Romans 7

The dilemma

“For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, under the bondage of sin.  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. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good.” (Romans 7:14-16) God is good I’m bad. God’s law made it very clear that I lack self control, let me give a name to what is lacking. “Will.”  Man’s will is captured by a spiritual power called “sin.”

“So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 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. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. 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.” (Romans 7:17-20) We may not be violent with uncontrollable rage nor ruled by lust of different kinds, but all have known sin’s power to compel. We have all experienced the frustration of continuing shameful thoughts and actions that are contrary to God’s holy laws.

“I find then the law that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God concerning the inner man, 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. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from this body of death?” (Romans 7:21-24)  This is the dilemma of the one who wants to do good.

Faith receives what our WILL cannot provide.

“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.” (Romans 7:25)

Jesus came to set the prisoner free, to deliver us from the law of sin and death.  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed,” (Isaiah 6:1; Luke 4:18) We are set free to walk according to the Spirit, and no longer according to the dictates of our flesh. How did this happen?

We died when Jesus did, we live because He lives. Don’t overthink how this can be, with God all things are possible. Simply believe and imagine what may always be a mystery. Our life is in Him. His Spirit dwells in us. Believing truth sets us free.  “The unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.” (Psalm 119:130)

Given the right to become children of God, we are now being changed into His likeness from glory to glory. Through faith we receive this grace of transformation, without faith we remain imprisoned. If the Spirit of God is in us we will glorify our Father with our mortal bodies as we walk free in the Spirit. That is just how salvation works.

Father, You have hidden these things from the wise and reveal them to children. The weak, who have failed, find their strength in You. Deliverance is not according to our will. It is by grace through faith that we are set free. Thanks be to You Father, “through Jesus Christ our Lord.”