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ROMANS CHAPTER 7

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1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law ), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? 

 

Rom 7,1-6

(3e) Responsibility >> To the Family >> Pattern your marriage after Christ and the Church

(104b) Thy kingdom come >> Purifying process >> Purified by circumstances >> Purified through dying to sin -- These verses go with verses 21-25

(118m) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Freedom >> Law of the spirit >> Newness of the spirit transcends oldness of the letter – When God raised Jesus from the dead, He did it by His Spirit and Paul is saying, now that our old self has died, we can remarry. We can join Christ and become one spirit with Him (1Cor 6,14-20), who sits on the throne of our heart that our old self once occupied, showing that repentance and faith go hand-in-hand. We can’t die to our old self through our own power, any more than we can format a computer hard drive while we are using the partition; we need to join the Spirit of God so we can step away from our old self as it fades into the background. In other words, we need the Holy Spirit to help us repent of our former sins. Paul described this process as serving in newness of the Spirit rather than oldness of the letter, contrasting the Holy Spirit to the letter of the law, the letters of the Bible. There is little difference between the words of the Old Testament and the New Testament, for without the Holy Spirit they are just words. Extract the Spirit from the Bible and all His promises become law! We serve in newness of the Spirit, who transcends the Bible, He uses the Scriptures as raw material to direct each of us in highly specialized ways by lifting the words off the page and placing them in our hearts where they belong, so now they are living words, the unction of God. In this way we understand the truth together in agreement, but at the same time He affords variation in the body in its interpretation within the parameters of truth.

(119l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Curse of God is broken >> Curse of the law is broken

(187e) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Die to the flesh >> Dying to receive the glory of God >> Die to self to be set free – Paul gave an analogy about a husband and wife bound to each other in marriage, so when one dies the other is free to remarry. This is meant to depict the transition from law to grace. The law is the spouse that died, freeing us to marry Christ. Since we have two natures, He commands us to die to one and embrace the other, put to death the sinful nature, so Christ within us can flourish. They cannot live together, any more than light can dwell in darkness. If we try to live by the flesh and by the Spirit at the same time, God will cite us with spiritual adultery, and if we continue in this way, our faith will erode.

(187ha) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Die to the flesh >> Spirit versus the flesh >> Deny the flesh to walk in the Spirit >> Deny bondage to walk in freedom -- Paul is using marriage as a metaphor to illustrate what happens to a person when she dies to her fleshly passions and desires that are regulated by the law that she might instead walk by the Spirit. The woman is the believer and the first husband is the Law, and the second husband is Christ (the Holy Spirit). The woman cannot legally be joined to another man until the first husband dies, so Paul is saying that we shouldn't live by rules and regulations but by the Spirit who dwells in us; therefore, the law is dead to those who walk by the spirit; it is made obsolete. Living by rules and regulations is the same as walking in the flesh under our own power, and Israel proved that it cannot be done.

(205k) Salvation >> Salvation is based on God’s promises >> Faith versus works >> The faith of God versus the faith of men >> Faith versus the flesh – Paul had a serious problem trying to reconcile the grace of God with the law, knowing there must be a connection, since we were serving the same God yet with two seemingly contradicting covenants. His verdict was this: the law was added because of sin (Gal 3-19), but there were no promises appended to the law that reached beyond this life. If we obeyed the law, its blessings and benefits (found mostly in Deuteronomy chapter 28) ended at the grave, making no promises for the afterlife, and we know that the new covenant is all about eternal life. We cannot receive eternal life by performing the works of the law, but when we believe in Jesus Christ and walk in the Spirit, all His promises are valid. The promise of the law is blessings in this life, but Paul us urging us to set our hope on eternity.

(208jb) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Personal relationship >> Being married to God >> Knowing God >> We are bonded to Him – Salvation is a covenant, just like marriage. God has given us marriage that we might understand salvation. The Bible teaches that a married person, if the spouse dies, is free to remarry, but if he marries another while still married to the first wife, he commits adultery, meaning that if we get saved without repenting of our old ways, it is tantamount to spiritual adultery. It is like being married to two spouses: our old life and our new life. If our old life is still alive while we are trying engender faith in Christ, the sins of our past that are still alive in us will erode our faith until it dies, and so the only solution is that our old life must die.

Rom 7,1-4

(237m) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The Church is transferred to the kingdom >> Transferred from the law to the Spirit – Paul taught that the law actually aroused our flesh to sin, that if it weren’t for the law, he explained, we would not know about coveting. People coveted prior to Moses, and they knew it was sin, but the law positively identified coveting as sin; and as the law increased our knowledge of sin, it also increased the temptation to covet. Fortunately though, this vicious cycle is halted in Christ, who gives us a new nature through the Spirit, who has taken the emphasis off the law and placed it on Christ, who leads us to victory over our fleshly impulses and desires. He gives us new desires, which is translated to a whole new life, and He give us new Christian friends, and fills our hands with ministry so we don’t become idle and tempted. He empowers us by His Spirit to rise above our old ways and do the things that inadvertently fulfill the law, so that the goal is no longer to fulfill the law but to please Christ. See also: law increased sin; Rom 7,8-11; 54k

Rom 7,1-3

(225l) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Parables >> Parables about the body of Christ

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2-6 For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. 3 So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man. 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. 

 

Rom 7,2-25

(96b) Thy kingdom come >> Positive attitude about suffering >> Abstaining from sin

Rom 7-2,3

(134i) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Sins of the body >> Immorality >> Adultery >> Spiritual adultery – James called them adulteresses (not idolaters) in Jm 4,1-4; there is a difference: sinners commit idolatry; believers commit adultery. Idolatry is covered in the first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before Me... for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God” (Exodus 20,3-5). If we violate this commandment, it is called idolatry, but James didn’t call them idolaters; he called them adulteresses, which is actually worse. Man’s sin before the flood was potent enough to warrant God destroying mankind and restarting with Noah and his family. Then, God gave the law through Moses, and man’s sin increased, according to Rom 5-20, “The Law came in so that the transgression would increase.” Then God sent His Son to shed His blood for mankind, and sin increased again as Jesus put it in Jn 15-22,23, “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also.” In these verses Jesus equated sin to hating God, His Father, but Jesus didn’t come to increase our sin but to forgive us, but for those who reject Him, their sins increase more than they did through the law. Jesus came not only to save us from our sins but also to take us to heaven, and once in heaven the Bible says our relationship with God will be wife of the Lamb; the Father will marry the Church to Christ. Consequently, believers who habitually sin after Jesus gave His life are called adulteresses. Now when we practice sin, instead of violating God’s commandment, we are violating our marriage vows. What then is worse, being idolaters or being adulteresses? Idolatry and adultery are the difference between breaking the laws of God whom we do not know, and breaking our marriage covenant with Christ whom we intimately know. Now that Jesus has paid the ultimate price with His flesh, to sin against Him is exponentially worse than breaking the laws of Moses.

Rom 7,4-6

(53a) Paradox >> Opposites >> Of life and death >> Die in order to live – There is one thing Christendom seems to understand better than anything else: we are no longer under law but under grace, but we have not died to the consequences of breaking the law. The only way we can be released from the law is to die to it, which implies repentance, but if we walk in a way that continually breaks the law, we have not died to it. Technically then, we are still tethered to the law, only now we have compounded our sin by committing adultery through our marriage to Christ. The only solution is that our old life must die. Repentance is what sets us free from the need to be ruled by law, because then the commandments no longer have relevance. That is, to live in a way that does not contradict the law is to be free from it, and in this way we have died to it.

(128k) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Bearing fruit >> Living a fruitful life >> It is a way of survival – All those who bear the fruit of the Spirit have eternal life dwelling in them, and those who are not fruitful do not have eternal life. This is what the Bible teaches, regardless of the teachings and philosophies that are wandering through the churches these days. When Christians walk with Jesus, everything is straightforward and makes sense; we can read the Bible and understand it, but the moment we sin, it is like living in a slanted house; we begin to question everything; do we even believe? Is He real? This is why it is crucial for Christians to pursue a life that is controlled by the Spirit, because it increases our faith, whereas sin decreases our faith. Paul commanded us to be a homogenous lump of dough, a life that has absorbed the Holy Spirit, and not added any leaven to it.

(187f) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Die to the flesh >> Dying to receive the glory of God >> Die to self to know the revelation of God – Peter made a comment about the writings of Paul saying, “in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction” (2Pet 3-16). He was giving us a heads-up that Paul’s writings were not easy to interpret. So much of what he said was based on analogy and symbolism; case in point, in this verse nobody was literally dying. Rather, he was talking about sacrificing the will of the flesh in order to accept the will of the Spirit; we must set down one to pick up the other, for we can’t do both, since they contradict each other. If we follow the law, the most we can expect is the power of sin to increase, but if we follow the Holy Spirit, we can expect God to impart His spiritual understanding about His will, which transcends all aspects of this life. 

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Rom 7-4,5

(129e) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Bearing fruit >> Bear fruit by dying to self – Now that we are saved and have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, He enables us to bear the fruit of the Spirit that directs us in ways that point in the opposite direction of violating God’s law. For example, if we loved our neighbor we would not have sex with his wife, and if we had self-control, we wouldn’t succumb to adultery. Walking by the Spirit and bearing the fruit of the Spirit keeps us from sin. The Holy Spirit is leading us now, not the law. God placed these things in our hearts, so instead of being required to live according to the law, we have new desires that want to do His will. Obeying the Holy Spirit produces the fruit of the Spirit; that is, we do things to promote love, joy, peace and so-on. God is in us creating an environment that wants to please Him.

Rom 7-4

(38e) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death (Satan) >> Resurrection anointing

(115b) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Working God’s grace through Christ >> We receive the anointing through Christ – Paul taught us to abandon the law and embrace a new life in Christ for the purpose of bearing fruit for God, and join ourselves to Jesus, whom the Father raised from the dead, who has a new way of blessing us in the Spirit. In heaven there is no law, but there is the Holy Spirit, and in this life we who are born of God bear His fruit and develop an anointing that empowers us to obey Him. The anointing is given to help us in one of the greatest difficulties of the Christian life, dying to self.

(136f) Temple >> Your spirit is the temple of God >> The body of Christ >> Jesus’ fleshly body >> Partaking of Jesus’ sacrifice with our own flesh -- God calls us to associate with the flesh of Christ on the cross by dying with Him to our fleshly interests and desires. Just as Christ was raised by the glory of the Father, so we too walk in newness of life. (Rom 6-4). We cannot walk in the Spirit unless we first die to the flesh. Corresponding to that, just as a priest has an offering before the Lord, so we too have something to offer before we enter the Holy of Holies: our flesh. This verse says that we offer it through Jesus' sacrifice, meaning that God has made our offering acceptable through the blood of Christ. We give Him the right to lead us into our divine destiny to perform with our bodies whatever He calls us to do; and as we carry out His will, He empowers us by His Spirit. 

Rom 7-5,6

(162g) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Bondage >> Addicted to sin >> Being a slave to the sinful nature -- This verse goes with verses 14-25

Rom 7-5

(21e) Sin >> Disobedience >> Unfruitful – The Christian still wrestles with His flesh even more than those of the world, for the world does not attempt to curb his sinful nature. This, however, is the main goal of every Christian; we are not free to sin but have willingly become slaves of righteousness. Although God has given us a heart to please Him, there are times we would rather sin, and it is these moments when we feel most like slaves of righteousness. The method of being free from sin is not to pursue its freedom; that would just take us back to the law, but to realize that God lives in our hearts, therefore we should dip into His great reservoir within us.

(54k) Paradox >> Opposites >> Law entices us to sin -- This verse goes with verses 8-11. Paul is talking about a time prior to salvation when we lived according to the dictates of our flesh; now that we are born of God everything has changed. The Old Testament spoke about not sinning, while the New Testament speaks about practicing righteousness. One is telling us to stop doing evil, while the other is telling us to do what is good and right. The law aroused our sinful passions the moment it said “You shall not commit adultery.” When the law says, ‘don’t commit adultery,’ what pops into our heads? We think about committing adultery! In other words, the law does more to suggest sin than it does to deter us from it. The law was given only as affirmation to our conscience that our barbaric ways are truly sinful in the eyes of God. Our flesh was thinking about adultery anyway; the law did not invent the idea; it only confirmed it as evil. God gave us the law to eliminate any question about sin.

(134g) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Body of sin >> Our bodies are home to the sinful nature -- This verse goes with verse 18

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7 What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, "YOU SHALL NOT COVET."

 

Rom 7,7-25

(194g) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Hate evil >> Victory over sin >> Hate evil by loving good

Rom 7,7-13

(11d) Servant >> The law is our standard of conduct – When our conduct falls below the expectations of the law, we are the ones to suffer. The law was given to define sin, so if anyone had any questions whether they were sinning, they could just look it up. Notice that the first commandment, the greatest of them, is preventative to sin, so that a (fictitious) person can obey the first law and avoid others. This implies that though there are ten, there is really only one, and that the other nine are stated because we won’t follow the first. If we did love the Lord our God with all our strength, soul, mind and heart, we would also love our brother, which means we would not commit murder or covet anyone's things....

(26a) Sin >> Consequences of sin >> Death >> Dead to God through sin – There were people in Paul’s day who misconstrued God’s word to think the law was sin, for obviously he was answering people’s questions. That is, people actually asked, “Is the law sin?” We know that it isn’t, but people were apparently saying that if it weren’t for the law, the evil they were doing would not have been sin. This is not true, because sin was present before the Law of Moses. Prior to him God used man’s conscience to speak to people about what is good and evil, and it worked about as well as the law. Man over time, however, defeated his conscience and did whatever he felt in his heart, and God got sick of it and flooded the entire world in Noah’s day. He and his family entered the ark as the only ones who believed God. Even if they knew a flood was coming, people in Noah's day would not have entered the ark, because they were in rebellion against God.

(52c) Judgment >> Judging Church with world >> Law judges sin >> Power of sin is the law – Since the law, we now know for sure that sin is evil. God stated the obvious to man, and when he attempts to deny it, God can say, ‘It is written!’ He didn’t state the obvious because He has a need, but because we have a need; it takes away our excuses. The commandment was given in order that sin might be shown to be sin. The proof of sin is death and the power of death is the commandment, and so we come full circle. The law works in conjunction with our conscience. Therefore, knowing about evil and doing it anyway is the opposite of innocence. Sin has a corrosive effect that destroys whatever tries to house it. God wants to root out sin from us, but ultimately we must freely give it to Him, like forbidden fruit with teeth marks in it. This human saga is the process of perfecting man in the image of God. Starting with the Law of Moses, the people of Israel were both horrified and honored that God interceded for them during their exile from Egypt that led them to Mount Sinai, where they were given the law. The law itself horrified them, because they immediately realized they could not keep it, but they were honored at the same time that the God of heaven chose them of all people to be stewards of His word. This law they thought benefited them proved to be their downfall, and the very thing they worshipped condemned them (Mat 23-23; Jn 7-19).

(53c) Paradox >> Opposites >> Of life and death >> Die trying to live – God charged Adam with sin, because he knew the commandment not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, but mankind from Adam until Moses never had a law, and so God never charged them with sin. His complaint, according to Genesis chapter six at Noah’s flood, was that their minds dwelled on evil continuously, suggesting there is a slight difference between sin and evil. Sin violates the law, whereas evil violates the conscience, and both accomplish the same thing, death. A person can be evil without knowing the law, so when Paul said, “apart from the law sin is dead,” still, violating our conscience is the same as breaking the law, which deserves the same consequence of death. Our conscience tells us that stealing from our neighbor is evil because we wouldn’t want him stealing from us. If we don’t like being treated that way, it is proof that our neighbor wouldn’t like it either. This is aside from the law that simply states we shouldn’t steal. Sin may be dead apart from the law, yet evil is still very much alive in the violation of the conscience. It is the knowledge of evil that condemns us, and the law contributes to that. It makes a person ask why God gave Moses the law in the first place. Going back to Noah’s flood, man became utterly corrupt without the law, his heart fixated on evil continuously because he paid no attention to his conscience, and as a result the world became overrun with sin, and so God destroyed them, except Noah and his family. Hence, law is better than lawlessness, but the law has its shortcomings. For one thing, it hasn’t helped anyone to obey God, and this is the purpose for the new covenant, to help us fulfill the requirements of the law (Rom 8-4). See also: Adam; 151g

(90f) Thy kingdom come >> Keeping the law >> Law is our tutor >> It shows our need for Jesus -- These verses go with verses 24&25. Paul said that without the law he didn’t know that coveting was a sin. The phrase, “apart from the law sin is dead,” refers to being outside the knowledge of sin, so it is the knowledge of sin that condemns us and not the work of sin itself. Man has always known about evil through his conscience, having the law written in their hearts as it were (Rom 2-14,15), but when the law came centuries after Adam, the definition of sin was literally written in stone, so there was no longer any question, it is now one hundred percent positive that coveting our neighbor’s things is sinful and will bring condemnation upon us because of our knowledge. Therefore, the more confident we are in our knowledge of sin, the more sinful the violation. It is not the law that causes sin but our flesh; nor is it the law that tempts us. The most accurate instrument in reading man’s true nature of sin is the cross of Jesus Christ. Those who murdered Him represent us all, who performed the ultimate sacrifice.

(151g) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> New Testament bears witness of the Old >> Adam – Consider this statement, “apart from the law is dead.” The only condition that meets this statement is God’s commandment to Adam and Eve not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Had Adam eaten from the tree without the commandment, it would not have resulted in sin, suggesting that the commandment itself made Adam’s actions evil. Paul had Adam and Eve in mind when he said, “apart from the commandment sin is dead.” He was speaking for Adam when he said, ‘I was once alive apart from the commandment, but when the commanded came, after I ate, sin became alive and I died,’ meaning also that temptation came alive, and he fell. Therefore, the Law of Moses is intrinsically similar to the law that God commanded Adam and Eve. Paul continues, “This commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me.” When we look at verse 9 in terms of Adam, it suggests that God was not finished creating man in His own image. For Adam to know the difference between good and evil in a practical sense, he had to eat the fruit. We have a practical God, who believes that if it doesn’t manifest in the natural realm, then it isn’t real. This fact is how we know heaven will be a real place with a natural realm, though not like this realm. He refuses to take our word for anything but demands we demonstrate our faith in Him. This commandment that God gave Adam, not to eat the forbidden fruit, was meant to result in life in that it would make him more like God, but it proved to result in death for Him, because he ate. He didn’t have to eat in order to be more like God knowing good and evil, but he did eat, and now God has the opportunity to make us even more in His image after giving us His Son, who was made in our image. Had Adam passed the test, God would have removed the tree and forgiven the woman at Adam’s request, thus Adam would have acted like Christ, our intercessor. Man at that point would have been a finished product, made fuller in the image of God, but not like the opportunity God now has to continue creating us in His image through Christ. See also: Adam; 161l

(161l) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Carried away by sin – In the same way that Lucifer sinned before sin existed, so Adam did, Paul saying that sin deceived him through the commandment, as though sin, which had not yet come alive, reached across the partition of disobedience and influenced him before he took the first bite. This defines the mystery of lawlessness: sin that did not exist deceived Adam (see Rev 17-8). It was the temptation and curiosity, the wonder and desire to be like God in all the wrong ways that tempted Adam. This is what Satan had promised Eve. To be made in the image of God is one thing; that is being like God in ways that He has made us, but Adam tried to make himself like God through the instruction of Satan. When God makes us closer to His image, he always improves us, giving us authority and freedom, but whenever we try to be like a God on our own authority, it always ends in destruction. See also: Adam; 53c

(185e) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Mystery of lawlessness >> The mystery of sin – We know that sin originated with Satan, but how did he commit the first sin if sin did not exist? The name “Satan” epitomizes the mystery of lawlessness. A day came when Lucifer started asking questions about himself such as: ‘My body and spirit is incapable of sin; I don’t even know the meaning of sin, having been made perfect and totally innocent of all evil, yet what would keep me from rebelling against God and seeking His throne?’ Asking this question in a state of perfection, incapable of rebellion and innocent of all evil defines the Mystery of Lawlessness. God knows the nature of sin without having to experience it, yet to be complete, Jesus experienced sin on the cross, not His own sin but somehow every sin that man has ever committed. This way he experientially understands the Mystery of Lawlessness, only not as a sinner but as the Redeemer of sinners. This way He can now relate even to the devil, so that God knows what Satan knows. Since we are going to share the throne of Christ with Him one day and sit at His right hand, we need to know the nature of sin on an experiential level, yet be innocent of it at the same time, the very throne that Satan sought and risked everything for it and lost. 

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Rom 7,7-11

(22a) Sin >> Greed tries to satisfy man’s need for security >> The deception of greed -- Paul speaks about the deception of sin in terms of the Law of Moses, defiling our conscience through the knowledge of sin, saying, “If it weren’t for the law, I would not have known about coveting.” However, we don’t need the law to know about sin, because our conscience holds a faint, inborn copy of it that we cannot elude. For example, in the time of Noah God judged mankind according to his conscience and brought a flood upon the world of iniquity. If man really didn't know what he was doing, God would not have judged the world in Noah's time, but he did know, and the law clarifies sin all the more, so that man is even more accountable to God. Now that Jesus has come and shed His blood for the sins of the world and mankind has despised and rejected Him, God's judgment in the last days will be exponentially severe, compared to Noah's day. The law tempts us to sin through rebellion, introducing the mystery lawlessness, which no one can fully understand, otherwise it wouldn't be a mystery. Therefore, how much more is the mystery of lawlessness at work in those who have rejected Christ? These forces no doubt played a part in the sin of Esau selling his birthright to his brother, Jacob, for a bowl of soup. This event occurred centuries prior to Moses, yet Esau knew he was wrong, and God held him accountable for his actions without the need for the law. In other words, there is a correlation between the deception of the law and the deception of greed. The deception of the law is stated in Rom 7-10, "This commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me," and the deception of greed is that it cannot satisfy the state of poverty in the human soul. Just as the law promised life and brought death, so greed promises wealth and brings poverty. Man's greatest poverty lies within his spirit and there is nothing he can do to fill his aching soul, until God gave us His Son who can finally end man's wrest with innate penury.

Rom 7-7

(17d) Sin >> Judging in the flesh >> Accusing God and others of sin – This verse goes with verse 13. Paul addressed these seemingly silly questions because he knew we would. The answer is no, God’s laws are not sinful any more than God is sinful. The issue at hand is whether the law causes us to sin. It doesn’t, we sin on our own accord. If the law does anything it arouses our rebellious nature to do the opposite of what it says simply for the joy of exercising our will against it. Satan used the laws of God to condemn mankind; the Law that God had given man was just as much a tool in the hand of Satan, giving him an itemized list of sins to tempt in us, making His job that much easier. In case man wanted to argue with the devil whether his works were evil, the devil could simply point out the Law, equivalent to pushing man in front of a moving train.

 

8-13 But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; 10 and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; 11 for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. 13 Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful.

 

Rom 7,8-11

(54k) Paradox >> Opposites >> Law entices us to sin -- These verses go with verse 5. Sin is very deceptive, and we say that Satan is also deceptive, indicating that there is an entity that epitomizes sin, and that entity has a name and its name is Satan. The fruit of Satan bears the attributes of himself, just as the fruit of the Spirit bears the attributes of Christ. We get tempted in our weakness and fall under its spell, meditating on it, making it inevitable that we will sin. Manifesting sin dramatically changes the complexion of the problem, introducing a curse into our lives. The deception of sin is that it tries to convince us that it is more valuable than our faith in God, which becomes the first casualty of sin, also falsely claiming that it is more valuable than our conscience. This is not what God wants for us, but it is on the table if we surrender to sin. Consequently, once we discover that coveting our neighbor’s things is sinful, it brings temptation all the more, so instead of the law curbing sin, it incited our sinful nature, like telling someone not to think about zebras. The more people want to be ruled by law, the more they break the law. See also: Law increased sin; Rom 7,1-4; 237m

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Rom 7-9

(59h) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> Alive in my soul / Alive in my conscience

(155d) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Witness of the believer >> Conscience >> An evil conscience keeps us from believing God >> Knowledge of evil testifies against our deeds -- The law adds knowledge to sin, increasing the transgression, and making sin all the more evil. This separates us from a clear conscience, which we use to interface with God. According to the Bible, the word death means "separation." This was Adam and Eve's fate when they ate the fruit and died. First they died to the presence of God, so they were no longer welcome, then they died physically in their bodies years later. In the same way, when we have a evil conscience it is hard to believe in God, because sin has separated us from our faith. 

(181g) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Lawlessness >> Having no regard for the law >> Being without law – The Law is an authoritative statement against the works of men, condemning us and giving God reason to judge us, because now we know about sin. Paul contrasted the world that existed prior to the Law of Moses with the time after Moses, paraphrasing, ‘Before I knew about the Law I was unaware of sin, but now that the commandment has come and has exposed my sin, I understand that I am a sinner, and my conscience now condemns me.’ Someone might say that the world was better before the Law, for Paul said earlier that people instinctively knew right from wrong apart from the Law (Rom 2-14,15), but the world was not better without the law. The reason God gave us the Law was that people manipulated their conscience, and so God gave us the law to hinder us from doing that, though it doesn’t stop some people. The Law says that we can manipulate our conscience all we want, but violating the Law is a sin no matter how we cut it. The Law came so we would stop hurting people, stop corrupting the world and return to God, but the Law did not effectively stop us from doing this, so God sent His Son born under the law to replace the law. It condemned the world, yet it was better with the Law than without it, because at least we know we're sinners, though it gave God more reason to judge mankind.

Rom 7-11

(181g) Deception (Key verse) 

(181j) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Self deception >> Deceitfulness of sin -- The "Deceitfulness of sin" is a big topic, both in the Bible and in real life. How does sin deceive us? Rom 7-11 is the root of this biblical concept and will serve to understand its fearful and mysterious attributes. This verse says that sin uses the law to deceive us in that the knowledge of sin increases our curiosity about it. The ramifications of sin's deceitful ways are endless. Consider the drug addict, the drugs in his body lie to him about its ability to satisfy, for every time he uses, he needs more and more of the drug to get high, until he can no longer feel the high anymore, yet the ill-effects and the addiction increases. This is an example of intrinsic deception sown into the fabric of our bodies. The chemist did not invent the drug for its effects to wane over time; instead our bodies react this way to the drug. This speaks of the affinity of our bodies to be addicted to sin, which casts accusations of conspiracy at the mystery of lawlessness, Satan the conductor of it all spins a web of deception, and the world falls under his spell, making puppets of all who partake of him. In any and every situation sin behaves the same way; we get mad, we cuss and blow off steam, and then we feel a little better, but not about ourselves. Instead, our conscience goes into remission until we repent. Sin always does us more harm than good. See also: addiction; Rom 7,14-25; 162g

Rom 7-12,13

(16b) Sin >> Man’s nature is instinctively evil >> Man is an enemy of God

Rom 7-12

(133d) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Holiness >> God is holy >> The word of God is holy

Rom 7-13

(17d) Sin >> Judging in the flesh >> Accusing God and others of sin – This verse goes with verse 7; see it for commentary.

(245k) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Manifestations of the devil >> Manifestation of sin

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14-16 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 16 But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. 

 

Rom 7,14-25

(58d) Paradox >> Opposites >> Sinful nature is responsible, not me – Physiological desires that are built into our bodies for the purpose of guaranteeing the perpetuation of the species are not easy to control. Some men become impotent in their older age, but it doesn’t affect their lustful desires. We might think this doesn’t make sense, for what good is lusting if we can’t do anything about it, but men fantasize about lots of women they can’t have. It is not so much they are lustful but that their flesh is lustful. Men see a pretty girl and their mind goes directly to sexual lust. There is nothing we need do to start lusting, but there is something we must do to stop lusting, and it is very intangible. We want to get a handle on our sexual emotions and hork them into submission, but they are fused partly into the mind and partly into the body through hormones, complex molecules that hold a place equally between mind and body, so that if we trained our mind to think better thoughts, the hormones would still be swimming in our blood telling us we are only fooling ourselves.

(155c) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Witness of the believer >> Conscience >> Having a good conscience >> Conscience testifies that we obey God’s law -- Do a word-search on “conscience” and see who uses it most often in the New Testament. Of the 28 occurrences, Paul was responsible for 21 of them (NASB). This elucidates the point that Paul’s perspective on the gospel was coming from a view of conscience. Paul served God in his spirit (Rom 1-9); he taught with respect to our relationship with God, but James preached according to our relationship with the brethren. God does not need evidence of our faith, since He examines our hearts and can see for Himself whether we believe in Him, but our fellow man needs to see evidence of our faith before he can trust us as a brother. No one can maintain a good conscience while practicing sin or having a lackadaisical attitude about Christian charity. 

(162g) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Bondage >> Addicted to sin >> Being a slave to the sinful nature -- This verse goes with verses 5&6. Can anyone understand the addiction of sin, and is our helplessness against the mystery of lawlessness that we are not permitted to comprehend for now? Perhaps ours is only to wrestle with it from day to day. How can we who have a free will be in bondage to things that we hate as Christians? Or perhaps a better question is why do we submit to such base things? We must be careful what we call a mystery and what we simply don't understand, because there may be some important truths buried that we need only uncover to understand that could help us become free from this monstrous tyrant, sin. Remember, at the end of this chapter Paul says that Jesus Christ has afforded us the answer to all our sin problems, but it is still up to us to let go of our addictions long enough to implement His solution, which is simply to be a slave of Christ instead. What does a slave to Christ look like? Because Jesus is the word of God we as His slaves are students of His word, and because we need to be with Him to avoid being with sin, we are also disciples of prayer. Thus the word of God and prayer is the solution to sin; knowledge and experience is the solution to everything! See also: addiction; Rom 7-11; 181j

(187i) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Die to the flesh >> Spirit versus the flesh >> Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak – Here is the question of virtually every Christian: 'Since the Holy Spirit dwells in me and I have become partaker of God’s grace, why do I still have problems with sin?' The grace of God is working in our lives, though sometimes we can tell. Occasionally we question if we are even His children, wondering what happened to our faith. There are days we don’t want to be obedient; we just want to sin and live out our evil desires. These dark forces carry us away, making us think we are passing-up satisfaction and fulfillment in life by refusing to comply with sin's demands, but this is just our flesh lying to us again and speaking the mind of the devil.

(193k) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Turn from sin to God >> Run to God >> Run to God to avoid running from Him – Relationships take a lot of work, but with God even more, because we are of sinful flesh, and our flesh will never understand spiritual things. The flesh and the spirit represent opposite realms that cannot and will not ever agree. Our flesh will one day undergo decay, and God will give us a new body that is not under the curse that will understand spiritual things even as our Spirit understands them, so all aspects of our humanity will agree with God: body, soul and Spirit. For now, though, we struggle with our flesh, because it doesn’t understand God, nor does it want anything to do with Him. Our flesh is indifferent to spiritual matters, as though it were already dead. God could ask our flesh a question and it won’t respond, yet it is very much alive when it comes to sin. There is a spiritual war transpiring in every Christian between his Spirit that He received from God and his flesh that is destined for the grave.

(195d) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Idolatry >> Serving two masters >> You cannot serve righteousness and sin together

(227g) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> God working in you >> Dependence on Jesus >> Depending on Jesus to have compassion >> Depending on Jesus to deliver us – It is comforting to know that devoted and committed as we are to Christ, He is far more committed to us. It is also comforting to know that when we sin, God is there, and He even comforts us in our sin, because He knows we don't want to sin, for we are victims of our own evil nature and of the forces of this world. Most people identify with the world and its godlessness, but that is not the case with us. On the day of our salvation we started heading in a new direction toward Christ, making us victims of all that is contrary to God. We belong to Him now, and we identify with all His characteristics and attributes and have renounced the things of this world. Nevertheless, the very things we have renounced and despised still live in us, which desires to sin much as it did before we were saved. Our flesh does not recognize Jesus Christ in us, or the notion of faith; none of these things are comprehensible to our flesh. Far as it is concerned, nothing has changed since we were saved, but in reality everything has changed. Devoting ourselves to the word of God and prayer and to the cause and purpose of Christ doesn’t even register with our sin nature; therefore, to the degree that our flesh disregards our faith is the degree that we should disregard the sinful passions and desires of our flesh. That deserves repeating: to the degree that our sin nature despises our faith is the degree that we should despise it. We have become our own worst enemy, a precarious situation indeed that God has called us to endure throughout our natural lives. We live in a sinful world, encased in a body of sin and requested to live as we will in heaven, which is a tall order, for everything that transpires in our flesh is contrary to Christ. See also: Contrast of two natures; Rom 7-17,18; 16c

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17-19 So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.

 

Rom 7-17,18

(16c) Sin >> Man’s nature is instinctively evil >> Man has a body of sin -- These verses go with verses 20-24. Paul explained how we could love God and still be tempted to sin: we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, but our flesh is not included in God’s redemptive plan. These two verses spell the difference between Paul’s teachings who said, “No longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me,” and James, who said, “faith without works is dead” (Jm 2-26). James' epistle was for the express purpose of bringing balance to Paul's teaching. He taught that each person is responsible for embodying the gospel of Christ in his life, whereas Paul taught that not only is works irrelevant to salvation, but that the sins I commit are not even my fault but the fault of the sin nature that dwells in me (v20). These two ideas are far apart as they can get, taught on opposite ends of the spectrum and meet in the middle, where we always find truth. James was working toward faith by evidence of our works, while Paul was working toward perfecting righteousness through faith, hence both incorporated faith and works into the gospel. If we have a problem with sin, we're still Christians, though the body itself has a desire for sin that opposes our desire to please God. We have a will to please God through the indwelling Holy Spirit, but we also have a body that is attracted to sin, and the contrast between these two forces is what Paul was trying to separate. Doing so shows that we can love God even while we fall to temptation. So long as we have done everything to secure a good conscience, we can be sure that the temptations that continue to bombard us, sometimes surrendering to them, is not what defines us. In heaven God will give us a new body that will not crave sin, but until then we must continually struggle against the evil desires of the flesh that oppose the will of God. If it weren’t for Paul, none of us would understand the war between good and evil that is raging in every Christian. So long as we are fighting the good fight of faith and struggling against our flesh, opposing its evil desires, we can know for certain that we are pleasing to God. It is when we surrender to these evil forces that James says, “These things ought not to be this way” (Jm 3-10). See also: Contrast of two natures; Rom 7-21; 54k

Rom 7-18

(16a) The sin nature (Key verse)

(132b) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Holy Spirit is in God’s people >> Spirit of God in the spirit of man >> Spirit of Jesus – This phrase, “that is, in my flesh” gives place to the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. Paul was confessing that it is not by our flesh that we accomplish things for Christ; rather, it is the grace of God working in us, and we play a part in this process by yielding our bodies to God as instruments of righteousness.

(134g) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Body of sin >> Our bodies are home to the sinful nature -- This verse goes with verses 20-25. The curse that Adam and Eve procured for mankind was absolute. When they took the fruit, it was not an innocent thing; rather, it communicated that they hated God. They didn’t hate Him before they ate, but afterward they realized that they did hate God. It is what the curse did to them; it separated them from God; He became alien to them; fear and jealousy replaced their love and devotion they once had toward Him. Israel crucified Christ for the sake of all mankind, and Jesus taught that if anybody partakes of Him, they participated in murdering Him; therefore, communion represents our involvement in the murder of God’s Son. We needed God to do this for us, therefore we did it to Him. On the one hand, we are victims of our sinful nature, being born into it, and for that reason we can be redeemed from the curse; on the other hand, Lucifer was not a victim of his rebellion against God but knew exactly what he was doing. We become adults and understand what we are doing, but there is still a sense of naivety on our part; we are still victims of the sin nature that dwells in us. The ability of the gospel to forgive our sins involves repentance as a means of telling God we're sorry for being evil. That is, the blood sacrifice of Christ does not work apart from repentance. We cannot ask God to forgive us and go on sinning and expect Him to save us, because the lack of repentance demonstrates that we don’t really want to be saved from our sins. Paul called us slaves of sin, especially those who are in bondage to various addictions. What about the nice person who doesn’t believe in Jesus? When he dies, the body will be buried or cremated before the corpse festers into a biohazard, proving that the nice things about him were only skin deep. The nice unbeliever needs to get saved, because nice isn't good enough for God. If he were nice as he claimed, he would believe in Jesus, but his unbelief is what makes him a sinner. God will give him a body at the resurrection of the wicked and assign him a place of torment in the chambers of hell with the other nice people who thought they were too good for God's Son.

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20-25 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

 

Rom 7,20-25

(134g) Temple >> Your body is the temple of God >> Body of sin >> Our bodies are home to the sinful nature -- These verses go with verse 5

Rom 7,20-24

(16c) Sin >> Man’s nature is instinctively evil >> Man has a body of sin -- These verses go with verses 17&18. The sin nature is sown into the fabric of our bodies and its curse is defined as poverty, which gives birth to evil twins: greed and envy, the haves and the have-nots. We were born into this world with nothing, and we will leave this world with nothing, and in between we will have nothing, except we will accumulate a bunch of junk and associate with a number in a bank that will determine our worth, but none of this so-called wealth is real. It is a figment of our imagination, because the core of our being is completely bankrupt without Christ. We possess no more wealth than a squirrel with a couple peanuts; in fact, we have the body of an animal—we are classified as mammals. According to the way our brain works, there is no such thing as "human psychology," there is only animal psychology, otherwise psychologists would not study pigeons. Who cares how pigeons think, unless there is a direct application to our own minds. We have all the needs and bodily functions of mammals; we must: breath, eat, sleep, expel waste, milk our young, and maintain body temperature. We go to work to meet our needs, but we seek to possess more than we need (materialism), which leads to greed. Then we classify people based on how much junk they have, and consider people with more junk to be successful.

Rom 7,21-25

(39k) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death >> Jesus defeated the law of sin -- The law of sin states that if we live in a body of sinful flesh (and we all do), then we must sin, and if we sin we must die. God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to die in a body like ours. Those who killed Christ are our representatives in that we who partake of His grace prove to be the cause of Him going to the cross in the first place. Jesus’ greatest miracle was that He lived in a sinful body like ours, yet He was without sin. Therefore, according to that spiritual principle, Jesus could not die because He had no sin, yet He did die, and when He did, He broke the law of sin and death, affording salvation for us. That is, Jesus' sinless life contradicted the law of sin in His flesh and broke the power of death by evidence of His resurrection. It is what He came to do, as Heb 2-14 says, "Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is the devil." When the Father went to judge His Son, He found that none of His sin was His own, so He forgave Jesus for our sin and raised Him from the dead. His righteousness became our life. In His very death He destroyed the power of sin which is death, by maintaining the righteousness of God in the members of His earthly body. His blood is therefore the essence of life, and His flesh is the veil through which we pass into heaven. Now that Christ paid our penalty, He made it illegal for sin to have jurisdiction over anyone who would believe in Him for eternal life.

(104b) Thy kingdom come >> Purifying process >> Purified by circumstances >> Purified through dying to sin -- These verses go with verses 1-6

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Rom 7-21

(54k) Paradox >> Opposites >> Contrast of two natures – There are two things transpiring in us simultaneously: the will of the flesh and the will of the Spirit, wanting to do good but have a penchant for evil. The Bible teaches that we literally have two natures: the one we inherited at birth and the one God has given us at our second birth in the Holy Spirit. Before salvation we had only one nature, and it knew only sin, and any interest in doing good was for personal reasons, for self-image. In contrast, Jesus said in Jn 3-21, “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” This is the righteousness of faith. It is good to do good, but God cares more about the righteousness He inspires in us as a manifestation of faith, being in stark contrast to the world’s humanistic form of godliness that denies the lordship of Jesus Christ (2Tim 3-5). See also: Contrast of two natures; Rom 7,14-25; 227g

Rom 7-23

(7i) Responsibility >> Defend God’s cause >> Protecting your freedom

Rom 7-24,25

(90f) Thy kingdom come >> Keeping the law >> Law is our tutor >> It shows our need for Jesus -- These verses go with verses 7-13

(117e) Thy kingdom come >> Let Jesus do the work >> Let Him work on you

(119i) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Curse of sin is broken >> Curse of death is broken

 

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