Scripture Reading: Romans 7
One reason people get involved in external fights is because they don’t want to fight the internal one.
For that which I do I allow not: for what I would [desire, wish], that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Allow not—know not—I am following the will of another, my carnal self not my regenerated self. Consent law good—confess, say same thing as. I agree that the law is good, morally excellent, and I am wrong. Paul’s renewed mind liked the law and didn’t like his behavior, this is the result of sin still being in him even as a regenerate man.
No more I—I’ve reckoned myself to be dead to sin, this is not my regenerate self’s desire.
--sin is personified in this chapter—sin revived, sin deceived me and slew me, etc.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
My flesh—the corrupt self where there is no good, overtakes my behavior. I want to do good, but my flesh has no power on its own to do good. Present—lies beside, near, at hand. Perform—work, accomplish, achieve.
--what I will and what I do are different, my will isn’t done, so it’s not me behind it.
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
What he wants to do is not what he does, to the extent that the renewed man chalks it up to another impulse within him. Dwelleth—reside, occupy, remain.
I find then a [the] law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.22 For I delight in the law of God after 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.
Corrupt nature still has power over him. Present—near at hand, close by. Delight—rejoice in, not just consent to it, but take pleasure in it. Inward—rational, moral man the “mind” elsewhere. Unregenerate man would never feel this way about God’s law!
Another—different law. One that governs his flesh. Warring against—taking the field against, attacking, destroying. Bringing into captivity—forcibly seized and reluctantly dragged to his enemy’s camp, a prisoner of war.
Reflexive sin verses intelligent morality.
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this 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.
Wretched—exhausted, troubled, afflicted. Not a new convert, new to the fight, but a long drawn out battled veteran. Deliver—rescue, rush to draw out of trouble, has sense of urgency and force.
Body of this death—release from physical life is the answer—verse 1—law has dominion over a man as long as he lives. Law delights the inner man and stirs up sin in the outer man.
God—the source of help. Jesus Christ--the channel of help. My mind—rejoices in and listens to God’s will, but my body reverts to natural, Adam nature sin behavior.
I myself—the true me, not sin in me, not my Adam self.
Pointing to sanctification, there is a measure of deliverance you can have now through
The Spirit--the big point of Chapter 8! We are given help and assistance through the Spirit, what we could never find in the flesh.
At the same time, as long as we are in this body, there will be a struggle and times of failure, not a fatalistic flippancy, but failure that drives us to Christ and His Spirit.