“ 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. “
“ I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. “
Paul answered his own rhetorical question in the verse of our last study;
“ O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? “ Romans 7:24
Notice that Paul said he thanks God “ through “ Jesus Christ our Lord.
Paul knew that no human being can come to God except through Jesus, God's only begotten Son.
Jesus clearly said;
“ I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.“ John 14:6
We can claim to believe in God, believe there is a God, believe there is some sort of deity out there, claim we even talk to God or have heard from God but if the communication and relationship with the God we claim to believe in is not through God's only begotten Son Jesus, then we are incredibly deceived...and for sure, not of “ the faith “.
“ For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. “ 1 Timothy 2:5-6
Paul also said;
“ So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. “ 1 Corinthians 15:54-57
...which brings us to the next statement Paul made in the verse of our study;
“ So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. “
The Greek word “ noi “ translated “ mind ” means the mind in thought, feeling or will, understanding.
Since our born again relationship with God is only in our spirit through our faith in Jesus Christ, and not our brain, it is obviously clear Paul is referring to his understanding and will in his heart to please God.
If you remember in my earlier studies we learned that Paul talked of several laws that exist.
This particular “ law “ Paul refers to in the verse of our study is God's moral law, not the Law of Moses.
It is said that some doctrines formed on this statement Paul made here in the verse of our study, to prove Paul himself was not even saved.
I know just as there are people, including evangelicals who have verbally said they do not like James, the book of James, likewise there are people who do not like Paul.
The reason is because a lot of what Paul and James said does not fit with most doctrinal theology and philosophy.
Jesus said nobody can serve 2 masters;
“ No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.“ Luke 16:13
So, Paul is not saying he was living in sin and pleasing God at the same time as a lifestyle.
What Paul was admitting is when he did commit sin in his flesh he was subjecting himself to the still existing law of sin.
However, Jesus can rescue him from the law of sin.
“ That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. “ Romans 5:21
If you also remember in my earlier studies, we learned this is not what Paul wanted to do.
This is the difference between a born again christian who lovingly, willingly, lustfully craves living in sin and after the flesh, as opposed to a born again christian who does not want to but still commits sin.
Here it is in summary... just how we are as born again christians.
The old nature still exists even though we are a new creation in Christ Jesus.
We still have the will to choose which way to live.
Living in denial will not help us.
We must acknowledge whether we are wilfully living in the flesh or in our new creation.
If we are willingly living in our flesh we must repent and ask God to forgive us.
The reason for the 2 natures living and existing together is because God knows that some of us will willingly choose to reject Christ before He returns... and go the old route again.
Sad but Biblically true.
As Paul told Timothy before he died;
“ For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. “ 2 Timothy 4:6-8
Like Paul, we must also continue in the faith and keep the faith to the end in order to be saved when we physically die or Jesus returns, whichever comes first.
Since our salvation is based on our faith in Jesus, if we change our faith then we are no longer saved.
That finishes Romans chapter 7.
My friend, may Jesus bless you.
I love you in Christ.
“ O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? “
“ O wretched man that I am! “
The Greek word “ Talaiporos “ translated “ wretched “ means enduring trial, miserable, wretched.
It is interesting how some evangelicals have taken out the word “ wretch “ in the old time gospel hymn, “ Amazing Grace ” because it is now considered too offensive to use in public.
However Paul, even as a born again christian made perfect in Christ clearly called himself a miserable wreck...in the present tense.
Paul clearly said;
“ that I am! “ - not I was.
The reason he did is because he had a repentant heart like David.
Both Paul and David acknowledged their sins and repented.
If we do not acknowledge our sins and that we are sinners we can never be saved because Jesus clearly said to first repent and then believe the gospel;
“ The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.“ Mark 1:15
We have to understand that the old nature still exists in us.
This is what Paul is referring to...the old nature.
His new creation is not this miserable wretched man.
However, he could by choice, as all of us who are born again in Jesus, go back into living in the old nature because we are still tempted, but mainly by ourselves.
In other words, we bring temptation upon ourselves.
James clearly said;
“ Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. “ James 1:13-15
“ who shall deliver me from the body of this death? “
It is said that there was a time when wicked people would tie a dead body to a living person and make them drag the body with them until they died
Paul is making it quite clear in his rhetorical question who is the only One who can save us from our situation.
His name is Jesus.
Praise the Lord Jesus!
I will continue with verse 25 in the next study.
“ But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. “
“ But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. “
If you remember in my earlier study we learned that the Greek word “ nomon “ translated “ law “ can be in reference to the Law of Moses, the Law of Christ or used as a principle.
It is not always in reference to the Old Testament Covenant Law of Moses.
Paying close attention to the context of what Paul is saying will tell us which law or type of law he is obviously referring to.
Also, we learned that Paul refers to quite a variety of laws or principles.
In the verse of our study Paul refers to laws or principles within our physical body, mind and sin...the law of sin also being within our physical body even though there is already a law there too.
Paul discussed these laws or principles in Galatians 5:16-18 when he said;
“ This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
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.
But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. “
Here, the Greek word “ nomon “ translated “ law “ is for sure in reference to the Law of Moses;
“ But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. “
Paul also discussed these laws in our earlier study of Romans;
“ Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. “ Romans 6:12-13
“ I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. “ Romans 6:19
The Greek word “ aichmalotizonta “ translated “ bringing me into captivity” means to make captive, lead into captivity.
We will learn in the next study who our only hope really is in our situation.
Just as the Holy Bible teaches that God is one God in 3 persons but still one and only one God, a man and wife are one flesh but yet still man and wife, a man and a prostitute because of sexual intercourse become one flesh but yet are still a man and woman, so Scripture also teaches that born again believers in Jesus are both complete, made perfect, and not complete and made perfect yet.
The same Holy Spirit who inspired the words in Scripture that born again followers of Jesus are perfect in Christ also inspired Paul to write that he was waiting for perfection, that he had not arrived to perfection yet.
Paul said ;
“ For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. “ Galatians 5:5
And yes, Paul did say we;
“ wait “
And what are we as born again believers in Jesus Christ waiting for...
“ the hope of righteousness by faith. “
The laws that Paul is referring to in the verse of our study that exist in us, including sin, is confirmed when John said;
“ If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. “ 1 John 1:8-10
Cleansing from our sin by the blood of Jesus whom we put our faith in is an ongoing process until the end of our physical life here on earth or the rapture, whichever happens first, depending on whether we are yielding ourselves to the lusts of our flesh or walking in the Holy Spirit;
“ If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. “ 1 John 1:6-7
We must keep our faith in Jesus to the end in order to become perfect in Christ.
Jesus is the One and only One who can get us through this present life.
I will continue with verse 24 in the next study.
“ For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: “
Please remember my wife Bibi, in prayer if you will.
She is in the hospital suffering with cancer.
“ For I delight in the law of God...”
If you remember in my last study we learned that Paul mentions a variety of “ laws “.
Paul said in the verse of our study that he delights in the law of God, as David said he also delighted in the law of the Lord;
“ Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. “ Psalm 1:1-3
David and Paul could possibly be referring to the law of Moses or referring to what God put in the heart of humans before the law was even written;
“ Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. “ Romans 1:19
Whichever they refer to, what they delight in is mainly what is centered on the inward part of a person.
“... after the inward man: “
“ For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. “ 2 Corinthians 4:16
“ That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. “ Ephesians 3:16-19
“ Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: “ Colossians 3:9-10
The point of what Paul is saying is that he delights in living to please God, not his flesh.
I will continue with verse 23 in the next study.
“ I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. “
Always remember, Paul is talking in the present tense.
This is during his life as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ...not when he was under the Law.
“ I find then a law,... “
The Greek word “ nomon “ translated “ law “ is used for the Law of Moses, Christ or used as a principle. It is not always used to refer to the Old Testament Covenant Law of Moses.
Paul talks about numerous other laws in a variety of ways -
The law of the Spirit of life in Jesus Christ, and the law of sin and death;
“ For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. “ Romans 8:2
The law of Christ;
“ Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. “ Galatians 6:2
The law of God...in the verse of our study;
“ For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: “ Romans 7:22
The law that evil is present...also in the verse of our study;
“ I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. “ Romans 7:21
The law of our body members, the law of the mind and the law of sin;
“ But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. “ Romans 7:23
If we pay close attention to the content in which the Greek word “ nomon “ translated “ law “ is used we will understand what it is used in reference to...a principle or the Law.
“...that, when I would do good,... “
Always remember that even though in the previous verses of our study Paul talks about his desire to do good and to please God and cannot always accomplish it, it does not mean that he could never do anything good...since obviously he admits to times he did good here in the verse of our study.
“...evil is present with me. “
It seems that according to Paul good and evil are inseparable.
This statement of Paul goes along with what Jesus said;
“ I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.“ John 17:15-17
Jesus knew that even with His followers being sanctified, the evil in the world would still be present with us as long as we are still in the world.
We will learn later in the remaining verses of this chapter we are studying how much Paul relied on Jesus because of the present evil, just as we should today.
I will continue with verse 22 in the next study.