Part 2 [5-8] New life and New hope

Having descibed how we are saved, Paul goes on to talk about the new life and how we have victory through the power of the Spirit.

2a - Justification & Reconciliation [5:1-11]

  • Verses 1 & 2 are the perfect link between the two sections
look back look forward
we have been declared righteous by faith we have peace with God
we have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and we rejoice in the hope of God’s glory
  • Verse 5 is the first mention of the Holy Spirit, and a key verse (especially for me)

Passages in Paul that seem to equate justification with reconciliation

2 Cor 5:18f

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them

  • So reconciliation results in a new standing

Rom 5:8-11

  1. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that
    while we were still sinners,
            Christ died for us.
  2.                 Much more then,
                            having now been justified by his blood,
                                    we shall be saved from wrath through him.
  3. For if when we were enemies
            we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son,
                    much more,
                            having been reconciled,
                                    we shall be saved by his life.
  4. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
    through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

Also: Col 1

  1. And you, who once were alienated
    and hostile in mind, [engaged] in evil deeds,
  2. now he has reconciled
    in his body of flesh through death

2b - Parallels in Chapter 5

Sin and Death — Adam

grace and life — Jesus Christ

12 So then, just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all people because all sinned  
13 for before the law was given, sin was in the world, but there is no accounting for sin when there is no law.14 Yet death reigned from Adam until Moses even over those who did not sin in the same way that Adam (who is a type of the coming one) transgressed.  

15 But the gracious gift is not like the transgression.

For if the many died through the transgression of the one man, how much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ multiply to the many!

16 And the gift is not like the one who sinned.

For judgment, resulting from the one transgression, led to condemnation, but the gracious gift from the many transgressions led to justification.
17 For if, by the transgression of the one man, death reigned through the one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ!
18 Consequently, just as condemnation for all people came through one transgression, so too through the one righteous act came righteousness leading to life for all people.
19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one man many will be made righteous.
20 Now the law came in so that the transgression may increase, but where sin increased, grace multiplied all the more,
21 so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

2c - The problem of original sin in Romans 5

Romans 5 seems to be saying that somehow, because of Adam’s sin, we are condemned (v18). Unbelievers find this a problem. How would you answer them?

There are various explanations of how we could have been involved in Adam’s sin:

  1. We are held responsible for Adam’s actual sin.
    1. The whole human race somehow was present in Adam at the moment of his sin, therefore we are all guilty of the original sin.
    2. Even though we were not involved in Adam’s sin, we are treated as if we are guilty of it because he was our representative.
  2. We are held responsible only for our own sins.
    1. Because of Adam’s sin, we are all born with sinful natures, and therefore inevitably sin.
    2. We all sin `in Adam’ because we inevitably follow his example and sin ourselves.
    3. When Adam sinned, the whole of Creation `fell’. We are born into a fallen world and therefore we inevitably sin.

Answers 1. & 2. cannot be true becuase in Ezekiel 18 God clearly states that we are never punished for the sin of another person, even if he is our father.

The best solution is to understand the difference between guilt and consequences

  • we suffer the consequence of Adam’s sin—a fallen nature
  • we are only held accountable for the guilt of our own sin

For this reason I would favour explanation 3.

Ezekiel 18:1-32

  1. The word of the LORD came to me again, saying,
  2. “What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’?
  3. “As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel.
  4. “Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine; the soul who sins shall die.
  5. But if a man is just and does what is lawful and right;
  6. If he has not eaten on the mountains, nor lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, nor defiled his neighbour’s wife, nor approached a woman during her impurity;
  7. If he has not oppressed anyone, but has restored to the debtor his pledge; has robbed no one by violence, but has given his bread to the hungry and covered the naked with clothing;
  8. If he has not exacted usury nor taken any increase, but has withdrawn his hand from iniquity and executed true judgment between man and man;
  9. If he has walked in my statutes and kept my judgments faithfully—he is just; he shall surely live!” Says the Lord GOD.
  10. “If he begets a son who is a robber or a shedder of blood, who does any of these things
  11. And does none of those duties, but has eaten on the mountains or defiled his neighbour’s wife;
  12. If he has oppressed the poor and needy, robbed by violence, not restored the pledge, lifted his eyes to the idols, or committed abomination;
  13. If he has exacted usury or taken increase—shall he then live? he shall not live! If he has done any of these abominations, he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.
  14. “If, however, he begets a son who sees all the sins which his father has done, and considers but does not do likewise;
  15. Who has not eaten on the mountains, nor lifted his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, nor defiled his neighbour’s wife;
  16. Has not oppressed anyone, nor withheld a pledge, nor robbed by violence, but has given his bread to the hungry and covered the naked with clothing;
  17. Who has withdrawn his hand from the poor and not received usury or increase, but has executed my judgments and walked in my statutes—he shall not die for the iniquity of his father; he shall surely live!
  18. “As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, robbed his brother by violence, and did what is not good among his people, behold, he shall die for his iniquity.
  19. “Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not bear the guilt of the father?’ Because the son has done what is lawful and right, and has kept all my statutes and done them, he shall surely live.
  20. “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
  21. “But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all my statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
  22. “None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live.
  23. “Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?
  24. “But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.
  25. “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ hear now, O house of Israel, is it not my way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair?
  26. “When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies.
  27. “Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive.
  28. “Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
  29. “Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not my ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?
  30. “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says the Lord GOD. “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin.
  31. “Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?
  32. “For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord GOD. “Therefore turn and live!”

2d - The Two Worlds [Romans 6]

Romans 6:5-14

Old Creation New Creation
5 For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be united in the likeness of his resurrection.
6 We know that our old man was crucified with him so that the body of sin would no longer dominate us, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
7 (For someone who has died has been freed from sin.)
8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.

he is never going to die again; death no longer has mastery over him.
9 We know that since Christ has been raised from the dead,
10 For the death he died, he died to sin once for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11 So you too consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its desires, 13 and do not present the members of your body to sin as instruments to be used for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead and the members of your body to God as instruments to be used for righteousness.
14 For sin will have no mastery over you, because you are not under law but under grace.

1. There are two Worlds

  • Most of our problems as Christians are related to not understanding the two worlds we live in
  • We are born into the physical world
    • The old creation
    • Descendents of Adam
    • antagonistic towards God
    • unable to defeat sin in our lives
    • under the condemnation of the law
  • But Jesus was also born into this world
    • He triumphed over temptation
    • He kept all the law perfectly
    • He took on himself the condemnation his people deserved by dying for them
    • God raised him up, the first of a new race of beings
  • Jesus resurrection was not just him coming back to life
    • This was a bigger event than even the creation of the world
    • Jesus’s new body was the first evidence of an entire new creation
      • One day we will all have bodies like his
      • There will be a whole new universe without sin
  • Jesus saved us by uniting us with him
    • in his death
      • so that our sin was punished on the cross
    • and then in his resurrection
      • so that we are part of the new creation
      • which at present is just like a seed in our hearts
  • Romans 6:5-8
  • So now we are part of the new creation
    • we don’t have new creation bodies
    • but as Christians we have a new heart—invisible, but part of the New Creation

Jewish conception of the two ages

Romans 6:1-4 — Picture of two worlds, Jesus taking us out of one and into the other

The Two Worlds/Aeons_full screen_

  • The Two Worlds in 1 Cor 15:45-58
First Adam Second Adam (Christ)
living being life giving spirit
natural spiritual
of the earth, dust Lord from heaven
those who are of dust are like him those who are from heaven are like him
bore his image shall bear his image
flesh and blood  
cannot inherit kingdom inherit kingdom
corruption incorruption
mortal immortality
  • Comparison
Old creation New Creation
Born from Adam Born again from Jesus
Kingdom of Satan Kingdom of God
antagonistic towards God sons and daughters of God
unable to defeat sin in our lives free from the power of sin
under the condemnation of the law not under law but under grace
shorthand name: the world of “the flesh” shorthand name: the world of “the Spirit”
  • Our problem as Christians is that we are living in both worlds at the same time.
  • Two issues come out of this:
    1. freedom from sin
    2. not under law but under grace

2. No longer slaves to sin

Were slaves to sin —now freedom to serve God Romans 6:8-13
  • Examples:
    • Larry’s goldfish
    • Immigrating to Canada, leaving England behind

Jewish conception of the Age to Come

Jewish conception of the age to come

2e - Law and Grace [6:15-7:6]

  • No longer under the law?
  • Under law or under grace—the new life of the Spirit 7:5-6
    1. For when we were in the flesh, the sinful desires, aroused by the law, were active in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.
    2. But now we have been released from the law, because we have died to what controlled us, so that we may serve in the new life of the Spirit and not under the old written code.
  • This is one of the most thorny issues that have taxed the minds of Christians for the last two thousand years.
  • There is a danger from both sides:
  • what are 2 extremes called?
Legalism Grace and Truth Antinomianism (lawlessness)
one extreme correct understanding other extreme
  • some examples of legalism
    • some clothing rules
    • focus on externals
    • no earings etc.
  • Pharisees concept of “fencing the law”
  • examples of antinomianism (someone I knew)
    • no car insurance
    • getting drunk
    • I will watch whatever movie I want to!
    • T.Virgo—grace or righteousness?
  • Look at the Scriptures: many commands in the New Testament
    • also sermon on mount—Jesus was a law giver
    • but he replaced the law (parable of the camel and needle’s eye)
  • Answer: The law does not change when you are saved, it is your relationship with the law
    • slave to a master
    • or law of love.
  • The master & the maid
  • The employee & the partner
    • steal from the till
    • go home early
    • long lunch breaks
    • help himself to company stationary
    • surf the internet instead of working
    • rude and unhelpful to customers
  • The need for the Spirit
    • This new relationship is through him
    • Romans 8:13-16
      1. ...but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.
      2. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.
      3. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba, Father.”
      4. The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirit that we are God’s children.
  • The tape recorder, playing in the background of our minds
    • I’m useless, I’m going to mess up again
    • I know what I’m like
    • That is a lie! Speak the truth to yourself! You are a new creation in Christ Jesus

“But now we have been released from the law,
because we have died to what controlled us,
so that we may serve in the new life of the Spirit
and not under the old written code.” Romans 7:6

  • offending weaker brother ??

2f - Dead to the Law [7:1-6]

  • First there is a legal principle stated:
    1. Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?
  • Then Paul gives a simple illustration of how this works
    1. For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives.
          But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband.
    2. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress;
          but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.
  • Not an allegory or a parable, but a simple illustration of verse 1.
  • The message here is simply to give an example of how the death of one party causes the covenant to cease.
    • (Wrong to get bogged down in husband=law, new husband=Christ, because in reality it is us—the woman—who has “died with Christ”. The law has not died!)
    1. Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ,
          that you may be married to another, even to him who was raised from the dead,
              that we should bear fruit to God.
  • Note here that we are raised from the dead
    • so the new creation is not subject to the old law.
    • Also the refence to “fruit” which is the underlying direction the whole argument is taking, since 6:1
    1. For when we were in the flesh,
          the passions of sins which were aroused by the law were at work in our members
              to bear fruit to death.
    2. But now
          we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by,
              so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
  • Here is the main statement that the illustration, and indeed most of chapter 6, has been building up to.
    • The rest of chapter 7 and part of 8 are there to explain it:
in the Spirit


               law  \

in the flesh            our members —-> fruit to death  (serving in the oldness of the letter)


               law X

in the Spirit —————>our members —-> fruit to God, serving in the newness of the Spirit



in the flesh

  • This seems rather strange, that the law is the power of sin,
    • but see: 5:20, 7:8-11,13 1 Cor 15:56 2 Cor 3:6 Gal 3:21,22 (Scrip = law)
    • How is this?
    • sin = pride & unbelief, Adam & Eve in the garden, see below by Cranfield and Ridderbos.
    • If God had said to Adam “You can chose whether to eat the fruit or not, but it would please me if you didn’t” —defeat Satan’s arguments.
    • The tremendous joy when we are living to please a God who delights in us, and will not hold a single sin against us.
  • It is important to recognise that our connection with the law has been severed. We now have a new kind of connection.
    • It is no longer a taskmaster, threatening condemnation, but a guide to pleasing God in the freedom and newness of the Spirit.(v6)
    • It is not the content of the law that is the problem, it is the condemnation of the law.
  • Paul is not opposing law and Spirit directly here (7:14 says that the law is spiritual)
    • but “letter” is the law as our accuser, a list of accusations written againt us and nailed to the cross by Christ (Col 2:14).
    • Spirit is the newness of life which belongs to the new age, letter belongs to this age which is passing away.

2g - The problem of whom Romans 7:13-25 is about

  • First question: Is the law sin?
    1. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not!
      On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law.
      For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, ‘‘You shall not covet.’’
    2. But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in meall manner of evil desire.
          For apart from the law sin was dead.
      1. I was alive once without the law,
        but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
      2. And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death.
    1. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.
    2. Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
    • “known” is stronger here than “become aware of”, the word implies a personal involvement, (as in Adam knew Eve)
    • “taking opportunity” is a military metaphor, almost “using the commandment as a bridgehead” (Dunn)
  • Comments by Cranfield: (v.8)
    • aphorme means ‘starting point’, ‘origin’... We should read “but sin having obtained a base for its operations worked in me through the commandment all manner of covetousness;”
    • How did “You shall not covet” give sin its foothold. Not mere psychological explanation like “forbidden fruit is sweetest”. It is rather that the merciful limitation imposed on man by the commandment and intended to preserve his true freedom and dignity can be misinterpreted and misrepresented as a taking away of his freedom and an attack on his dignity, and so can be made an occasion of resentment and rebellion against the divine Creator, man’s true Lord.
    • These verses are best understood as exposition of the Genesis narrative. The 10th commandment is mentioned because of its close connection with the fall. “You shall be as God”- Gen 3.5
    • Sin is still present without the law, but relatively inactive. Pictured as a serpent, still and waiting until the law is given.. then it strikes.
  • Comments by Ridderbos
    • The remarkable thing here is that Paul now represents the law as a power that provokes and, as it were, calls forth sin in the sinner. By upholding the commandment to man as the end of his liberty and by promising him life in the transgression of the commandment, sin draws man under its enchantment. It promises him just that which the law appears to take away, and leads him thus into death. ...the false delusion that for him liberty, happiness, etc., lie in the transgression of the commandment.

Section 7:13-25

Who is the “I” in 7:13-25?

  1. The Apostle Paul at that time and therefore is what all Christians should expect.
    • Dunn, Garlington, Calvin, Hendriksen, Haldane, Hodge, Murray, Philip
  2. The Apostle Paul (and the believer) in his weaker moments.
    • Morris
  3. A Christian living in their own strength before achieving a more mature stage, arrived at by a `second blessing’ or something similar.
    • Holiness movements
  4. The Christian life viewed from one aspect.
    • Cranfield,
  5. A believer under the old covenant, without the Spirit.
    • Käsemann
  6. Someone on the point of becoming a Christian.
    • Lloyd Jones
  7. Hypothetical Christian under the Law.
    • Manson, Harrison
  8. The highest that can possibly be achieved by a non-Christian under the Law.
    • Ridderbos, Djaballah, Powell, Adams, Doddridge, Blocher
  9. Paul’s non-Christain experience.
    • Denny, Dodd
  10. The unbeliever in general.
    • Most Early Church Fathers, Conybeare & Howson
  11. All mankind in a mystical sense.
  • 2,3: The book is full of sharp contrasts (8:6), totally out of context to introduce this.
  • 5: Abraham was full of faith: the prototype of a believer.
  • 6: no escape, they are still on one side or the other!
  • 7:
  • 9:
  • 10: They do not delight in the Law!
  • 11: does not match earlier view of mankind being in rebellion
  • Arguments for it being about a Christian (1,4)
    • Paul uses “I” in the present
    • Here is a person who hates breaking the law (v15), wills to do good (v21) and delights in the law of God according to the inward man (v22). What could be stronger?
    • It accords with our own experience, our struggle with sin
    • It is similar to Gal 5:17 which is clearly about a Christian
    • v25 “I serve the law of God” could not be an unbeliever from 8:7
      • Pretty convincing!!!?
  • Arguments for it being about “The highest that can possibly be achieved by a non-Christian under the Law”:
    • Paul does use “I” in a figurative sense (3:7)
    • The “I” in v9 is clearly not about Paul, but a figure of speech
    • v14 cannot possibly apply to a Chrsitian. A very strong statement (1 Kings 21:20) It cannot possibly be the believer in union with Christ.
    • Here is not a person struggling with sin, but someone totally held captive by it (v14...v23)
    • The Spirit is not mentioned at all in this section
    • We can only recognise it in ourselves to a certain extent. (totally imprisoned)
    • v13 is clearly not about a Christian, but is summing up the section before. Yet v14 starts “for we know...” in explanation of v13.
    • This struggle has not been completely taken away in the life of the believer, that is what Gal 5:17 is about, but the Gal 5 passage is different in that it is the struggle between the old and new man, and there is victory.
    • 8:7 doesn’t actually say “carnal mind” in the greek, but te phrenema tos sarkes = the way of thinking of the flesh (lit),
      • The “I” of 7:25 tries to serve the law of God, but is unable to because of the flesh, so the verses agree.
    • How can it be true that Paul does not understand what is happening in him? (v15) Is he really in a state of confusion?
    • Similar to 2:14,15 where unbelievers have the law written on their hearts.
    • If it is Paul’s own experience, where is the conversion transition? The tense changes at v14 which is an explanation of v13
    • constant repetition of “I” in the passage, with almost total absence of Christ. Not Paul’s normal state!
  • To summarize, the main problems within the passage, on both sides are:
    • If it is Paul, now, how can he be “sold under sin” (v14)
    • If it is an unbeliever, how can he “delight in the law of God after the inward man”?
    • Both seem strong statements, we either have to weaken one or the other!
  • Lets look at the context to decide:
    • Christians free from sin—6:6,14,17,18,20,22; 7:5,6; 8:2,6,7,8,9
    • 7:14,23—in bondage to sin
    • cf particularly 7:23 with 8:2
  • 7:5,6 talk about 2 states, in the flesh, and in the Spirit... Which is this passage refering to?
    • v5 seems to be the rest of Romans 7 and v6, Romans 8.
  • Doddridge sums this up well:
    • A man under the law, “and sincerely desiring to please God, but finding to his sorrow, the weakness ... and last of all .. discovering the Gospel, and gaining pardon and strength, peace and joy by it. But to suppose he speaks all these things of himself, as the confirmed Christian, that he really was, when he wrote this epistle, is not only foreign, but contrary to the whole scope of his discourse, as well as to what is expressly asserted, ch 8:2
  • The purpose of this passage seems to be to show the total inability of the law to deal with sin.
    • Something greater than the law is needed: Christ (8:1) and the Spirit he has given us.
    • So what Paul seeks to do is to take the very best that the law can produce. A man who is not a Christian, but is very zealous for the law.
  • Paul shows that it is very possible for even an unbeliver to “delight in the law”
    • Romans 9:31 “but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of r.”
    • 10:2 “ they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge”
    • Acts 22:3 “I am indeed a Jew... and was zealous toward God as you all are today”
    • Gal 1:14 (similar)
    • Phil 3:6 “concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless”
  • Can an unbeliever really fit this passage?
    • Quote from David Brainerd (J. Edwards Works, vol 2, p.317)
    • Quote from John Bunyon, Grace abounding §30
  • Many unbelievers have the idea that they have a good side and a bad side which are struggling.
    • It is a universal concept. What Paul is saying here is that without the Spirit, the “good” side will always lose.
    1. Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not!
      But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good,
      so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.
    2. For we know that the law is spiritual,
      but I am fleshy, sold under sin.
    3. For what I am doing, I do not understand.
          For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.
      1. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.
      2. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
    1. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells;
      • establishes the goodness of the law and holds before us what it means to be sold under sin
      • Paul is not dividing man up into 2 parts. Rather is is one and the same person which is being considered from two different perspectives
      • now goes on to focus on the principle found
      • for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.
      1. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.
      2. Now if I do what I will not to do,
        it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
    1. I find then a law, that evil is present with me,
      the one who wills to do good.
    2. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.
    3. 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.
    4. O wretched man that I am!
      Who will deliver me from this body of death?
    5. 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.
    • “law” can be used to mean a principle, an inescapable pattern, as in another law, law of sin
    • There are 2 powers: “I” = inward man = the mind, and SIN
    • v24 anticipates 8:1, it is as if he cannot hold back.
    • v25 concludes the section.


  • Sometimes the note of victory can be so absent from the Christian life that they can think that defeat is the normal way.
    • What sort of “normal” are we accepting? Romans is a book ringing with the cry of victory, especially the climax in the next chapter. Are we cheating ourselves by not allowing ourselves to believe what God has done for us?
      • Although Romans 7 is not about the normal life of a Christian, a believer can very easily start to behave like that, and the passage can be applied to the believer. (as it is in Gal 5:17)
      • It applies to anyone who is living “in the flesh”.
  • Does the law have any value to us?
    • We need the law so that we know what living in the flesh means. It seems we have to be told the character of the two ways of living:
    • Read Galatians 5:16-26.
    • The function of the law is to mark out the negative side, the way of the flesh.
    • It is totally inadequate to characterize the fruit of the Spirit.
  • 1 Tim 1:8,9
    • We shouldn’t get into the legalistic way of thinking that says we can please God by keeping a set of rules very carefully and exactly.
    • He does not wish to be served out of duty, but out of joy and fullness.
    • God is not counting up our failings, but waiting to welcome us as his dearly beloved children
  • A final application: This could also be applied to someone seeking God. They need to be pointed to Christ in Chapter 8.

2h - Romans 8 - Freed from the law, nothing can separate us from the love of God

  1. [8:1-17] Victory in Christ through the Spirit
    1. [8:1-4] Christ has freed us from the law
    2. [8:5-11] Christ lives in you through the Spirit
    3. [8:12-17] Let by the Spirit to cry “Abba”
    4. [8:18-25] Our hope of Glory
    5. [8:26-27] The Spirit’s help in prayer
    6. [8:28-30] Chosen and loved
  2. [8:31-39] Conclusion: Nothing can separate us from the love of God