August 10, 2010
Romans 7: Law of Mind vs. Law of Sin
Paul refers to the "flesh" in two different ways in Romans 7.
(1) "While we were in the flesh" meaning past tense or the old self before conversion. The part that was crucified in Christ.
(2) "I am of the flesh" or "my flesh" meaning present tense or the new self after conversion. Something that he still contends with on a daily basis.
He repetitively contrasts the law of his mind with the law of sin which was at work in his flesh.
The Conflict of Two Natures
(v14a) For we know that the Law is spiritual,
(v14b) But I am of flesh
(v14c) sold into bondage to sin.
(v15a) For what I am doing, I do not understand
(v15b) for I am not practicing what I would like to do
(v16a) But if I do the very thing I do not want to do
(v15c) I am doing the very things I hate;(v16a) But if I do the very thing I do not want to do
(v16b) I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good
(v17a) So now, no longer am I the one doing it,
(v17b) but sin which dwells in me [is doing these things].
(v18b) The wishing (to do good) is present in me
(v18b) The doing of the good (is not)
(v19a) I wish to do good
(v19a) I do not do the good I wish; (v20a) I am doing the very thing I wish not to do
(20b) I am not doing what I am doing
(20b) Sin which dwells in me is doing what I wish not to do
(v21) I am the one who wishes to do good
(v21) Evil is present in me
(v22) I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man
(v23a) There is a law in the members of my body waging war against the law of my mind
(v23) The law of my mind (opposite of the law of sin)
(v23b) That different law makes me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members; (v24a) I am a wretched man (v24b) I am a prisoner of the body of this death
(v25) With my mind [I] am serving the law of God
(v25b) With my flesh, [I serve] the law of sin
Bottom line? It is a struggle and we will all go through it to a greater or lesser extent in our lives depending on how close our walk is with God. To find true victory over this formidable combatant that resides within our own bodies we must draw on Jesus Christ fully and wholly/holy.
Authored By: Andy Pierson