New Foundation Fellowship

Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel

Following a lengthy discussion, Brenda Redshaw (of this site), asked me to look into what Fox had to say concerning Romans chapter 7. In searching for “Rom. vi” or “Rom. 7” I turned up very few references. So I turned to searches for the concepts or phrases Fox used when he identified Romans 7 in his writing. There may be a better approach, or I perhaps could have used better phrases. I hope all readers will do their own searches and contribute what they find of significance. Here is what I found.

Fox does not deal with Romans 7 exclusively but brings together concepts from chap. 6 (“newness of life”), chapter 7 (“oldness of the letter”), chapter 8 (“the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death”), chapter 10 (“Christ is the end of the law for righteousness’ sake.”), and many other parts of the Bible. Fox’s associations of scripture passages range the full gamut of the scriptures. See for example:

And as Moses in the old covenant sprinkled the people with the blood, the life of beasts; so Christ our high priest sprinkles the hearts and consciences of his people in the new covenant with his blood, his life, from their dead works, that they may serve the living God in newness of life:' and as the blood of the old covenant was the life of the beasts, so the blood of the everlasting covenant is the life of Christ the Lamb, ordained before the foundation of the world, who is the great shepherd of his sheep, through the blood of his everlasting covenant he makes his saints perfect in every good work to do his will, working in them that which is well pleasing in his sight.' (Works, Vol. V, pp.362-363)

Here we have the Pentateuch, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Hebrews, and Romans all rolled together to form the picture of the distinction between the newness of life and the oldness of the letter. Fox used this distinction over and over, portraying the contrast between those who live by the law of life in Christ Jesus and those who live by some other law. See his comment in Vol. 7 (pp. 88-89 )

For ye may see, how far many may go, and did go, and were led out of many things; yet did turn again into the world. So mind your present guide, and your present condition, and your call, what ye are called from, and what ye are called to; for whom the Lord hath called and chosen, are the Lord's freemen. And so, abide every one in your calling with God, where God hath called you, and there walk in newness of life, and not in the oldness of the letter; for he that turneth from him that calleth, walks not in the life of God. Therefore, all Friends, walk in the truth and in the love of it up to God; and every one in particular mind your guide, that ye may grow up in wisdom, and improve your own talents, and the gift which God hath given you. And take heed of words without life, for they tend to draw you out of the power to live above the truth, and out of your conditions; which nature will not have peace, except it have words. But every particular submit to that which is of God in you, to guide you to God.

Paul contrasted life under the law (portrayed in Romans 7) with life under Christ who is the end of the law for Righteousness sake (Romans 8 and 10). His rhetorical question and answer, which many quote as proof that man can’t live righteously before God, that sin will be taken care of finally at some future time, is:

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. (Rom. 7:24-25)

But for Fox, Romans 7 is not the end of the story. Like Edward Burrough, Fox could say, “But of that birth are we which hath no crown, no glory, nor rest under the sun: a birth is brought forth amongst us which is heir of another kingdom, and possessor of another crown, whose glorying is in the Lord all the day long; and he is our refuge, our rock, and our fortress against all our enemies.” (Vol. III, p. 6) In epistle CIV, Fox exhorts Friends to dwell in the power of God and to know (that is experience) the power of God to keep you. In epistle CV, he spells out how this is to be done.

CV.—Concerning the Light. (To be read amongst Friends.) All Friends every where, keep your meetings waiting in the light which comes from the Lord Jesus Christ; so will ye receive power from him, and have the refreshing springs of life opened to your souls, and be kept sensible of the tender mercies of the Lord. And know one another in the life, (ye that be turned to the light,) and in the power, which comes from the Lord Jesus Christ, who is your light, who is your life; that ye may all in the life see Christ to reign in you, who is the truth, from whence ye have light. Here the old serpent is chained, and put into the bottomless pit, and Christ is known to reign, and ye to reign with him; heirs with him, joint-heirs, and heirs of God. Here is the dominion received and witnessed of the world that is without end, and the promise of life from the Father of life to you, who are turned to the son, who to the Father is the way, who is the mediator between the Father and you. All wait to receive the everlasting priest, the everlasting covenant of God, of light, life, and peace; into which covenant no sin, no darkness, nor death comes, but the blessing of the only wise God, the Father of life, here is known, where no earthly man can approach. But he that is of God knows God's truth; and he that is of the devil, doth his lusts, who was a murderer from the beginning, in whom is no truth, who in it abode not. So he it is that speaks a lie, and speaks of himself, and not God's word; for he is out of the truth. But ye that are turned to the light walk in the light, walk in the truth, where no darkness is; with which light, that never changeth, ye may come to see that which was in the beginning, before the world was, where there is no shadow nor darkness. In which light as ye wait, ye will come to receive into your hearts the word of faith, which reconciles to God, and is as a hammer, to beat down all that is contrary; and as a sword, to divide the precious from the vile; and as a fire, to burn up that which is contrary to the precious: which word is pure, and endureth for ever; which was in the beginning, and is now again witnessed and made manifest. Therefore wait in the light, that ye may all receive it, the same word that ever was, which the scriptures were given forth from.

Thus, with Fox’s admonition, we do not find ourselves in a state of impotency having to wait for some future time when Christ will take away sin. Neither are we consigned to struggle and failure until some further work of grace descends upon us. Fox wrote in Vol. III:

Every man that cometh into the world, though they be in the first Adam, have a light from Christ the second Adam, the bishop of their souls. So every one being turned to the light which Christ the second Adam hath enlightened them withal, they shall see the bishop of their souls, Christ the power of God, which is immortal, and brings the immortal soul into the immortal God. Christ is their sanctification, who sanctifies their spirits, and bodies, and brings the soul up into God, from whom it came, whereby they come to be one soul. For in the lusts of the world, and the affections of it, is the war against it, and there are the powers of wickedness. The soul must be in the higher power, higher than the flesh, which stains the man, spirit and body, and the powers of wickedness. So the light being turned to, man receiveth the spirit of God, which sanctifies him, the spirit of sanctification in Christ Jesus the sanctification and redemption. So every man that cometh into the world has a light from Christ Jesus, the way out of the fall, the second Adam, and receiving the light he receives his redemption and sanctification, whereby his spirit, body, and soul are sanctified. (p.168)

Views: 425

Comment by Ellis Hein on 1stMo. 30, 2018 at 1:03

Brenda, how do you reconcile your definition of believer with Fox's statement "Every true believer is born of God; and ' he that is born of God doth not commit sin." If I accept Fox's statement, which I do, then I must conclude that the believers you are describing are false believers because their belief has left them in sin and not in that birth which knows no crown, no glory, no rest under the sun. I persist in this line because this is the distinction between  that which leads to religion and the way that leads to life and righteousness.

Comment by Brenda Redshaw on 1stMo. 30, 2018 at 9:10

That was the quote that made me reconsider the name I had given. Fox says 'true' believer though which seems to indicate that there is a distinction involved - true believers opposed to false believers.

You might have missed my last post which stated that Paul was refering to a class as 'carnal' or those who walk in the flesh and not in the Spirit, and this is the same class I am referring to so perhaps I should use this term which is scriptural and less likely to be misunderstood.

Gal 5:17- For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

These are the ones who Paul speaks of in Romans 7, who cannot be unbelievers according to the reasons I gave in a previous post.

So the carnal have not reached the stage of being born again, although are followers of Jesus, and which I understand to be where they have the Holy Spirit breathed on them, the breath of life as in Adam's  case in Genesis and in John: “Jesus therefore said to them again, Peace be unto you: as the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit: whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven unto them; whose sins you retain, they are retained” (John 20:21-23).

So according to your theology, you are saying that there is no 'carnal Christian' though I do not like calling them Christians. So therefore you must be saying that the disciples were in the same state as pagans or any unbeliever before Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit on them and they were able to not commit sin.

To be clear here is my order of salvation:

1. Encounter with Christ, repentance and forgiveness for past sins and receving the power to become the sons of God.

2. The new birth through the breathing on of the HS and through the flaming sword whereby man is able to not sin as he is now in the state of Adamic innocence.

3. Baptism of the Spirit whereby man is united fully with Christ and is perfect and has zoe life.

Comment by Brenda Redshaw on 1stMo. 30, 2018 at 11:05

Sometimes big gaps between stages.

Comment by Brenda Redshaw on 1stMo. 30, 2018 at 13:23
In which light as ye wait, ye will come to receive into your hearts the word of faith, which reconciles to God, and is as a hammer, to beat down all that is contrary; and as a sword, to divide the precious from the vile; and as a fire, to burn up that which is contrary to the precious: which word is pure, and endureth for ever; which was in the beginning, and is now again witnessed and made manifest. Therefore wait in the light, that ye may all receive it, the same word that ever was, which the scriptures were given forth from.

Ellis wrote:"Thus, with Fox’s admonition, we do not find ourselves in a state of impotency having to wait for some future time when Christ will take away sin. Neither are we consigned to struggle and failure until some further work of grace descends upon us."

Ellis, Fox is talking about waiting for something in impotency. We must wait to receive the Word of faith and Fox gives witness to this waiting in his testimony when he wandered to and fro, seeking an answer to his dilema: how to be holy, able to withstand despair and able to be free of temptations of the flesh (gross sins that is - there is no longer an interest in them for the holy). Then he found it when he speaks of the flaming sword. It was an event not a process - the flaming sword cleansing him from sin. He was a carnal believer before that.

There are two kinds of waiting - waiting for the Word of faith to come and we will be clean, and waiting on God when we are holy so that it is from Him that all our actions derive their source.

Can we focus on your interpretation of Romans 7 please as this shows where the issue is. Thanks Ellis for the conversation.

Comment by Ellis Hein on 1stMo. 31, 2018 at 4:02

I will try to answer the important points but don’t guarantee that I won’t miss something along the way.

I don’t think you can pair Gal. 5:17 with Romans 7, at least not legitimately. Look at the context: vs. 16 states, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Paul’s reasons for the admonition to “Walk in the Spirit” are vs. 17 and onward. If you are walking in the Spirit, you are not in the same condition Paul described in Romans 7.

Romans 7 describes the experience of one either attempting to live according to the law of the old testament or attempting to live by some other legalism; all without the power of God. And no wonder, the power of God has nothing to do with living by the law or by legalism. When Fox spoke of the hammer, the sword, the fire destroying all that was contrary to God, this was not an experience of one desperately trying and failing to do what God required. He was talking about encountering the power of God at work within rather than being in a state of impotency. This begins with believing in the light of Christ we are enlightened with. For this light that shows us our condition, shows us our sin, if believed in, brings us to the life in Christ. This is why I was particularly interested in your definition of believer. The Greek word translated into English as believe or believe in has much more to it than mere acceptance of fact. I am NOT a Greek scholar by any stretch of imagination, so I can only report the things I have gleaned from my limited resources. But I can say that the definition I have arrived at has the advantage of opening up many passages of scripture, which gives me some confidence in the accuracy of my conclusions. But back to believe. One cannot believe in Christ by just accepting as true certain dogmas or theologies. “Do you believe in the divinity of Christ? Do you believe in the virgin birth? Do you believe in the resurrection?” These are statements of dogma and theology that do not constitute believing in Christ.

Believing in Christ begins with encountering his light within and recognizing/acknowledging his authority to countermand our self-willed ways. Believing in Christ is recognizing that we have encountered the source of something of ultimate value, that we can’t provide for ourselves. Believing in Christ is hungering and thirsting for righteousness and finding that which satiates that hunger and quenches that thirst. Believing in Christ is entrusting ourselves completely to his direction through the light he has enlightened us with. Jesus told the disciples, “The flesh profits nothing, it is the spirit that gives life. The words I have spoken/am speaking to you, these are spirit, these are life. And Fox stated in response to Thomas Higginson's book, called,' The Testimony of the true Jesus.',

P. He saith, ' The way to attain the spirit of Christ, is not by waiting on the light within,' &c. See page 52.
A. Christ saith, 'Believe in the light, that ye may be children of the light;' and he that is a child of the light cometh to the birth born of the spirit. And Christ doth enlighten every one that cometh into the world; and ' as many as received him, he gave them power to become the sons of God.' And none hear faith, but who hear the light within, which is Christ within, who is the author of it, by which the spirit is received.” (Vol. iii. p. 120)

And

And fear the Lord, and take heed of strife, and live in peace and love one with another, believing all in the light which maketh manifest ; that all ye may be the children of the light. And this belief giveth the victory over the world. He that is of this faith, is born of God; and he that believeth in the light shall not abide in darkness, nor shall ever be confounded. For he believeth in that which manifesteth that, which is to be confounded and trampled upon; and he shall not be condemned, but shall have the light of life. And he that believeth not in the light is with the light condemned already. And he that heareth not the voice of the son of God doth not live, but is in death. Therefore he that heareth not the light which comes from Christ the life, heareth not the voice of the son of God, and he cometh not to life. And the hour is come that they which have been in the graves, have heard the voice of the son of God and do live ; and they that do not hear the voice of the son of God do not live, but are in the death and the grave. And they that come to believe in the light hear the voice of the son of God and live, and out of the condemnation are come ; and live over death, and the grave, and hell, and so come to life. G. F. (Vol. vii, pp. 119-120)

You have laid out your order of salvation:

  1. Encounter with Christ, repentance and forgiveness for past sins and receving the power to become the sons of God.
  2. The new birth through the breathing on of the HS and through the flaming sword whereby man is able to not sin as he is now in the state of Adamic innocence.
  3. Baptism of the Spirit whereby man is united fully with Christ and is perfect and has zoe life.

And you have stated there are sometimes big gaps between stages. And you further state that stage 3 (if I am not mistaken) is an event, not a process.

I tell you God does not work without process. There are no big gaps where the work of God is not going on within those who come to believe in the light as Jesus commands us. Hearing and following the light of Christ, (believing in the light) brings us into the law of life that sets us free from the law of sin and death. This is the newness of life that countermands the oldness of the letter.

Comment by Brenda Redshaw on 1stMo. 31, 2018 at 15:43

"If you are walking in the Spirit, you are not in the same condition Paul described in Romans 7."

Oh absolutely! You are walking in the Spirit in chapter 6 & 8, and they are contrasted to walking in the flesh in 7. As we read in Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. So it is possible to go in the wrong direction and against the Light and end up in bondage, as Fox clearly describes on his journeys. It took him a while to find this out, so yes there was a process involved.

But it is more like going round and round the foot of the mountain when one should be going up it. We think we are making progress but we are not and a crisis will show us how far we have come in developing a pure heart - nowhere. It is the same old sins that come up again and again.

We all generally make this mistake - believing that we will gradually become purer of heart. Part of that is wrong teaching in the church about gradual sanctification. However, find someone who has followed the Lord for 60 or so years and ask them if they have a pure heart yet - and indeed they have had time to develop it - and they will invariably say not - that is if they do not accept it as an event.

The gaps can be very small, for example in time of revival, as in the time of the early Quakers, and people would be baptised in the Spirit soon after conversion and indeed as you say, if people follow the Light within, however it is far more probable that there will have been obstacles developed on the way and one will have begun to serve in the flesh, which can mean having the best intentions and even devotion but it is not God's way. It has to be all of Him and none of us. Flesh must go to the cross. In one go.

It does not help in times of declension that examples are hard to find of those who really are walking in the Spirit and that causes problems and we are left with books from the past. If God's people were walking in the Spirit we would see works and miracles as we did in days gone by, and the church would have power and whole communities would change and government legislation change and marginalised people defended by Spirit filled true Christians as in times past and especially when Quakers had the power and anointing.

We only have to look round to dying churches and even look at this organisation to see that the power is not there. There is no life, it is all dying. If there was life such as in the time of Fox there would be people witnessing to being without sin because of God's grace which gave them a pure heart in an instant. Plenty of other witnesses to this in other holiness movements through history. Read Brengle and Bresee and other holiness preachers. It was the same thing (though not as advanced as Fox as to sinless perfection) but still, about the pure heart that God gives His children who follow the Light and remove the obstacles like unforgiveness of others.

If we are turly obeying what Light we are given we will come to the time where God convicts us of sins we never knew we had and will go though 'the dark night of the soul' as did Fox until the blessing comes. May God have mercy in the dark times in which we find ourselves when this is not being preached.

Comment by Ellis Hein on 2ndMo. 1, 2018 at 11:47

The mark of the people who are truly followers of Christ is their willingness to obey his voice, not miracles and other works. This is the distinction between those who cry out, “Lord, Lord, did not we prophesy, cast out devils, and work miracles in your name?” and those who do the will of the Father in heaven.

Crises I have had in multitude, the winds have risen and the floods have descended. My rock, hearing and following the light of Christ within, and the house he has built upon that rock have not moved.

Comment by Brenda Redshaw on 2ndMo. 1, 2018 at 12:47

They said, Lord, Lord, did not we prophesy, cast out devils, and work miracles in your name, because that is required as well. It is not either or. Miracles will always be there for example when George was beaten up and would just get up and continue on and when buildings wouls shake in apostolic times or since. No miracles no power and no power today in Quakerism and the NFF because they do not teach that man is outside of Christ if he sins. Let's get to basics. If a man does not have the testimony that Fox and his peers claimed they are outside the ark.

But Ellis you did not answer me on Romans 7 where the verses cannot be an unconverted man.

Comment by Ellis Hein on 2ndMo. 1, 2018 at 21:17

They said, "Lord, Lord, did we not..." because they acted without the command of God, which is why Christ bid them depart and called them workers of iniquity.

Romans 7 is describing someone trying to live according to the Law. But the one who comes to Christ, who is the end of the law for righteousness sake, is not living under the law. When Christ commands, he gives the power to obey.

Comment by Brenda Redshaw on 2ndMo. 2, 2018 at 2:57

"They said, "Lord, Lord, did we not..." because they acted without the command of God, which is why Christ bid them depart and called them workers of iniquity."

Yes that is right - sorry a slight lack of concentration on that one.

So to get into Romans 7, how could a man who never knew Christ say this?

"22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man"

If Paul was speaking of Jews, then they believed that the outward obedience to commands, and how well they obeyed, was sufficient. Jesus called them whitewashed sepulchers and that they needed to wash inside the 'cup'. They thought they were better than others because they obeyed the law but as Jesus said in the sermon on the mount, it is obeying in the inward man that comes first.

And delighting in the law is not the position of the non Jew. A  man who does not know Christ will accept that law is necessary for him to be protected from criminals etc, but you cannot say he delights in it.There is only one class of men that can say they delight in the law and that is a man who knows Christ.

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of New Foundation Fellowship to add comments!

Join New Foundation Fellowship

The NFF exists to preach the Christian Message that was proclaimed by the Early Friends. Christ has come to teach his People himself

Visit Our Literature Site

To find New Foundation Fellowship books and materials, go to our literature site. Items for free download can be found on our Downloads page.

Want to join this New Foundation Web Site?

Please note also that this site is primarily a means for the New Foundation Fellowship to preach the Gospel, and an online community for established New Foundation Workers.

If you are thinking of signing up, may we please direct you to this note, before signing up?


Allistair Lomax, on behalf of the site working committee

NFF Events

Please Note

Blocked Email Domains

Created by Allistair Lomax 7thMo 26, 2013 at 11:13am. Last updated by Allistair Lomax 7thMo 26, 2013.

The 'Do-Not-Reply' Note

Created by Allistair Lomax 7thMo 28, 2011 at 9:38pm. Last updated by Allistair Lomax 7thMo 28, 2011.

Contact Address for New Foundation Fellowship

Created by Allistair Lomax 5thMo 25, 2011 at 8:11pm. Last updated by Allistair Lomax 3rdMo 8, 2013.

© 2018   Created by Allistair Lomax.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service