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Romans 7





Romans 7 contains Paul’s explanation of the law. After Romans 6 ends with “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. What you find throughout this chapter is the contrast of a person living under the law and a person born of the Spirit.

Now when most of us think about the law, we think of right and wrong. Black and white, cut and dry, do’s and don’ts. Almost a step-by-step guide to follow. Kind of like building a toddler Ikea table. When you don’t read the directions, or don’t follow them, the furniture falls apart. Your daughter gets hurt because you didn’t follow “the law” properly. This is how the people of that day understood the law. They were bound by it, they were meticulous in following every letter.

The good news is that we don’t have to live in fear that we haven’t followed every little step of the law in order to earn our salvation. We don’t have to be bound by the way of the law, because we serve The One who fulfilled the law. Ephesians 2:8-9 says that salvation is “by grace through faith” and that it “is a gift of God, so that no one may boast.” So, we can’t earn our own way to salvation by obeying the law. The power of the law curses and condemns us. The power of salvation, however, sets us free and sanctifies.

This is why Paul opens up Romans 7 with explaining how through relationship with Christ, we have been released from the law. Verse 4 says, “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” Verse 6 put it this way, "But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit."

So does that mean it doesn’t matter how we live? That we can choose to disobey the law and live however we choose to? Should we just totally dismiss it? No, Paul says in verse 12 that it is “holy, just, and good.” It serves as a guidepost to show what sin is. Paul explains that without the law, he would not have known his sin. And the same is true for us. We have to have the law to recognize our need for a Savior.

Paul explains this tension between following the law and living in the Spirit in verse 15: “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” And if you consider yourself a Christian today, you know exactly what he’s talking about. Maybe you’ve experienced this tension yourself. You want to live your life in the Spirit, but you have this natural struggle with sin. What we have to remember is that sanctification is a continual process. Each and every day our goal should be to pursue a life drawing closer and closer to Christ.

The truth is that we are at war with sin. Paul says in verses 21-23, "To I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.”

If we don’t know who or what we’re fighting against, it’s impossible to win. If we don’t realize that we are in a battle with sin, we can’t possibly win because we don’t even recognize that we’re in a fight to begin with. There’s no use of any strategy, because we’re unaware of our need for it. The truth about this fight, however, is that our best battle plan is to surrender to Jesus Christ. To live in the Spirit. We have to choose to surrender daily. The Holy Spirit at work within us is how we are able to overcome sin. He is the One we can immediately go to for help in our sin struggle. So often we run to self-help, or worldly resources, when God has given us all we need. The Holy Spirit is where we find the conviction, the power, and the grace to not be bound by the law, but to live our lives in the Spirit.

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Jun 22, 2023

I take great joy in each new dwell message because it helps me to understand & clarify the word of God. A great question to pose to myself each day, have I surrendered to my Lord Christ Jesus today? The battle & struggle are real. But we have the best battle plan in Christ. Thank you

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