omans 7: 1-25, war of the flesh, Part 2.
Christians have the incredible hulk, the flesh, and Dr Banner, the Spirit living in the same body, waging war against each other.
Galatians 5:17, “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other so that you are not to do whatever you want”.
VV 1-6, 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? 2 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. 3 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. 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. 6 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.
Speaking to the Jews, Paul said the law has jurisprudence to them only when they were alive but not when they were dead. A woman is bound by the law of marriage as long as husband is alive, but if her husband is dead she is freed from that law. A Jew who had died to himself and born again in Christ is set free from the Mosaic law and is free to be married to Christ. The born again believer in Christ bears the fruit of God. The un-regenerated person in sin bears the fruit of death. Having died to the law, we are to walk and live in the Spirit.
VV 7-11, 7 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.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. 9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. 10 And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.
Is the law sinful?
Certainly not! If there is no law, we will not know what sin is. The law is a mirror that reflect our sin. The law is a school master who disciplines the students. The law cannot save us. The law revealed that we are sinners in need of a Saviour.
Galatians 3:24, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith”.
Paul quoted the 10th commandment, “you shall not covet’’.
VV 12-20, 12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. 13 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. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 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. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
Has the law, which is holy, just, and good, become death to me?
Certainly not! Sin produced death through the law so that sin might become more sinful. Paul said the law is spiritual but he is sinful. Paul tried to do what was good but could not do it because of his sinful nature. What he wanted to do, he did not do. What he did not want to do, he ended up doing.
2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness”.
VV 21-25, 21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 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. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 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.
Paul delights in the law of God in his spirit-man to do good but was defeated by the law of sin to do bad. Out of desperation he cried out that he was wretched man! He acknowledged his sin and cried out to Jesus Christ to rescue him from sin. He found victory over the war of the flesh by confessing his sin and surrendering his struggle to Christ. Jesus Christ fulfilled the law for us by living a perfect and sinless life.
Romans 8:1, ‘’Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’’.
Romans 8:3-4, “For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did; sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit’’.
Galatians 5:16, “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh’.
Heavenly Father, thank You that there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ. Thank You that we can have victory over sin by acknowledging and confessing our sin and rendering our struggle to You. Thank You for defeating sin and condemning sin in the flesh, in Jesus’ name, Amen.