Romans Seven

Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only during that person’s lifetime? 

Thus a married woman is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies, she is discharged from the law concerning the husband. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive.

But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man, she is not an adulteress.

In the same way, my friends, you have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God. While we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we are slaves not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.

What then should we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet, if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, ‘You shall not covet.’ But sin, seizing an opportunity in the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. Apart from the law sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died, and the very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity in the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good.

Did what is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, working death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.

For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

7:25 So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin. 

8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 7:1-8:17)


Please read Romans 7! In fact reading all of this, Romans--the greatest of Paul's letters--would not hurt you a bit. The following notes will hopefully expand your appreciation of the imagery in this chapter.

The married woman in verse two is every one of us, whether we are male, female, single, or...

When the word "woman" is used in the Bible--with no name attached--it's almost always a symbol for collective humanity. For example: "He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast (leaven) that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.’" (Matthew 13:33).

I was once married to sin, I was "dead in trespasses and sins," and had no choice but to be faithful to my old identity in Adam. If I tried to be godly, the Law called me to account. Without Christ I was a hypocrite whenever I pretended to be a godly person. I was "married to sin." In this image, that old husband died, setting me free. He was Christ made to be sin for me.

Married women are not to envy another man who is not like that first husband. They are only free if the "old man" dies. Then she is free to marry the right man: Christ raised from the dead.

Please think through these images carefully--many Christians get this wrong. Ray Stedman's notes below should help.

An old argument, "Does a Christian have one nature or two?," is easily resolved if we think of the oneness of man and wife in marriage. The deep meaning of the marriage is carried by the woman. There are only possible states we can exist in: we are "in Adam" or we are "in Christ!" Originally married to sin, we are now in married to Christ. Spiritually adultery happens whenever we stop obeying Jesus and go whoring after other gods. Please note this applies to both males and females.

The representative woman in Romans 7 never could live up to the demands of the Law while her first husband was alive. Now that she serves her new husband--because he is worthy--she is "dead to the Law through the body of Christ." She is the same woman before and after.

There is nothing wrong with you as a unique person created in the image of God. "Woman" remember is here a symbol of the ordinary believer. Married to sin, we behaved badly. Married to Jesus is another story. Don't fake being a Christian if you are whoring after other gods, as Israel did --stop! You may fool yourself, but we can't fool God, and many others with good radars see right through our hypocrisy.

The following links are about our being created in the image and likeness of God. I hope you'll discover the hidden depths of Romans 7! For example in the Analytic Psychology of C. G. Jung, he talks a lot about symbolic meaning of marriage: "the false coinunctio" and the "true coinunctio". He does not mean an external marriage but individual wholeness. It's internal marriage -- "a union of opposites"--inner healing. Likewise there is hidden meaning in the Eastern philosophy of the Tao Te Ching, as C. S. Lewis discovered. God's goal for every Christian is wholeness, ("holiness").

See links below.

It Takes Three to Tango

Yin, Yang, the Tao and Wholeness

Love and Relationships: The Song of Solomon

The Uniqueness of Creation Week

Made in the Image of God

The Ruin of Creation

Sexuality and Wholeness Papers

The Ego Papers

I Am who I Am

Ray Stedman on Romans 7

Free to Win or Lose (7:1-6), The Continuing Struggle (7:7-25), No Condemnation (7:25-8:4)

Comments on Romans 7

Romans 7:1-6, 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.

Every Christian believer rejoices in what he reads in the Scriptures about our identification with Christ and about these tremendous terms -- being freed from sin, dead to sin, and alive unto God, alive to righteousness, wholeness, power. Yet our experience tells us that we do not often achieve this. We are aware that we all have a problem with sin in our lives. We still like it, and we still do it. We experience what Paul says we will experience (enslavement, death, darkness, unhappiness, and shame) as a result of our sin.

This is true in all Christendom today. Churches everywhere are filled with Christians who are struggling with this. What's wrong? Basically, it is the same problem that Paul describes in Romans 7: We still haven't learned how to handle the Law. We still want regulations and detailed instructions to follow so we can be freed from our problems. Yet, when we try, even with the best of intentions, it still doesn't work. That is what Paul is dealing with in this chapter In the illustration [verses 1-6] the woman clearly is a picture of the believer -- you and me.

This woman had a husband, her first husband. According to some commentators, that first husband was the Law of Moses. But when you start with that understanding of this illustration, you are bound to end up with hopeless confusion. In fact, many of the commentators go astray even before this. They fail to note to whom this whole passage is addressed, although Paul carefully underlines it for us. Notice the first verse again: "Do you not know, brothers -- for I am speaking to men who know the law -- " In other words, if you are going to understand this paragraph, you must know something about the Law -- you must know its functions, its purpose, and its effects. If you don't know or understand the Law, you are going to end up confused with this paragraph. As Paul says, "I realize that the ones to whom I am writing here are men who understand the Law."

The woman is you and me. She has two husbands, one following the other. Now, the point of this little story is not that the woman has two husbands. Although that is important, it is not the major point. What Paul is getting at here is what the death of the first husband does to the woman's relationship to the Law -- not what it does directly to the woman herself, but what it does to her tie to the Law. Notice that Verse 2 tells us the place of the Law in this story? Do you notice three factors here? First, there is the Law; second, there is a woman; and third, there is the husband. None of those are the same thing, are they? Therefore, the husband cannot be the Law. Many commentators say this woman (us) is married to the Law, and they have missed the point of this illustration. It is not that. It is the Law that binds the woman and her husband together. The Law is outside, saying "You two must stay together because you are married." The Law is not the husband, that is clear.

If the first husband dies, Paul says, the woman is released from the Law. Not only is she released from her husband, but she also is released from the Law. If her husband dies, the Law can say nothing to her as to where she can go, and what she can do, and who she can be with. She is released from the Law. The death of the husband makes the woman dead to Law. Now, who is this first husband? According to the context, it is very clear. We have been looking at it all along. The first husband is Adam, this old life into which we were born. We were linked to it, married to it, and couldn't get away from it. Like a woman married to an old, cruel, mean husband, there is not much she can do about it. While she is married she is tied to that husband--Now, that is plain, isn't it? The woman cannot have two husbands at once. She cannot have a second husband while she is married to the first. She is stuck with #1, and she has to share his lifestyle. As we have already seen, that lifestyle is one of bondage and corruption and shame and death. That is why we who were born into Adam have to share the lifestyle of fallen Adam. It fits perfectly, doesn't it?

Now, if this woman, while she is married to her first husband, tries to live with another -- for this lifestyle is sickening to her -- she will be called an adulteress. Who calls her that? The Law does. The Law says, "You are a hypocrite." That, you see, is the spiritual counterpart of the physical term "adulteress." The Law condemns her, it points out her failure, it calls her an adulteress. It is only when the first husband dies that she is free from that condemnation of the Law and thus can marry again. When she does, the Law is absolutely silent; it has nothing to say to her at all. Now look at Verse 4.

What a fantastic verse! Here is the great, marvelous declaration of the gospel of our Lord Jesus. Notice how Paul draws the parallel: "So ... you also." We fit right into this. The key word here is "you died to the law through the body of Christ," and the body of Christ refers to the death of the Lord Jesus on the cross. He died in a body. He came to take a body, that he might die. Paul is referring to what the Scriptures say in many places -- that on the cross the Lord Jesus was made sin for us. He took our place, as sinful humanity, on the cross. I don't know how, but he did. In other words: He became that first husband. Do you see that? It is very important. On the cross, he became that first husband, that Adamic nature to which we were married. And when he became that, he died. And when he died, we were freed from the Law.

The Law has nothing to say to us anymore. We are free to be married to another. Who is this? It is Christ risen. Our first husband is Christ crucified; our second husband is Christ risen from the dead. We now share his name. We share his power. We share his experiences. We share his position, his glory, his hope, his dreams -- all that he is, we now share! We are married to Christ, risen from the dead. The Law, therefore, has nothing to say to us. Isn't that clear? (Verses 5 and 6). You see, while we were married to sin, the old Adamic principle, we often tried to act as though we were married to someone else, didn't we? We tried to act righteous and loving and kind. Many of us did. We really tried to behave ourselves, but we found we couldn't. The Law refused to go along with us. The Law judged us. It said. "You are really not that way, you are just acting like that. You are pretending." The Law called us hypocrites, and it was right. That is what we were. We were religious hypocrites, many of us, attempting to give the impression that we were OK, and right, and loving, and moral, and kind, and good, when we weren't at all. Inside, all our attitudes were selfish and self-centered and loveless; but we were pretending. And the Law saw through it and named us what we were: hypocrites.

But, according to this, we died to the Law through the death of our first husband. When Jesus was crucified, that first husband died. And now we are free from the condemnation of the Law. We are married to another, Christ risen from the dead. So now, when we seek to be righteous and to do righteous things and to be loving and kind, we are no longer hypocrites. This is the point Paul wants to make. We are doing what we really are. We are tied to Jesus. His life is ours and we are acting according to our true nature.

We are married to a new husband. And because we share his life and power, we are not only able to be what he is, but we are also free from any condemnation or failure in our struggle along the way. We don't always act right, but the Law doesn't condemn us. The Law's purpose was to condemn, and we can't be condemned anymore because we are not hypocrites. We are doing what we were designed to do. We have a new identity. No longer bound to our failures, we can admit them and forget them. We don't have to have them clinging to us; we no longer have to believe that God is unhappy with us because we don't always live exactly right. He has made provision for this. It is not a fraud when we go back to God again and again and accept from his hand his forgiveness.

Therefore, it is not law that straightens us out, it is love. We no longer need the Law to straighten us out, but we have love to do so. We are free to fail and still be loved. And we are also free to win in the new power given to us. The question Paul asks is, "Is the Law worthless, then, and contemptible?" His answer, of course, is, "No!" Some Christians talk that way about the Law, but Paul never does. There is a place for it, and it is valuable in a certain way, but it can do nothing to deliver us from evil. Only our relationship to love can do that.

Romans 7:7. 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. 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. 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.

In Verses 7-11, the apostle begins to describe his own experience in relationship to the Law--This is Paul's experience. It is clear that he is describing something that he himself went through. But, also, Paul employs the past tense throughout this passage, which suggests that he is describing his experience before he became a Christian. This probably happened not long before he became a Christian, but Paul is describing something that is common to the experience of many of us today. No doubt many of us have had exactly the same experience that the Apostle Paul describes. The Law says, "Thou shalt not covet, commit adultery, murder, steal ..." -- whatever it may be. And yet the crowd around them says, "Let's do it -- it's fun!" For the first time, [we] begin to feel the prohibition of the Law. Then a strange phenomenon happens. Something about that situation arouses within [us] a strong desire to do the things that are prohibited. Maybe [we] are able to resist them for awhile, but, nevertheless, they find themselves pressured, pushed by something within them that wants very badly to do these things.

Now, that is what Paul discovered. It was the tenth commandment, "Thou shalt not covet" (Exodus 20:17a), that got to him. He thought he had been keeping all the Law because he had not done some of the external things prohibited in the other commandments. But this one commandment talks about how you feel inside, your desires, you imagination, your ambitions. It says, "Thou shalt not desire what another has." Paul found himself awakened to this commandment and discovered that he was coveting, no matter where he turned. When the Law came, he found himself aroused by it and brought under its power. It precipitated an orgy of desire. Many of us have felt this same way.

Now, that is something like what Paul is describing here. Sin lies silent within us. We do not even know it is there. We think we have got hold of life in such a way that we can handle it without difficulty. We are self-confident because we have never really been exposed to the situation that puts pressure upon us -- we never have to make a decision against the pressure on the basis of the commandment of the Law "Thou shalt not... " But when that happens, we suddenly discover all kinds of desires are awakened within us. We find ourselves filled with attitudes that almost shock us -- unloving, bitter, resentful thoughts, murderous attitudes -- we would like to get hold of somebody and kill him, if we could. Lustful feelings that we never dreamed were there surface and we find that we would love to indulge in them if only we had the opportunity. We find ourselves awakened to these desires. As the great engine surges into life at the touch of the accelerator, so this powerful, idling beast within us called sin springs into life as the Law comes home to us. We discover something that we never knew was there before. Now, is this the Law's fault? No, Paul says, it is not the Law's fault. He goes on in Verses 12-13.

That is what the Law is for. It is to expose the fact that this evil force is in every one of us, waiting only for the right circumstance in order to spring into being, overpower our will, and carry us into things we never dreamed we would do. Many of us experience this. According to this passage, the great power of sin is that it deceives us. We think we have got life under control -- and we are fooled. All sin is waiting for is the right occasion when, like a powerful, idling engine, it roars into life and takes over at the touch of the accelerator and we find ourselves helplessly under its control.

The Law is designed to expose that sin, and to make us feel this way so that we begin to understand what this evil force is that we have inherited by our birth into this fallen human race. The Law shows sin to be what it is, something exceedingly powerful and dangerous, something that has greater strength than our willpower and causes us to do things that we are resolved not to do. In Verses 14-25, the same experience is described again, but this time in terms of how we feel when it happens. There is only one major difference between this section and the previous one. In this section, Paul switches to the present tense. That is significant because it means that he is now describing his experience at the time he wrote this letter to the Romans. This, then, is a description of the Law as it touches the Christian's life. It does exactly the same thing as it did before we became a Christian, only now we have it from the point of view of the Christian, the believer who is deceived by the sin that is still resident within. The key to this whole passage is Verse 14: "The law is spiritual," Paul says. "It deals with my spirit. It gets right at the very heart of my being." Fundamentally, as we have seen, human beings are spirits. The Law is spiritual, and it touches us in that area. "But I am carnal," Paul says. "I can't respond to it. I am sold as a slave to sin." Now, this always raises a problem. Compare this with Chapter 6, Verse 17, where Paul is speaking of slavery and says, "But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to in, you whole-heartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were committed. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness," (cf, Rom 6:17-18). If he could write that to the Romans, surely it was true of him as well. And yet, how could a man write that he had become in Christ a slave to righteousness, and just a few paragraphs later write, "I am carnal, sold under sin, a slave to sin"?

Many have said that Paul is all confused here. Of course, he is not confused at all. He is simply describing what happens when a Christian tries to live under the Law. When a Christian, by his dedication and willpower and determination, tries to do what is right in order to please God, he is living under the Law. And Paul is telling us what to expect when we live like that -- for we all try to live that way from time to time. Sin, you see, deceives us. It deceived Paul as an apostle, and he needed this treatment of the Law. It deceives us, and we need it too. Now Paul tells us what happens. There are two problems, basically, which he gives us in Verse 15: "I do not know what I am doing. For what I want to do I do not do..." That is problem Number 1: I want to do right -- there are things I would love to do, but I cannot do them. The second problem is: "but what I hate I do." In the verses that follow, Paul takes the second problem first, and shows us what happens in our experience. Verses 16 and 17. That is a very important statement. Paul makes it twice in this paragraph, and it is the explanation of and the answer to how we can be delivered from this condition. Let's examine this Verses 18-20 carefully.

Paul says that as a Christian, redeemed by the grace of God, there is now something within him that wants to do good, that agrees with the Law, that says that the Law is right. There is something within that says what the Law tells me to do is right, and I want to do it. But also, he says, there is something else in me that rises up and says "No!" Even though I determine not to do what is bad, I suddenly find myself in such circumstances that my determination melts away, my resolve is gone, and I end up doing what I had sworn I would not do. Have you ever felt that way? So, what has gone wrong? Paul's explanation is, "It is no longer I who do it; it is sin living in me." Isn't that strange? There is a division within our humanity indicated here. There is the "I" that wants to do what God wants, and there is the sin which dwells in "me," which is different than the "I." We must understand what this is. Human beings are complicated creatures. They are not simple organisms. We have within us a spirit, a soul, and a body. These are distinct, one from the other. What Paul is suggesting here is that the redeemed spirit never wants to do what God has prohibited. It agrees with the Law that it is good. And yet there is an alien power, a force that he calls sin, a great beast that is lying still within us until touched by the commandment of the Law. Then it springs to life, and we do what we do not want to do.

Notice that Jesus himself agrees with this. On one occasion he said, "If your right hand offends you, cut it off," {cf, Matt 5:30}. He did not mean that you should actually chop off your right hand, because that would be a violation of other texts that indicate that God made the body and made it right and it is morally neutral. What he means is that we should take drastic action because we are up against a serious problem. He indicates that there is a "me" within us that runs our members, that gives orders to our hands and our feet and our eyes and our tongue and our brain and our sexual organs, and controls them. That "me" is giving an order to do something wrong, but there is another "I" in us who is offended by this. That "I" does not like it, does not want it. And so, Jesus' words are, "Cut it off." In a moment we are going to see how that happens, what it is that cuts it off and thus enables us to handle the problem. That is the way man is made. Our will power is never enough; sin will win, and we will do the evil that we swore not to do. Now look at the other side of this problem in Verses 21-23:

So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law [another principle] at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law [or principle] of my mind [my agreement with the law of God] and making me a prisoner of the law [principle] of sin at work within my members. Here is the same problem exactly. You want to do right and determine to do right, knowing what it is and swearing to do it, only to find that under certain circumstances all that determination melts away and you do not do what is right. You do exactly what you did not want to do. So you come away angry with yourself. "What's the matter with me? Why can't I do what is right? Why do I give way when I get into this situation? Why am I so weak?" This is right where we live, isn't it? This is what we all struggle with. The cry of the heart at that moment is (Verse 24): "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?

What is this? Well, right here you arrive at where the Lord Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven," {Matt 5:3}. Blessed is the man who comes to the end of himself. Blessed is the man who has arrived at spiritual bankruptcy. Because this is the point -- the only point -- where God's help is given.

This is what we need to learn. If we think that we have got something in ourselves that we can work out our problems with, if we think that our wills are strong enough, our desires motivated enough, that we can control evil in our lives by simply determining to do so, then we have not come to the end of ourselves yet. And the Spirit of God simply folds his arms to wait and lets us go ahead and try it on that basis. And we fail, and fail miserably -- until, at last, out of our failures, we cry, "O wretched man that I am!" Sin has deceived us, and the Law, as our friend, has come in and exposed sin for what it is. When we see how wretched it makes us, then we are ready for the answer, which comes immediately (Verse 25): "Thanks be to God -- through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

Who will deliver me from this body of death? The Lord Jesus has already done it. We are to respond to the feelings of wretchedness and discouragement and failure, to which the Law has brought us because of sin in us, by reminding ourselves immediately of the facts that are true of us in Jesus Christ. Our feelings must be answered by facts.

We are no longer under the Law. That is the fact. We have arrived at a different situation; we are married to Christ, Christ risen from the dead. That means we must no longer think, "I am a poor, struggling, bewildered disciple, left alone to wrestle against these powerful urges." We must now begin to think, "No, I am a free son of God, living a normal human life. I am dead to sin, and dead to the Law, because I am married to Christ. His power is mine, right at this moment. And though I may not feel a thing, I have the power to say, "No!" and walk away and be free, in Jesus Christ."

There are teachers who teach that this passage in Romans 7 is something a Christian goes through once, then he gets out of it and moves into Romans 8 and never gets back into Romans 7 again. Nothing could be further from the truth! Even as mighty a man as Paul went through it again and again. This is a description of what every believer will go through again and again in his experience because sin has the power to deceive us and to cause us to trust in ourselves, even when we are not aware we are doing it. The Law is what will expose that evil force and drive us to this place of wretchedness that we might then, in poverty of spirit, cry out, "Lord Jesus, it is your problem; you take it." And he will do so. (Condensed from Ray Stedman)

Notes by Lambert Dolphin 

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Lambert Dolphin's Original Web Site (1995)

Lambert's Personal Testimony

Newsletters by Lambert 

Music for today 

There is a Balm in Gilead

A Glorious Church

I Sing the Mighty Power of God

Jesus, The Light of the World

Pachelbel: Canon in D

December 18, 2021.