Released from the Law, Bound to Christ – Romans 7:13-25
13 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.
The Inner Conflict
14 For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. 15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17 But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 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. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.
21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, 23 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. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
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.
What does the Passage Say?
Paul is continuing to make his case to explain the Sanctifying Grace.
V. 13 Pual is now saying why we need the Law after we set our focus on God. He says that the law was used by sin to separate us more from God, by saying “Sin simply did what sin is so famous for doing: using the good as a cover to tempt me to do what would finally destroy me. By hiding within God’s good commandment, sin did far more mischief than it could ever have accomplished on it own” (v. 13 The Message). Therefore, he is saying that the Law is good.
V. 14- 20 But this leads us to one of the most confusing verses of the Bible. The following describes the inner battle of Paul, of how he strives to live holy, according to the law, but sees him bounded by the sin. His struggle represents our own struggle, as we walk this journey. “What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise” (v. 15 The Message).
V. 21-25 Paul’s inner struggle leads him to understand that there is more than the law to help us get out of the rut. This becomes a transition to why we need the grace poured out by Jesus and Sanctifying grace, through the spirit, for a complete transformation.
“The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different” (v. 25 The Message).
What does this mean to us?
The struggle Paul is going through is the same struggle we have, at least, I do.
We know that we want to live a life for God. We know that living a spiritual life is important. And we know that living a sinful life – doing what I want to do instead of following God’s will – will ‘finally destroy us. This destruction is not only crisis in life but includes the disconnection with God and ultimately destruction of our soul.
That is why we need Jesus. We need the Grace to confirm our identity in Christ; believing that we are a child of God. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to reign in our lives. We need to realize that we need you, Lord.
Lord, we need you, Lord. As I humble myself, in the midst of the chaos of life, may you enter in my life and reign in me. In Christ Name, Amen.
What are your thoughts?
Click to subscribe to our Daily Devotion.
You will receive a devotion in your inbox every morning.