Having been freed from the law believers are now presented with the opportunity to grow in the law of Christ according to the gospel.
Paul previously compared sin to a marriage by which the law died releasing us from bondage. Through death we have been made new and ready to enter into a new, eternal union with Christ.
“7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” (Romans 7:7)
Asking another rhetorical question the apostle Paul rejects the concept that the law is sin instead he points out the fact the law helped him identify sin in his life.
“8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead.” (Romans 7:8)
Sharing a personal experience Paul admits the law and its commandments can indeed stir up sin among the weak. While not at all a promoting vessel for sin, the law has been known to draw more attention to sin than not.
“9 Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.” (Romans 7:9-10)
As Saul of Tarsus Paul had a relationship with God. Then came the knowledge of the law by which he allowed himself to be separated from God. The very thing that leads to eternal life would be at the root of Paul’s demise.
“11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.” (Romans 7:11-12)
Paul, describing the law and its commandments as holy, righteous and good points out it was his weaknesses that lead to spiritual death rather then the law itself. It is our sinful nature that leads us to commit sin in spite of the fact it leads to death.
“13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.” (Romans 7:13)
Asking another rhetorical question which he answers by denying it was the law, through holy and good that led to his spiritual death. It is sin that leads to death and the law that teaches this. Those who allow themselves to be distracted by the law are not only weak but they are their own enemy.
“14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.” (Romans 7:14-16)
All fall short of the glory of God who through Moses brought us the law by which we were shown we are carnal creatures rather than spiritual beings. Unable to resist his sinful nature Paul describes his struggle, one in sync with the character of a carnal creature.
“17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 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. 19 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.” (Romans 7:17-19)
Involved in a constant battle against evil Paul describes his sinful nature as a force that leads him to sin. While this is certainly true for all men and women, through Christ and the Holy Spirit we are empowered as we continue to battle against sin. Knowing right from wrong is battlefield, doing right and not wrong is the ongoing war.
“20 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. 21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.” (Romans 7:20-21)
An inevitable part of all of us sin rules over all men. While giving in to temptation is expected based on the fact we are carnal creatures, it is those who resist temptation who glorify God in His almighty splendor. These are God’s children and chosen heirs..
“22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 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. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:22-24)
Paul shares his delight for the law but also sees his sinful nature at work, battling against what is holy and good. Describing his struggle against sin as a form of bondage the apostle admits he is imperfect and in need of rescuing.
Like the rest of us Paul finds himself a sinner unable to completely overcome sin. Though well equipped for the battle against sin, by the Holy Spirit and the word of God, we continue to allow our sinful nature to rule our lives.
“25 Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.” (Romans 7:25)
Enslaved by what is good we are called to walk in Jesus’ footsteps and serve God according to His perfect plan. Also a slave to sin, along our walk we will inevitably fall. The question is not if we will fall but when we will fall. What is imperative is not who will win the war, either good or evil since the end has already been written, what is important is that we continue to fight sin in an effort to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre