Romans 7

Romans 7 has Paul continuing to talk about sin and the law and the state of mankind related to those two things.  He told us in the last chapter that we are no longer under law, but are now under grace.  That doesn’t mean the law has gone away at all, merely that God’s got a new way of dealing with the sin that we all have in our life.  “Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead,  in order that we may bear fruit for God”.  Jesus is the One who sets us free from the law.  We died with Jesus and we also rose with Him as Christ Followers.

The law is very important.  “If it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin”.  Remember that sin is ‘missing the mark’ or falling short of God’s standards and requirements.  God gave us clarity around those things through the law and His Word.  The problem came when spiritual leaders long ago began to interpret and add to and adjust the law to their own liking.  So it isn’t that the law is bad. Paul reminds us “the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good”.  This isn’t a problem on God’s side, but how mankind dealt with the law, thus Jesus was sent to give us a new way to address the sin we all face.

Often we get down on ourselves about sin in our life.  But Paul wrestled with it too.  Every human does.  “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate”.  Often sin isn’t something we pursue – it may in fact be pursuing us.  We know we should not do it, but we struggle to stop. It is part of the human condition. “For I know that nothing good dwells  in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out”.  We want to do what’s right, but we are filled with the allure sin has to:

  • Promise satisfaction
  • Provide justification
  • Convince us we will escape punishment

It convinces us that it will be ok. “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing”.  And it gets us in its grip and just hangs on and we struggle to overcome those desires.  Paul wrestled with sin just like we do today.  All humans do.  We have a very real enemy who is there every step of the way telling us it will be ok.  It truly is a battle of the mind. “I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin”.  Thankfully God loved us enough to send Jesus to the Cross to set us free from the penalty of sin, if we receive His free offer of grace through Christ.  That sets us free from the penalty of sin.  But we’ll struggle with the power of sin, just as Paul did, until the end of our life.  We have to fight the good fight and walk with Jesus daily to resist the temptation of sin and follow Him!

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