natural. In Eph. 2:3, it is the nature of being children of wrath, walking according to the course of this world, fulfilling desires of the flesh, etc. It is translated “kind” in James 3:7 speaking of the animal world, Peter calls such “brute beasts,” 2 Peter 2:12. According to Romans 1:26, 27, these are governed by mere natural instincts, and in Romans, 2:14, 27, and Gal. 2:15, this applied to the uncircumcised Gentiles. In the circumcision, this is put off. But, we still have the body of sin SOMA and our flesh SARX.
If the body of sin, (Rom. 6:6) or the body of the flesh (Col. 2:11) were removed in baptism, then why do we have to continue in Col. 3:5 to “Mortify NEKROS our members MELE (limbs).” This is the contradiction of Wilson’s sinless perfectionism. He wants you to have a morgue NEKROS death in baptism, a one-shot deal, and yet the Christian is commanded to continue to put to NEKROS death their members. We have to continue to put off, and we have to continue to put on, Col. 3:10. That’s why our death to sin is said to be THANATOS death, and not NEKROS. Col. 3:14, Put on love which is the bond of perfection. Do not belittle love, because “love shall cover a multitude of sins,” (1 Peter 4:8.)
Wilson wants the elimination of the carnal nature, and he defines it as the removal of the body of sin, but the best description of the destruction of the body of sin is that it is rendered ineffective. What is circumcised? The heart. The sin is cut out. The “putting off of the body of the flesh” Interlinear. The word “put off” there is APEKDUO which means “to strip off” which is used of clothing. We were dead in trespasses and sins, (Eph. 2:1). He didn’t take the flesh away, he stripped it. We still have the body and the flesh, SARX.