ROMANS CHAPTER 7

OBSERVATION STAGE

The purpose of the observation stage is to maintain focus on the text at hand within the normative rules of language, context and logic which limits the observer to the content offered by the book of Romans. This will serve to avoid going on unnecessary tangents elsewhere; and more importantly, it will provide the framework for a proper and objective comparison with passages located elsewhere in Scripture.

Remember that something elsewhere may be true, but in the text at hand it may not be in view.

You will notice that verse 7:1 refers to a point made in chapter six, so we will begin there and move into chapter 7:

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Immediately below is an excerpt that reviews this context in chapter 6 or

Skip to verse 7:1

******** REVIEW OF LAST SECTION OF CHAPTER 6 *****

BELIEVERS ARE MOTIVATED TO OFFER THE PARTS OF THEIR BODIES TO HOLINESS IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THEY HAVE THE GIFT OF GOD OF ETERNAL LIFE AND HAVE BEEN SET FREE FROM ENSLAVEMENT TO THEIR SIN NATURES WHICH LEADS TO ETERNAL DEATH

(v. 6:22) "But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. (v. 6:23) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." =

Believers are motivated to offer the parts of their bodies to holiness, (v. 6:19c), in view of the fact that they have 'been set free from sin', i.e.., set free from enslavement to their sin natures; and have 'become slaves to God'. The result of this change in position is stipulated as follows: 'and the result is eternal life', (v. 6:22). All of this is corroborated by the fact that 'the wages of sin is death' and the 'gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord', (v. 6:23).

THE WAGES OF SIN IS LOSS OF FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD, PHYSICAL AND ETERNAL DEATH BUT SINCE GOD'S GRACE THROUGH A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE CHRIST JESUS ALONE COVERS THOSE SINS, THE BELIEVER IS SECURE IN HIS ETERNAL LIFE BECAUSE IT IS A GIFT RECEIVED - FREE WITHOUT STRINGS ATTACHED

(v. 6:23) "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." =

Death is in view here in opposition to eternal life. Hence death in this verse translates primarily to eternal death - eternal separation from God in the Lake of Fire.

The wages of sin is loss of fellowship with God, physical and eternal death. But since God's grace through Christ Jesus covers those sins of the believer, then this does not to say that the believer who sins will earn the wages of eternal death in the Lake of Fire. On the other hand, sin in the believer's daily experience leads to loss of fellowshp with God and can and often does lead to early physical death. But these kinds of death are not in view in 6:23a because the kind of death here is juxtaposed to eternal life in 6:23b.

Recall 5:20-21 which has believers in view when it says "where sin increased, God's grace [to cover those sins of the believer] increased all the more, so that.... grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." So the believer is secure in his eternal life even if his sins increase because "where sin abounded" even in the believer, God's "grace abounded much more" so that "grace might reign" in the believer's life "through righteousness to eternal life" because it is "through Jesus Christ our Lord." So eternal life is permanently secured "through Jesus Christ our Lord", (cf. 6:23b). Eternal life is not therefore maintained, lost or verified as a result of the believer's own actions even when they fall short of the glory of God:

1) [Compare Ro 5:20-21]:

(v. 5:20 NKJV) "Moreover ... law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more

(v. 5:21 NKJV) so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

ETERNAL LIFE IS THE FREE GIFT OF GOD - HENCE IT IS NOT DEPENDENT UPON WHAT THE BELIEVER DOES OR DOES NOT DO AT ANY TIME

(v. 6:23) "But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." =

Eternal life is a gift, it is free by definition - no strings attached. That is what the word 'gift' means. And it is through Christ Jesus our Lord alone and thus not dependent upon what the believer does or does not do - even when he falls short of the glory of God.

************ END OF REVIEW *************

I) [Ro 7:1]:

(v. 7:1 NIV) "Do you not know, brothers - for I am speaking to men who know law - that the Law has authority over a man only as long as he lives?"

"E agnoeite ................adelphoi .ginOskousin gar nomon .lalO .....hoti ho ..nomos

"Or are you ignorant, brothers, to knowing ...for .law ......I speak that the law

kurieuei ...tou anthrOpou eph ..hoson .......chronon zE?

rules over the man ...........over as long as .time ......he may live?

A) BELIEVERS BY DEFINITION KNOW THE PRINCIPLES OF LAW. I.E., GODLY RULES GOVERNING HUMAN BEHAVIOR IN ORDER TO BE JUSTIFIED UNTO ETERNAL LIFE. SINCE BELIEVERS HAVE DIED WITH CHRIST IN ORDER TO BE JUSTIFIED SINCE THESE PRINCIPLES ARE EFFECTIVE ONLY ON THE LIVING, THEN BELIEVERS ARE NOT OBLIGATED UNDER ANY MORAL RULES IN ORDER TO BE JUSTIFIED TO RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE - BUT UNTO TEMPORAL DISCIPLINE AND BLESSINGS: YES!

(v. 6:4 NIV) "We [believers] were therefore buried with Him through baptism [i.e., by being identified with, by being placed] into [Christ's] death in order that, just as Christ was raised [up] from the dead through the glory [meaning His essence - especially His omnipotence] of the Father, even so we [believers] also should walk in newness of life. (v. 6:14 NIV) For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. (v. 7:1 NIV) Do you not know, brothers - for I am speaking to men who know ... law - that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives?"

Chapter 7 begins with an address to "adelphoi" meaning brothers, in this case referring to Christian brothers, i.e., believers. It then refers to a more specific quality of those whom author Paul is addressing: namely, men (= individuals) who are Christian brothers who "ginOskousin gar nomon lalO" = "for I am speaking to men who know law", literally, "to knowing for law I speak." Since the definite article is not present with the word "nomon" rendered "law", this then connotes believers who know principes behind statues of law governing human behavior of which the Law of Moses is the most godly example. So the verse is speaking to brethren - believers who know the principles behind law by definition, i.e., rules governing human behavior of which the Mosaic Law is the prime example which author Paul specifically refers to immediately afterward. One might logically conclude that in order to become a believer one must know law, i.e., principles of law which govern human behavior to the extent that one recognizes ones accountability before God for ones lifestyle; and then discovering that one falls short of the righteousness of God represented in the Law, one expresses faith in Christ unto justification unto eternal life, (cf. Ro 3:21-24). Hence all believers are in view in this passage; and they are being reminded of their knowledge of principles of godly law by author, Paul.

The verse goes on to say that law rules over an individual only as long as he is alive to it. This goes for any laws governing human behavior, for after an individual dies, what law can be enforced on the dead? Paul is making a point about the position of the believer being dead to law relative to eternal life, (but not relative to temporal discipline and blessings). It has already been stipulated that the believer died with Jesus Christ relative to being obligated under law, i.e., any rules governing human behavior to receive eternal life, (Ro 6:4, 14). Law is not in effect once a believer is no longer alive to it relative to the reception of eternal life but not relative to temporal discipline and blessings.

II) [Ro 7:2-4]:

(v. 7:2 NIV) "For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage.

(v. 7:3 NIV) So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.

(v. 7:4 NIV) So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God."

A) LAWS GOVERNING HUMAN BEHAVIOR ARE ONLY ENFORCEABLE ON THE LIVING, NOT THE DEAD: IN THE SAME WAY THAT A WIFE IS NOT GOVERNED BY LAWS OF MARRIAGE ONCE HER HUSBAND DIES SO AN INDIVIDUAL IS NOT GOVERNED BY THE MOSAIC LAW OR ANY STATUTES OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR IN ORDER TO SECURE ETERNAL LIFE ONCE HE HAS BECOME A BELIEVER BECAUSE HE HAS DIED TO THE LAW IN THAT RESPECT - BUT NOT RELATIVE TO TEMPORAL DISCIPLINE AND BLESSINGS

(v. 7:1 NIV) "Do you not know, brothers - for I am speaking to men who know ... law - that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives? (v. 7:2 NIV) For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. (v. 7:3 NIV) So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man. (v. 7:4 NIV) So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God." =

Laws governing human behavior are only enforceable on the living, not the dead: in the same way that a wife is not governed by laws of marriage once her husband dies so an individual is not governed by the Mosaic Law or any statutes of human behavior in order to secure eternal life once he has become a believer because he has died to the law in that respect.

A comparative example is given of the principle that laws governing human behavior are only enforceable on the living, not the dead. For example, a woman is stipulated as not governed by the laws of marriage to her husband if he has died. But if she marries another while he is alive she is an adulteress. On the other hand, if her husband dies, she is released from being under that law and is not an adulteress should she marry another man. Evidently, this is an example from the Mosaic Law. So in the same way that the wife is freed from the Law should her husband die, the passage goes on to say, that brothers, i.e., fellow believers in Jesus Christ, also died to laws governing human behavior "through the body of Christ", (v. 7:4). So it can be concluded that when an individual becomes a believer he dies to the Law, i.e., he is no longer under the requirements of the Mosaic Law or any law in order to secure eternal life. Note that the Mosaic Law is the epitome of all laws governing human behavior. So for that matter the believer is no longer under any laws in order to secure eternal life. This is not to say that one is not under any laws for other purposes such as temporal discipline or blessings. And this new position of being dead to law "through the body of Christ" implies that what Jesus Christ did with His body was to take upon Himself mankind's obligation to be faithful to law or suffer the eternal consequences, by paying the penalty for the sins of the whole world.

B) IT CANNOT BE CONCLUDED THAT A WIFE CANNOT DIVORCE AND REMARRY

(v. 7:2 NIV) "For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. (v. 7:3 NIV) So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.' =

Note that this passage is not to be viewed as conclusive on the issue of the permissibility of divorce and remarriage. Just because the passage stipulates that a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive does not exclude those circumstances wherein a woman by dint of permissible divorce wherein a spouse has destroyed the marriage before God through adultery or abandonment and is no longer married to her husband and may remarry. The context of this passage does not specifically address that issue. So it cannot be absolutely stipulated here that a wife can never divorce and remarry and must remain married to her husband as long as he is alive no matter what. Other passages cover this subject .

C) ONCE ONE IS A BELIEVER, ONE HAS DIED TO LAW AND IS NOT OBLIGATED TO KEEP ANY LAWS GOVERNING HUMAN BEHAVIOR IN ORDER TO RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE; INSTEAD ONE IS UNDER GOD'S GRACE WHICH PROVIDES CONTINUAL AND COMPLETE FORGIVENESS AND JUSTIFICATION UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

(v. 5:20 NKJV) "Moreover [the] law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. (v. 5:21 NKJV) so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (v. 6:14) For sin shall not be your master because you are not under law, [any rules of human conduct relative to salvation] but under [God's sovereign rule of] grace... (v. 7:4 NIV) So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God." =

The sin nature is no longer absolute master of the individual when be becomes a believer.

(v. 6:14c) "not under law" =

................."ou ..gar este .......hupo ..nomon" =

................."not .for .you are .under .law"

Notice there is no definite article accompanying the Greek word "nomon" rendered "law" in verse 6:14c. "Nomon" signifies principles of law in general, i.e., any set of rules to live by relative to God's standard of righteousness. This is corroborated by the phrase "So, my brothers, you also died to the law" in verse 7:4a. Being dead to the law means that the Law is inactive and no longer enforceable on one. Since the Mosaic Law is the epitome of all laws governing human behavior, then one has died to all such laws.

So the believer is no longer under law, any set of rules to live by, in order to be justified unto eternal life. As a matter of fact, any godly rules one must live by condemn the individual because of his incapacity to keep them before God. For law came so that trespasses might abound in all men, thus law condemns men all the more because with law in place men sin all the more, (5:20).

The implication here is that while an individual is under law, sin becomes one's master all the more. This leads to the conclusion that law, i.e., a set of rules to live by, causes an individual under such law to commit acts of sin all the more and in such a manner that law and sin control that individual, (cf. Ro 5:20-21). Hence we are led to understand that within the individual is a nature which compels him to sin all the more when under law. The guilt of constantly breaking such law and the rebellious motivation of the sin nature keeps the individual enslaved to sin and under God's condemnation, (Ro 4:13-15 ).

1) [Compare Ro 5:20]:

"The Law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more."

Notice that individuals are condemned by the sin nature all the more whenever any law is added because where law is added, the sin nature causes men to trespass, thus condemning them all the more before God because of their increased acts of sin.

On the other hand, as a believer, the individual is under God's sovereign rule of grace: God's continual and complete forgiveness, justification and free covering of the penalty for all of his sins, past, present and future. So where "sin increased, grace increased all the more" to cover those sins to maintain the righteous standing of the believer before God for all eternity. Thus the believer is no longer condemned under the Mosaic Law, or any law; nor is he permanently enslaved to the sin nature which produced that condemnation.

II cont.) [Ro 7:2-4 cont.]:

(v. 7:2 NIV) "For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage.

(v. 7:3 NIV) So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.

(v. 7:4 NIV) So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God."

D) BELIEVERS DIED TO, I.E., WERE RELEASED FROM THE OBLIGATION OF KEEPING THE RIGHTEOUS STATUTES OF LAW INCLUDING THE MOSAIC LAW BEFORE GOD IN ORDER TO SECURE ETERNAL LIFE. THIS WAS ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF - NOT THE CHURCH

(v. 3:21) "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (v. 3:22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, (v. 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (v. 3:24) and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.... (v. 7:4 NIV) "So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God." =

The phrases "A righteousness from God apart from law," (Ro 3:21), and "You also died to the Law through the body of Christ," (Ro 7:4), refer to dying to, i.e., being released from the obligation of keeping the righteous statutes of law including the Mosaic Law before God in order to secure God's righteousness unto eternal life. Note that this is not to say that an individual is not obligated to keep laws for other purposes. This death is a separation from being obligated under law including the Mosaic Law. This is stipulated as being accomplished "through the body of Christ," His physical body.

The phrase "through the body of Christ" refers to the physical body of Jesus Christ relative to His atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world which comprises His provision of redemption for all mankind unto eternal life, (Ro 3:21-24 ) It does not refer in the context of this passage to the church, i.e., the group of believers who are also referred to as the 'body of Christ' elsewhere in Scripture, but not here in Romans chapter 7. This is true for a number of reasons: 1) The group of believers who comprise the body of Christ, the church are NOT heretofore, (chapters 1-7) referred to as the body of Christ. But the physical body of Christ it is implied is, (Ro 3:21-24). 2) The church, i.e., the body of believers is never referred to in Scripture as being the source for the justification of an individual. Only God is that source through His Son, not the church. This justification occurs when an individual believes in what Jesus Christ did when He paid for the sins of the whole world through His redemptive sacrifice on the cross, (Ro 3:21-24), apart from anything the church does. (Ro 3:21-24 ).

1) [Compare Ro 3:21-24]:

(v. 3:21) "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.

(v. 3:22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,

(v. 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

(v. 3:24) and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

Notice the text and explanation of verses 23 and 24 "for all [= all individuals] have sinned, (3:23a); and [all individuals] fall short of the glory of God, (3:23b); and [the same "all" individuals] are justified freely [declared righteous and totally forgiven of all sins] by His [God's] grace through the redemption [payment for the sins of the whole world] that came by Christ Jesus" (3:24) [through faith], (3:22).

To be justified is to be declared to have a righteousness from God, (vv. 3:21-24). When one is justified, one is thereby no longer held accountable under law for any sins relative to the reception of eternal life. One is totally forgiven of all sins one will ever commit relative to eternal life. Hence the words "freely" and "by His grace" tell the tale of salvation unto eternal life being free, no strings attached, by God's grace = unmerited favor, for all mankind as each individual chooses to express a moment of faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, (v. 3:22).

E) ONCE ONE BECOMES A BELIEVER, I.E., IS JUSTIFIED UNTO ETERNAL LIFE VIA A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE, ONE BELONGS TO JESUS CHRIST WHO WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD - SECURE FOREVER UNTO ETERNAL LIFE FROM ETERNAL CONDEMNATION; AND ONE HAS BECOME A SLAVE TO GOD - TO HIS SOVEREIGN RULE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS - ALLOWING FOR TEMPORAL DISCIPLINE AND BLESSINGS

(v. 6:1) "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? (v. 6:2) Far be the thought! Such ones as we, - who died to sin! How shall we any longer be living in it? (v. 6:6) Knowing this that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin - (v. 6:14) For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. (v. 6:17) But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted (v. 6:18) You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. (v. 6:19) I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. (v. 6:20) When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. (v. 6:22) But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. (v. 7:4 NIV) So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God." =

hOste ...adelphoi .mou .kai .humeis ethanatOthEte ..tO ......nomO .dia .tou sOmatos

So that, .brothers my, ..also you ......were made dead to the law .....by ..the .body

tou ....christou eis to ..genesthai ..................humas ..........heterO ......tO ......ek

of the Christ, ...for the to be [belong]............you [belong] to Another, to the .from among

nekrOn .egerthenti ...............hina karpophorEsOmen ...........tO theO"

dead ......having been raised .that we should bring forth fruit ......to God"

Once one becomes a " brother", i.e., a believer, one is justified unto eternal life via a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, (Ro 3:21-24), one belongs to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead, Jesus Christ, (Ro 7:4), secure forever unto eternal life from eternal condemnation as a result. Note that only believers come to belong to Jesus Christ. So true believers are in view in this passage. Some versions render "eis to genesthai humas heterO" in v. 7:4 as "to be married to Another" which is evidently meant to continue the context, developed earlier in Ro 7:1-3, of an example of a woman married to a man being subject to the law of marriage. However the Greek verb "genesthai" is the verb 'to become' not 'to marry'. A more literal translation of "eis to genesthai humas heterO:""for = in order to become of another leads to a better rendering as the NIV has it: "that you might belong to Another." This involves the concept of belonging to someone beyond that of marriage. Heretofore belonging to Another as a slave to God and as a slave to His righteousness instead of a slave to sin has been portrayed of the individual when he becomes a believer, (Ro 6:6, 14, 17-20). These passages indicate that a non-believer is a slave to sin. But once he becomes a believer, he dies to (is separated from obeying) law including the Mosaic Law relative to the reception of eternal life through the body of Christ, (through what He did for mankind on the cross). He belongs to Jesus Christ, secure forever unto eternal life from eternal condemnation. He becomes a slave to God - to His sovereign and righteous rule, (Ro 6:20-22), which allows for godly discipline and blessings. Author Paul mentions our Lord's resurrection from the dead in Ro 1:1-4, 4:24-25; 6:4, 9 so that the reference in 7:4 to this can be tied to the eternal body of Jesus Christ, to Whom the believer belongs forever because Jesus Christ is forever.

1) [Compare Ro 1:1-4; 4:24-25; 6:4, 9; 7:4]:

(v. 1:1) "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God--

(v. 1:2) the gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures

(v. 1:3) regarding His Son, Who as to His human nature was a descendant of David,

(v. 1:4) and Who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord."

(v. 4:24 NAS) but for our sake also, to whom it will be reckoned, as those who believe in Him Who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,

(v. 4:25 NAS) He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.

(v. 6:4) We were therefore buried with Him through baptism [i.e., by being identified with, by being placed] into [Christ's] death in order that, just as Christ was raised [up] from the dead through the glory [meaning His essence - especially His omnipotence] of the Father, even so we [believers] also should walk in newness of life.

(v. 6:5) For if [since] we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.

(v. 6:9 NIV) For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him.

(v. 7:4 NIV) So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God."

Notice the clear references to our Lord's resurrection from the dead as the power and proof of the individual's way to be justified by a moment of faith alone in Christ alone through the eternal body of Jesus Christ secure forever unto eternal life from eternal condemnation because He is eternal. There is an absence of stipulations regarding the walk of the individual.

2) [Compare Ro 6:1-2; 6; 14, 17-22 NIV]:

(v. 6:1) "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?

(v. 6:2) Far be the thought! Such ones as we, - who died to sin! How shall we any longer be living in it?

(v. 6:6) Knowing this that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin -

(v. 6:14) For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace."

(v. 6:17) But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted

(v. 6:18) You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

(v. 6:19) I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.

(v. 6:20) When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.

(v. 6:21) What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!

(v. 6:22) But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

a) The Result Of The Believer Being Freed From The Control Of Sin Is To Become A Slave To God - To The Sovereign Rule Of God's Righteousness In His Life

(v. 6:1) "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? (v. 6:2) Far be the thought! Such ones as we, - who died to sin! How shall we any longer be living in it (v. 6:6) Knowing this that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin - (v. 6:14) For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. (v. 6:17) But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted (v. 6:18) You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. (v. 6:19) I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. (v. 6:20) When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. (v. 6:22) But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life." =

Paul describes the believer's condition of having died to sin, (v.2) wherein he includes himself in that group of individuals. The verb is in the aorist tense: a one time completed action at the point he became a believer, i.e., having been set free from the absolute control of the sin nature, (aorist tense: completed action), (v. 6:18). This is repeated in verse 22:

"But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God"

Thus Paul states that the result of believers being set free from sin is to become slaves to God, to His righteousness which benefit one reaps is holiness and which results in eternal life. Notice that the phrase "have become slaves to God" in verse 6:22 is parallel and thus equated with the second half of verse 6:18:

"You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness", i.e., believers have become slaves to the rule of godly righteousness in the believer's life.

Thus Paul states that the result of believers being set free from sin is to become slaves to God, to His righteousness. Notice that the phrase "have become slaves to God" in verse 6:22 is parallel and thus equated with the second half of verse 6:18:

"You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness", i.e., slaves to the rule of godly righteousness in the believer's life.

The verbs in the phrase "You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness", (v. 6:18), are both aorist participles which define a completed action occuring at the time one becomes a believer. Hence a permanent position is in view as opposed to an ongoing action of righteousness, i.e., sinless perfection required by the believer is not in view. No believer is portrayed in Scripture as leading a sinless lifestyle. In view of the fact that author Paul has repeatedly exhorted believers to live godly lives implying that believers may not, an ongoing expectation of sinless perfection in the believer's lifestyle must be ruled out. So being under God's sovereign rule of godly righteousness in order that we might bear righteous fruit to God in the believer's life does not demand sinless perfection nor exclude the capacity of that believer to offer the parts of his body to sin, as instruments of wickedness from moment to moment, (6:13); for which he will be held accountable as implied by one belonging to Jesus Christ and under God's sovereign rule of righteousness, (v. 7:4). On the other hand loss of ones position of justification unto eternal life is never in view. Paul commands the believer not to choose to offer the parts of his body to sin. He is commanded to make the choice to live righteously every day.

b) Believers Being Set Free From The Control Of The Sin Nature And Becoming Slaves To God Reaps The Benefit Of Directing Them Toward Righteousness Which Leads To Holiness

(v. 6:13) Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness. (v. 6:22) But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness" =

The benefit individuals reap as a result of becoming a believer is that of being set free from slavery to, i.e., absolute control of ones intrinsic sin nature and becoming slaves instead to God and His sovereign righteous rule. Being a slave to God is being under the direction of the sovereign control of God's righteousness, (v. 18). God's righteous control of the believer moves the believer in the direction of righteousness which leads those believer who cooperate with God's leading to holiness. i.e., godly behavior in the believer's experience. Nevertheless, the believer has a choice to make:

To not "offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God ... as instruments of righteousness, (v. 6:13)."

c) The Result Of The Believer Having Been Set Free From Sin And Enslaved To The Righteous Rule Of God Is A Benefit To The Believer Which Leads To Holiness And Which Results In Eternal Life

(v. 6:22) "But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life." =

The moment one becomes a believer one is set free from slavery to sin and enslaved instead to the sovereign righteous rule of God. Such a position benefits the believer in such a way that it can lead to holiness in the believer's temporal life as he cooperates - but there are no guarantees stipulated here. Certainly it will lead to holiness in the eternal life that he owns forever.

Notice that the position of the believer under the enslavement of the sovereign righteous rule of God which was permanently established at the moment one became a believer results in eternal life. It is not a product of a faithful lifestyle, but exclusively a result of one's position of being under the righteous enslavement of God by the grace of God, (v. 5:20-21; 6:1).

Since there is no condition presented here in order to maintain the believer's benefit of eternal life, then it is evidently eternally secure - not depending upon the believer's behavior.

F) PAUL INCLUDES HIMSELF WITH EVERY INDIVIDUAL WHO EXPRESSES A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE TO BECOME A BELIEVER. HE DECLARES SUCH A ONE TO BECOME DEAD TO THE LAW RELATIVE TO THE RECEPTION OF ETERNAL LIFE. HE THEN BEGAN TO BELONG TO JESUS CHRIST FOR THE PURPOSE THAT HE SHOULD WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE AND OFFER THE PARTS OF HIS BODY TO GOD AS INSTRUMENTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND THUS BEAR FRUIT TO GOD

(v. 6: 4 NIV) We were therefore buried with Him through baptism [i.e., by being identified with, by being placed] into [Christ's] death in order that, just as Christ was raised [up] from the dead through the glory [meaning His essence - especially His omnipotence] of the Father, even so we [believers] also should walk in newness of life. (v. 6:11 NIV) In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. (v. 6:13 NIV) Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness. (v. 7:4 NIV) So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God." =

Notice that author Paul uses the first person plural "we" in the phrase "that we might bear fruit to God" which includes himself as a believer. It has already been established in Paul's letter to the Roman believers that when an individual expresses a moment of faith alone in Christ alone he becomes dead to the Law relative to having to keep it in order to receive eternal life. Such an individual, like the Apostle Paul, now belongs to Jesus Christ for the purpose that he should bear fruit to God, (v. 7:4). Evidently, walking in newness of life, (v. 6:4), and offering the parts of ones body to God as instruments of righteousness, (v. 6:13), go hand in hand with bearing fruit to God. Bearing fruit to God can thus be declared as godly human effort which serves the purposes of God and is characterized by godly righteousness.

1) [Compare Ro 6:4]:

(v. 6:4) [So, on the one hand] "just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."

a) As A Result Of The Believer Being Buried With Christ Into His Death, Burial And Resurrection Through Holy Spirit Baptism, The Believer Can Now Choose To Live A Godly Life - But He May Not

(v. 6:4) [So, on the one hand] "just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." =

And now we come to the "houtos" = "even so" part which is the conclusion of this comparative statement.

"outos kai .nmeis en kainoteti

"so ....also we .....in .newness ..

zoes ....peripatesomen.[1 pers pl, aorist, active voice, subjunctive]

of life .should walk

"just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (cont.) =

Notice the word "also" which refers back to our Lord's resurrection from the dead resulting in His walking in newness of life which we should also walk in - but may not. This refers to His resurrected humanity from the dead to live a perfect and holy life in His resurrected body - an example that we believer's should choose to follow.

The KJV renders a more literal translation of the Greek in this part of verse 4: "even so we also should walk in newness of life."

"we should walk" = "peripatesomen" = word used figuratively to signify the whole round of activities of one's lifestyle. Aorist tense - indicating one's life viewed as a whole with emphasis on results. It is active - a lifestyle which is to be chosen by the believer to walk in. Subjunctive mood - a potential mood which signifies in this context that the death of Jesus Christ makes the choice of walking in newness of life a possibility but not a certainty. The death of Jesus Christ makes it possible for the believer, i.e., the one who has been baptized into Christ's death, to have a new moral freedom to live a godly life. But, as Scripture reflects, this capacity for godly living is one which Christians often do not exemplify due to their constant failure - succumbing to the lust patterns of their own sin natures which evidently has remained intact in their mortal bodies.

2) [Compare Ro 6:11, 13]:

(v. 6:11 NIV) In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

(v. 6:13 NIV) Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness.

a) The Believer Is Commanded To Offer His Parts To God As Instruments Of Righteousness In View Of His Knowledge That He Has Been Brought From Eternal Death To Eternal Life

(v. 6:11) "In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus... (v. 6:13) Offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness." =

The phrase in verse 6:11, "count yourselves" = "logizesthe", present tense, imperative mood, (a command) = Notice the juxtaposition of the two positions wherein an individual is dead to one thing and therefore alive to Another. So one thing is no longer in control but now another has that control. The individuals are thus commanded to take an accounting in their minds mind of the fact that they are dead to sin, i.e., sin's rule and control of them is now inactive, but instead they are to take an account of themselves as now being actively ruled and controlled by God as a result of being placed in the life and rule of Christ Jesus. So the context of this passage is of genuine believers despite their potential to be unfaithful.

A motivating factor for the believer to offer himself to God is knowing that he has "been brought from death to life." The believer can count himself "dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus, (v. 11)." So the believer is commanded to voluntarily offer the parts of his body to God as instruments of righteousness as a result of considering the change of his position from a destiny of eternal death, i.e., forever separated from God and under His eternal condemnation to a destiny of eternal life and forever to be in the presence of God, under His eternal blessing.

The command to offer oneself to God via taking an account of oneself as dead to the control of sin but alive to the control of God in Christ Jesus which resulted in being brought from eternal death to eternal life implies action which is to be motivated out of gratitude and duty to God.

By virtue of a command to live righteously is the implication that the genuine believer has a choice to obey or not. Failure to obey to any degree, then, is not a reliable indicator that one is not a genuine believer.

III) [Ro 7:5]:

(v. 7:5 ASV) "For when we were in the flesh, [= controlled by the sinful nature within], the sinful passions, which were through the Law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death"

A) PAUL INCLUDES HIMSELF WITH EVERY INDIVIDUAL BEFORE EACH BECAME A BELIEVER. HE DESCRIBES HIMSELF AT THAT TIME AS BEING 'IN THE FLESH', I.E., CONTROLLED BY THE SINFUL NATURE AND FREE FROM THE CONTROL OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. HIS SINFUL PASSIONS WHICH WERE AROUSED BY LAW WERE AT WORK IN HIS BODY. HIS LIFESTYLE WAS ONE THAT "BORE FRUIT FOR DEATH" WHICH (1) BRINGS ABOUT DAILY SPIRITUAL DEATH / SEPARATION FROM DAILY FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD, (2) CONTRIBUTES TOWARD PHYSICAL DEATH AND (3) ULTIMATELY CAUSES, IF ONE REMAINS AN UNBELIEVER, ETERNAL DEATH IN THE LAKE OF FIRE

(v. 5:17 NAS) "For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness [these abundances] will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (v. 5:20 NKJV) Moreover [the] law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. (v. 5:21 NKJV) so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (v. 6:17) But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. (v. 6:19) I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. (v. 6:20) When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. (v. 7:5 ASV) For when we were in the flesh, [= controlled by the sinful nature within], the sinful passions, which were through the Law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death." =

Notice that author and Apostle Paul uses the first person plural "we" with the past tense in the phrase of verse 7:5: "For when we were in the flesh" to refer to his and all believers' time when they were unbelievers. Hence the pattern is established here in this chapter of referring to Paul when he was an unbeliever utilizing a personal pronoun, ("we" or "I") with the past tense. In this context the word "sarki" rendered "flesh" in verse 7:5 is defined then as that part of a believer's mentality [as well as all men] that is controlled by the sin nature and is demonstrated via sinful activity in the members of the physical body, i.e., the flesh.

So verse 7:5 goes on to say that before Paul or any individual became a believer, he was "in the flesh," i.e., controlled by the sinful nature, (6:17; 7:5), and free from the control of righteousness, (cf. 6:20). His sinful passions which were aroused by the Law were at work in his body. His lifestyle was one that "bore fruit for death." The phrase in 7:5, "bore fruit for death" refers to behavior which (1) brings about daily spiritual death / separation from daily fellowship with God, (2) contributes toward physical death and (3) ultimately causes, if one remains an unbeliever, eternal death in the Lake of Fire, [not having been justified unto the reception of a righteousness from God by a moment of faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, (vv. 3:21-24)].

1) [Compare Ro 5:17, 20-21]:

(v. 5:17 NAS) "For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness [these abundances] will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

(v. 5:20 NKJV) Moreover [the] law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.

(v. 5:21 NKJV) so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

a) By God's Design Law Came So That Men Might Be Conscious Of Sin And Thereby Trespasses Against Law Might Increase Thus Exposing Man's Sin Nature For What It Is. Hence Sin Has Reigned Producing Physical And Daily Spiritual Death / Separation From Daily Fellowship With God Throughout The World. So Much The More Where Sin Abounds, God's Grace Is Demonstrated As Abounding All The More And Reigning In The Life Of Individuals Who Express A Moment Of Faith In The Redemption That Came From Jesus Christ Our Lord Unto Eternal Life

(v. 5:17 NAS) "For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness [these abundances] will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (v. 5:20 NKJV) Moreover [the] law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more (v. 5:21 NKJV) so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." =

- Where sin abounded because of law, grace abounded much more, (v. 5:20), so that, as sin therefore reigned in death, physical and spiritual, throughout the whole world.

even so (= so much the more, v. 5:15)

- God's grace all the more might reign in individuals through His righteousness unto eternal life through each individual's faith in the redemption that came from Jesus Christ our Lord, (cf. Ro 3:21-24)

In view in verse 5:20 is the fact that law, God's rules governing human behavior - especially the Mosaic Law, came for the purpose that the trespass of the Law might abound but where trespasses abounded, grace abounded all the more. This points to the fact that men have an intrinsic trespass/sin nature that sins all the more when law, i.e., rules governing human behavior unto God's righteousness are in effect. The grace in view is that grace of God which justifies all men freely through each individual's faith in the redemption for the sins of the whole world that came by Christ Jesus, (3:21:24).

Verse 5:21 continues this train of thought beginning with "hina" rendered "that" pointing to forthcoming details: Notice the phrase "as sin reigned in death", i.e., as sin rules the world to the end that all men are born sinners and spiritually dead; hence all men physically die and are initially headed for eternal death. This situation of death reigning throughout the world is contrasted with God's grace which might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Notice the word "might" indicating objective possibility, a potential for each individual to respond to. This means that by God's design law came so that trespasses might abound causing sin to reign in death; but this is so much the more that God's grace might reign through each individual's response of faith in the provision of the gift of righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, (cf. Ro 3:21-24). There is provided through the grace of God a reign of God's righteousness unto eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Evidently God's righteousness unto eternal life comes through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord so that it might reign graciously (with unmerited favor), over the whole world, i.e., all mankind may receive it by faith without doing anything to deserve it. It is the choice of each individual.

The verb "basileusE" rendered "might reign" is in the subjunctive mood, a mood of objective possibility. Hence the reign through God's righteousness unto eternal life is provisional for the whole world and depends upon each individual's response to it by a moment of faith alone in Christ alone. So in 5:20-21 law was added so that men would be conscious of sin, hence the trespass - a deliberate violation of a now made known statute of God's holiness - might increase; but where sin increased, God's free grace covering of that sin increased all the more in order that, just as sin had ruled in man causing temporal and eternal death so God's grace which covers sins might reign in the individual through the provision of God's righteousness to those who express a moment of faith alone in Jesus Christ our Lord alone, (3:21-24) .

Notice that the reception of God's righteousness is tantamount to the reception of eternal life. Hence the words 'Judgment,' 'condemnation,' 'death' being presented in opposition to this in vv. 20-21 then refer to physical and eternal death.

2) [Compare Ro 6:17, 19-20]:

(v. 6:17) "But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.

(v. 6:19) I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.

(v. 6:20) When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness."

a) The Believer's Life Before He Became A Believer Was One Of Slavery To Sin, Constantly Offering The Parts Of His Body In Slavery To Impurity And Ever-Increasing Wickedness, Free From The Control Of Righteousness

(v. 6:17) "But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. (v. 6:19) I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. (v. 6:20) When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness."

The verb rendered "used to be", "Ete", literally 'you were' in verse 6:17 is in the imperfect tense indicating linear action in the past. Believers are in view in this passage as having previously been enslaved to sin when they were unbelievers. Everything they did then was under the rulership of their intrinsic sin natures. Paul provides a picture in 6:17-20 and 7:5 of the believer's life before he became a believer including himself. This picture was one of slavery to impurity where the individual offered the parts of his body in slavery to impurity, i.e., everything he did was under the control of the sin nature, even the human good he did.

Furthermore, the unsaved individual's enslavement to impurity was a progressively increasing enslavement of wickedness as his life apart from God continued. Paul once again emphasizes the believer's position before he became a believer: he was a slave to sin, i.e., the sin nature within him and thus free from the control of righteousness. The sin nature dictated his actions all the time such that he was constantly sinful. Even the human good that he did was motivated out of the sin nature and not out of a motivation of God's righteousness. For at no time is the unsaved individual under the control of God's righteousness.

IV) [Ro 7:6]:

(v. 7:6 KJV) "But now we are delivered from the Law, that being dead [lit. having died] wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in [the] oldness of [the] letter."

"nuni de ..katErgEthEmen ...................apo ..tou nomou apothanontes

"now .but we were cleared [delivered] from .the Law ....having died ....

en hO ....kateichometha ........hOste .douleuein hEmas en kainotEti pneumatos

in .which we were being held .so that to serve ..we .......in .newness .of spirit

kai ou palaiotEti ...grammatos

and not in oldness .of letter

katErgEthEmen is aorist tense

apothanontes is aorist nominative participle

A) PAUL OR ANY BELIEVER, HAVING ALREADY SECURED ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE BY DEFINITION, HAS DIED, I.E., BEEN SEPARATED FROM HAVING TO KEEP LAW TO SECURE ETERNAL LIFE. HE IS TO SERVE IN NEWNESS OF SPIRIT IMPLYING A NEW SPIRITUAL CONNECTION WITH GOD AS OPPOSED TO FOLLOWING THE LETTER OF LAW - RULES GOVERNING HUMAN BEHAVIOR

(v. 7:4 NIV) So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. (v. 7:6 KJV) But now we are delivered from the Law, that being dead [lit. having died] wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter." =

To paraphrase and explain verse 7:4 above: 'So fellow believers, brothers in Christ, you also died to the Law in the sense of not having to abide by its commands in order to secure eternal life - through the body of Christ, i.e., through the reception of a righteousness by faith unto eternal life in the redemption that came by Christ Jesus, (cf. 3:21-23), that you might belong to Another, Jesus Christ Himself Who was raised from the dead to testify to mankind of His redemption, in order that we might bear fruit to God.'

Notice that in verse 7:5, Paul refers to himself and fellow believers in their former state when they were unbelievers using a personal pronoun ("we" or "I") + the past tense. Then in verse 7:6, using the phrase "and now" plus the present tense, Paul refers to himself and fellow believers in their present state as believers. This pattern continues throughout chapter 7 and must be carefully considered when studying it.

The implication in verse 7:6, which has been supported many times in the book of Romans heretofore, is that the believer has completely secured eternal life via a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, (cf. 1:16-17; 3:21-24; 5:1). As a result of this, author Paul reminds himself and any believer in this verse that his deliverance from obligation to keep law relative to securing eternal life presents him with a new purpose: to serve God in newness of spirit. The Greek word "douleuein" rendered "we should serve" in verse 7:6 in the KJV is in the infinitive form, literally "to serve" signifying a purpose but not a certainty that we who are believers are to serve God in newness in spirit. Note that the definite article is not present with the word, "pneumatos" rendered "spirit" in verse 7:6 "that we should serve in newness of spirit." Hence it is a newness of spiritual life of the believer that is in view, implying a new spiritual connection with God as a result of having become a believer. Evidently it is the spiritual life of the believer which is to be conducted in a new way - to the end that we might bear fruit to God, (cf. 7:4). The source of the believer's new and godly conduct is from within his human spirit and under the sovereign rule of God and His righteousness, (cf. Ro 6:18; 7:4) as opposed to following the letter of law, i.e., as opposed to human effort to comply with godly rules governing human behavior.

1) [Compare [Ro 6:18-20, 22, 7:4]:

(v. 6:18 NIV) "You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

(v. 6:19 NIV) I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.

(v. 6:20 NIV) When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.

(v. 6:22 NIV) But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

(v. 7:4 NIV) So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God."

a) The Result Of The Believer Being Freed From The Control Of Sin - His Intrinsic Sin Nature - Is To Become A Slave To God - To The Sovereign Rule Of God's Righteousness In His Life

(v. 6:18) You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. (v. 6:19) I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. (v. 6:20) When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. (v. 6:22) But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. (v. 7:4 NIV) So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God." " =

Paul describes the believer's condition of having died to sin, (v.2). The verb is in the aorist tense: a one time completed action at the point he became a believer, i.e., having been set free from the absolute control of the sin nature, (aorist tense: completed action for all time), (v. 18). This is repeated in verse 22:

"But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God"

Thus Paul states that the result of believers being set free from sin is to become slaves to God, to His righteousness. Notice that the phrase "have become slaves to God" in verse 6:22 is parallel and thus equated with the second half of verse 18:

"You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness", i.e., slaves to the rule of godly righteousness in the believer's life.

The verbs in the phrase "You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness", (v. 6:18), are both aorist participles which define a completed action occuring at the time one becomes a believer. Hence a permanent position is in view as opposed to an ongoing action of righteousness, i.e., sinless perfection required by the believer is not in view. No believer is portrayed in Scripture as leading a sinless lifestyle. In view of the fact that author Paul has repeatedly exhorted believers to live godly lives implying that believers may not, an ongoing expectation of sinless perfection in the believer's lifestyle must be ruled out. So being under God's sovereign rule of godly righteousness in order that we might bear righteous fruit to God in the believer's life does not demand sinless perfection nor exclude the capacity of that believer to offer the parts of his body to sin, as instruments of wickedness from moment to moment, (6:13); for which he will be held accountable as implied by one belonging to Jesus Christ and under God's sovereign rule of righteousness, (v. 7:4). On the other hand loss of ones position of justification unto eternal life is never in view. Paul commands the believer not to choose to offer the parts of his body to sin. He is commanded to make the choice to live righteously every day.

Finally, verse 7:4 indicates that the believer which includes Paul, "belongs to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead" in order to bear fruit to God.

V) [Ro 7:7]:

(v. 7:7 NIV) "What shall we say, then? Is the [Mosaic] Law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through law [law, no article = any rules of moral behavior]. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the [Mosaic] Law had not said, 'Do not covet.' [Ex 20:17, Dt 5:21]

(v. 7:7 GREEK) "Ti .......oun .eroumen ................ho ..nomos .hamartia mE genoito

............................"What .then shall we say? [Is] .the ..Law ....sin? ........Not may it be!

alla tEn hamartian ouk egnOn ei mE dia nomou tEn te ....gar .epithumian

But the sin .............not .I knew if not .by law: .....the also .for ..lust ............

ouk Edein ..............................ei mE ho ..nomos elegen .........ouk epithumEseis"

not .I had been conscious of .if not .the .Law ....was saying, Not .you shall lust"

A) BY GOD'S DESIGN LAW CAME SO THAT EVERY UNBELIEVER MIGHT BE CONSCIOUS OF SIN, HAVE HIS SINFUL PASSIONS AROUSED SO THAT THE TRESPASS AGAINST LAW MIGHT INCREASE RESULTING IN BEARING FRUIT FOR DEATH - EXPOSING HIS SIN NATURE FOR WHAT IT IS. INSPITE OF THIS ONE CANNOT CONCLUDE THAT THE LAW IS SIN, I.E., THAT IT IS EVIL - ON THE CONTRARY IT REPRESENTS GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS

(v. 2:13 NIV) "For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (v. 3:19 NIV) Now we know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. (v. 3:20 NIV) Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing law; rather, through law we become conscious of sin (v. 5:20 NKJV) Moreover..... law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more (v. 7:4 NIV) So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. (v. 7:5 ASV) For when we were in the flesh, [= controlled by the sinful nature within], the sinful passions, which were through the Law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. (v. 7:6 KJV) But now we are delivered from the Law, that being dead [lit. having died] wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in [the] oldness of [the] letter. (v. 7:7 NIV) What shall we say, then? Is the [Mosaic] Law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through law [law, no article = any rules of moral behavior]. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the [Mosaic] Law had not said, 'Do not covet.' [Ex 20:17, Dt 5:21] =

The fact is that it is by God's design that law came in the form of the Mosaic Law so that Paul and every individual might be conscious of sin, (v. 3:20), so as to have their sinful passions aroused, (v. 7:5), so that the trespass against law might increase, (v. 5:20), resulting in bearing fruit for death, (v.7:5) - exposing his sin nature for what it is, (v. 7:7). Nevertheless one cannot conclude that the Law is sin, i.e., is evil, (v. 7:5). On the contrary, it represents God's righteousness, (v. 2:13). The question is asked: 'Can one conclude that the Law is a sinful institution - causing sinful actions?' Author Paul's answer in koine Greek is in an emphatic double negative rendered in the NIV: "Certainly not!"

Consider a playground where children's behavior is out of control. An individual in charge sets up rules of proper playground behavior which results in even more unruly behavior. It causes the children to be conscious of their unruly behavior, their rebelliousness is aroused and such behavior is exposed for what it is by those rules. Can the rules be considered evil because it caused such a reaction?

1) [Compare Ro 2:13]:

(v. 13) "For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous."

a) The Law Is A Rule Of Life Which Standard Is God's Righteousness Because When One Observes It One Is Declared Righteous By God. Hence The Law Embodies The Righteousness Of God

(v. 13) "For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous." =

The Law is a rule of life which standard is God's righteousness because when one observes it one is declared righteous by God. Hence the Law embodies the righteousness of God. Considering this earlier picture of the Law in the Book of Romans, it would be extraordinary that the Law be pictured later by Author Paul as sin.

Immediately below is an excerpt from previous chapters that has already given the answer to this question:

******** EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER FIVE **********

......................OR SKIP TO NEXT SECTION

OBSERVATIONS OF VERSE 5:20

1) BY GOD'S DESIGN LAW CAME SO THAT MEN MIGHT BE CONSCIOUS OF SIN AND THEREBY TRESPASSES AGAINST LAW MIGHT INCREASE THUS EXPOSING MAN'S SIN NATURE FOR WHAT IT IS. HENCE SIN HAS REIGNED PRODUCING PHYSICAL AND DAILY SPIRITUAL DEATH / SEPARATION FROM DAILY FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. SO MUCH THE MORE WHERE SIN ABOUNDED, GOD'S GRACE IS DEMONSTRATED AS ABOUNDING ALL THE MORE AND REIGNING IN THE LIFE OF INDIVIDUALS WHO EXPRESS A MOMENT OF FAITH IN THE REDEMPTION THAT CAME FROM JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

(v. 3:21 NIV) But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (v. 3:22 NIV) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, (v. 3:23 NIV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (v. 3:24 NIV) and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (v. 5:17 NAS) For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness [these abundances] will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (v. 5:20 NKJV) Moreover [the] law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more" =

- By God's design law in the form of the Law came so that men might be conscious of sin, (3:20) and thereby trespasses against law might increase thus exposing man's sin nature for what it is;

so also [so much the more (v. 15)]

- where sin abounded as a result of law having come, God's grace is demonstrated as abounding all the more, (cf 5:17), and reigning in the life of individuals who express a moment of faith in the redemption that came from Jesus Christ our Lord unto eternal life (cf. 3:21-24).

a) [Compare Ro 3:19-20]:

(v. 3:19) Now we know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.

(v. 3:20) Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing law; rather, through law we become conscious of sin."

Notice that through law, man becomes conscious of sin, resulting in a number of responses, not the least of which is an increase in sin, (5:20; 7:5) - proving out man's rebellious nature, that he has an intrinsic sin nature. This is not to say that this is the only purpose of God for imposing law upon mankind, just one of the purposes. Furthermore, the increase in sin points to man's intrinsic nature which has a propensity to sin and does so all the more when rules of human behavior are made evident.

b) [Compare Ro 4:15]:

(v. 4:15 NAS) "For law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, neither is there violation."

The word rendered "violation" = "parabasis", lit. 'transgression'. [Kittle's Abridged Dictionary, p. 772]:

"In the NT it [parabasis] denotes sin in relation to the Law."

Notice the principle which is stipulated here: law, i.e., rules governing human behavior brings about wrath, i.e., God's temporal and punitive judgment upon men. This implies that men tend to break those rules with or without them in place resulting in God's temporal wrath upon them when they are in place. Evidently God's temporal and not His eternal wrath is in view here. Furthermore, another principle follows this, namely, "Where there is no law, neither is there violation," (v. 4:15b). This implies that God does not exercise His temporal wrath upon individuals who violate His righteousness when there are no rules governing human behavior in place. Since God's eternal wrath is not dependent upon whether law is in place, such wrath to be exercised after temporal time as ceased, then the wrath in view is God's temporal punitive judgment.

[B.K.C. op. cit., p. 458, ("Where there is no law, neither is there violation," (v. 4:15b)]:

"This does not mean that sin does not exist unless there is a Law. It means that sin does not have the character of being a transgression [a deliberate violation] apart from Law and therefore sin is not taken into account (lit., 'imputed, reckoned') as such"

OBSERVATIONS OF VERSE 5:21

(v. 3:21 NIV) "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.

(v. 3:22 NIV) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,

(v. 3:23 NIV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

(v. 3:24 NIV) and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

(v. 5:17 NAS) For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness [these abundances] will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

(v. 5:20 NKJV) Moreover the [the] law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.

(v. 5:21 NKJV) so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

1) BY GOD'S DESIGN LAW CAME SO THAT MEN MIGHT BE CONSCIOUS OF SIN AND THEREBY TRESPASSES AGAINST LAW MIGHT INCREASE THUS EXPOSING MAN'S SIN NATURE FOR WHAT IT IS. HENCE SIN HAS REIGNED PRODUCING PHYSICAL AND DAILY SPIRITUAL DEATH / SEPARATION FROM DAILY FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. SO MUCH THE MORE WHERE SIN ABOUNDED, GOD'S GRACE IS DEMONSTRATED AS ABOUNDING ALL THE MORE AND REIGNING IN THE LIFE OF INDIVIDUALS WHO EXPRESS A MOMENT OF FAITH IN THE REDEMPTION THAT CAME FROM JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

(v. 3:20 NIV) Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing law; rather, through law we become conscious of sin (v. 3:21 NIV) "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (v. 3:22 NIV) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, (v. 3:23 NIV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (v. 3:24 NIV) and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (v. 5:17 NAS) "For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness [these abundances] will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (v. 5:20 NKJV) Moreover [the] law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more (v. 5:21 NKJV) so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." =

- By God's design law in the form of the Law came so that men might be conscious of sin, (3:20) and thereby trespasses against law might increase thus exposing man's sin nature for what it is;

so also [so much the more (v. 15)]

- where sin abounded as a result of law having come, God's grace is demonstrated as abounding all the more, (cf 5:17), and reigning in the life of individuals who express a moment of faith in the redemption that came from Jesus Christ our Lord unto eternal life (cf. 3:21-24).

In view in verse 5:20 is the fact that law, God's rules governing human behavior - especially the Mosaic Law, came for the purpose that men might be conscious of their sins so that the trespass against law might abound - proving that men are rebellious by nature. But where trespasses abounded, grace is demonstrated to abound all the more. The grace in view is that grace of God which justifies all men freely through each individual's faith in the redemption for the sins of the whole world that came by Christ Jesus, (3:21:24). Verse 5:21 continues this train of thought beginning with "hina" rendered "that" pointing to forthcoming details: Notice the phrase "as sin reigned in death", i.e., as sin rules the world to the end that all men are born sinners and spiritually dead; hence all men physically die and are initially headed for eternal death, (5:17, 21). This situation of death reigning throughout the world is contrasted with God's grace which might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, (5:21). Notice the word "might" indicating objective possibility, a potential for each individual to respond to. This means that by God's design law came so that men might be conscious of sin, (3:21), and thereby trespasses against law might increase, (v. 5:20), thus exposing man's sin nature for what it is. Hence sin has reigned producing physical and daily spiritual death / separation from daily fellowship with God. So much the more where sin abounded, God's grace is demonstrated as abounding all the more, (v. 5:20), and reigning in the life of individuals who express a moment of faith in the redemption that came from Jesus Christ our Lord unto eternal life, (v. 5:17, 21).

There is provided through the grace of God a reign of God's righteousness unto eternal life in an individual through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord:

(v. 5:17 NAS) "For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness [these abundances] will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (v. 5:20 NKJV) Moreover [the] law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more (v. 5:21 NKJV) so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (cont.) =

Evidently God's righteousness unto eternal life comes through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord so that it might reign graciously (with unmerited favor), over the whole world, i.e., all mankind as each individual receives it via a moment of faith alone in Christ alone without doing anything to deserve it.

The verb "basileusE" rendered "might reign" is in the subjunctive mood, a mood of objective possibility. Hence the reign through God's righteousness unto eternal life is provisional for the whole world and depends upon each individual's response to it by a moment of faith alone in Christ alone.

Notice that the reception of God's righteousness is tantamount to the reception of eternal life. Hence the words 'Judgment,' 'condemnation,' 'death' being presented in opposition to this in vv. 20-21 then refer to physical and eternal death.

[Expositors, op. cit., p. 65]:

"20, 21 At the conclusion of the chapter, Adam as a figure fades from view. Yet his influence is still present in the mention of sin and death. Paul now introduces another factor - the Mosaic Law - to show its bearing on the great issues of sin and righteousness. There is scarcely a subject treated by Paul in Romans that does not call for some consideration of the Law. The closest affinity to the thought in v. 20 is found in 3:20, 'Through the Law we become conscious of sin.' Also, chapter 7 traces the relationship between the law and sin in rather elaborate fashion.

The apostle is not maintaining that the purpose of the giving of the Law is exclusively 'that the trespass might increase,' because he makes room for the law as a revelation of the will of God and therefore a positive benefit (7:12). The law also serves to restrain evil in the world (implied in 6:15... ). Paul says the Law 'was added.'...

This function of the law - viz., to increase transgression - was not recognized in rabbinic Judaism...

Lest someone raise a charge against the Almighty that to make possible an increase in sin is not to His credit, Paul insists that only where sin is seen in its maximum expression can divine grace truly be appreciated. 'Grace increased all the more.' The apostle waxes almost ecstatic as he revels in the superlative excellence of the divine overruling that makes sin serve a gracious purpose.

With great effect Paul brings the leading concepts of the passage together in the final statement (v. 21). 'Sin reigned in death' picks up vv. 12, 14, 'grace' looks back to vv. 15. 17: 'reign' reflects vv. 14, 17; 'righteousness' harks back to v. 17 as well as to 1:17 and many other passages; 'eternal life' completes and crowns the allusion to 'life' in vv. 17, 18. Sin and death are virtually personified throughout. Sin poses as absolute monarch, reigning through death as its vicar, but in the end it is exposed as a pretender and is obliged to yield the palm to another whose reign is wholly absolute and totally different, being as much a blessing as the other is a curse.

The treatment of sin, death, and salvation in terms of righteousness is crucial to our understanding of our relation to God. It loudly proclaims that no sinner, whether a mystic aspiring to direct contact with God or a legalist counting on his good works to approve him in God's sight, is able in his own way to find acceptance with God. Because another man, Adam, has intervened between him and the Creator, still another, even Jesus Christ, must be the medium of his return as a sinner to a righteous God."

*********** END OF EXCERPT ***********

V (cont.) [Ro 7:7 (cont.)]:

(v. 7:7 NIV) "What shall we say, then? Is the [Mosaic] Law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through law [law, no article = any rules of moral behavior]. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the [Mosaic] Law had not said, 'Do not covet.' [Ex 20:17, Dt 5:21]

B) PAUL DECLARES THAT WHEN HE WAS NOT A BELIEVER, AS AN EXAMPLE OF ALL UNSAVED INDIVIDUALS AND USING THE COMMANDMENT 'DO NOT COVET' TO REPRESENT EVERY COMMANDMENT OF THE LAW, HE WOULD NOT HAVE KNOWN WHAT COVETING REALLY WAS IF THE LAW HAD NOT SAID, 'DO NOT COVET.' THIS IMPLIES THAT ALL UNBELIEVERS DO SIN, EVEN WHEN LAW HAS NOT BEEN INSTITUTED. BUT UNBELIEVERS DO NOT RECOGNIZE SIN UNTIL THEY HAVE BEEN WILLING TO RECEIVE AN ACCURATE UNDERSTANDING OF THE COMMANDMENTS. HENCE A KEY PURPOSE OF THE LAW IS TO MAKE MEN CONSCIOUS OF SIN

(v. 7:4 NIV) "So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. (v. 7:5 ASV) For when we were in the flesh, [= controlled by the sinful nature within], the sinful passions, which were through the Law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. (v. 7:6 KJV) But now we are delivered from the Law, that being dead [lit. having died] wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in [the] oldness of [the] letter. (v. 7:7 NIV) What shall we say, then? Is the [Mosaic] Law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through law [law, no article = any rules of moral behavior]. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the [Mosaic] Law had not said, 'Do not covet.' [Ex 20:17, Dt 5:21] =

1) [Compare Ex 20:1, 17]:

(v. 1) "And God spoke all these words:

(v. 17) You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

Paul declares that when he was not a believer, providing an example of all unsaved individuals, using the commandment 'Do not covet' to represent every commandment of the Law, that he would not have known what coveting really was if the Law had not said, 'Do not covet.' This implies that all unbelievers do sin, even when law has not been instituted to cover particular sins. But unbelievers do not recognize sin until they have been willing to receive an accurate understanding of the commandments. Hence a key purpose of law, especially the Mosaic Law, is make men conscious of sin.

Men do not recognize sin until they have been willing to receive an accurate understanding of godly commandments. Since there have been commandments and laws instituted from the beginning; this, in turn, implies that individuals willfully misconstrue or refuse to submit to godly commandments out of their rebellious natures. Until they do submit, their actions which violate God's righteous commands are not considered by them as objectionable. Although it is to God.

On the other hand, sinful behavior is not identified by God as a trespass without a godly command to trespass against. Despite the fact that God's invisible qualities can be clearly seen and understood from what has been made and through this men know God's righteous decree, i.e., that men are accountable to God for living righteously, one is not held accountable by God for a trespass when there is no law to trespass in force. Hence a key purpose of the law is make men conscious of sin.

Finally, one cannot be sinless and therefore be saved from conception until one recognizes ones accountability of law as some objectors maintain. Individuals are not born innocent and then contaminated by the world. All men have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God.

2) [Compare Ro 3:23]:

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"

Notice the phrase "for all... fall short of the glory of God." It comes from the Greek "pantes gar... husterountai tEs doxEs tou theou" where the Greek verb "husterountai" rendered "fall short" in English is in the present tense indicating, from the context, that all individuals, Jew and Gentile alike - past, present and future, have, do and will lead an ongoing lifestyle which constantly falls short of the glory of God, i.e., everyone sins all the time.

B cont.) PAUL DECLARES THAT WHEN HE WAS NOT A BELIEVER, AS AN EXAMPLE OF ALL UNSAVED INDIVIDUALS, USING THE COMMANDMENT 'DO NOT COVET' TO REPRESENT EVERY COMMANDMENT OF THE LAW, THAT HE WOULD NOT HAVE KNOWN WHAT COVETING REALLY WAS IF THE LAW HAD NOT SAID, 'DO NOT COVET.' THIS IMPLIES THAT ALL UNBELIEVERS DO SIN, EVEN WHEN LAW HAS BEEN INSTITUTED, BUT UNBELIEVERS DO NOT RECOGNIZE SIN UNTIL THEY HAVE BEEN WILLING TO RECEIVE AN ACCURATE UNDERSTANDING OF THE COMMANDMENTS. HENCE A KEY PURPOSE OF THE LAW IS TO MAKE MEN CONSCIOUS OF SIN

(v. 7:4 NIV) "So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. (v. 7:5 ASV) For when we were in the flesh, [= controlled by the sinful nature within], the sinful passions, which were through the Law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. (v. 7:6 KJV) But now we are delivered from the Law, that being dead [lit. having died] wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in [the] oldness of [the] letter. (v. 7:7 NIV) What shall we say, then? Is the [Mosaic] Law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through law [law, no article = any rules of moral behavior]. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the [Mosaic] Law had not said, 'Do not covet.' [Ex 20:17, Dt 5:21] (cont.) =

3) [Compare Dt 5:21]:

"You shall not covet your neighbor's wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor's house or land, his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

The fact that certain actions are wrong before God is clearly brought out when law is in effect. Although since creation, God's invisible qualities have been clearly seen and understood from what has been made. Thus men know God's righteous decree - that God demands righteous behavior. Nevertheless, men willfully violate God's righteous decree and approve of those that follow suit. They have suppressed the truth by their wickedness. So, in the absence of law which stipulates rules of behavior and accountability, mankind willfully refuses to recognize that his behavior is sinful before a holy God. But through law, ie., when men take stock in rules governing human behavior, especially the Mosaic Law. They then become conscious of sin. Previous chapters in Romans have clearly established these points:

****** EXCERPTS FROM CHAPTERS ONE - THREE ******

.............................OR SKIP TO NEXT SECTION

GOD'S ETERNAL POWER AND DIVINE NATURE HAVE BEEN CLEARLY SEEN AND UNDERSTOOD AND THEREBY MEN KNOW GOD'S RIGHTEOUS DECREE. SO MEN ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE. YET ALL MEN SIN AND DESERVE PREMATURE PHYSICAL AND ETERNAL DEATH

(v. 1:17 NKJV) "For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' (v. 1:18) The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness... (v. 1:20) For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse... (v. 1:29) They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, (v. 1:30) slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; (v. 1:31) they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. (v. 1:32) Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." =

Since salvation unto eternal life by faith apart from human doing is in view, (vv. 16-17) and eternal death is a result of not receiving justification by faith apart from human doing; then the word "death" in v. 32 which is stipulated as caused by personal acts of sin refers to premature physical death, not eternal death.

Since all mankind in general is in view in v. 20 which sets the context of v. 32, then all men in general are in view in v. 32; hence all men are stipulated as knowing God's righteous decree that all sin and deserve premature physical death, (cf. vv. 17-18) Note that other passages deal with the subject of eternal death being caused by sin.

Notice that all men are stipulated as being provided with the knowledge of God such that all are without excuse, (v. 1:20). Such knowledge of God includes Who He is and the righteousness He expects from mankind, (vv. 17-32).

NO MAN IS ABLE TO KEEP THE RIGHTEOUS STANDARD OF THE LAW. RATHER THROUGH THE LAW ALL MEN BECOME CONSCIOUS OF SIN AND OF BEING UNDER THE WRATH OF GOD

(v. 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' (v. 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (v. 3:19) Now we know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. (v. 3:20) Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing law; rather, through law we become conscious of sin." =

Since perfect obedience to the requirements of the Law was stipulated as the standard of behavior for all individuals to be declared righteous unto eternal life, (v. 2:13), then the Law's requirements are righteous by definition. In verses 3:19-20, which continues this theme, law is portrayed as impossible to keep in order to be declared righteous in God's sight. Rather through law, because of our inabililty to live up to the standard of God's righteousness, we become conscious of sin, (v. 3:20), and of being under the wrath of God, which is to then lead one to faith in Jesus Christ unto a righteousness from God, (vv. 1:16-17). The phrase in 3:19, "so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God" implies that any and every man is under law and will fall short of God's righteousness that God expects all men to live by; so everyone's mouth will be silenced in the realization that his life is held accountable to God and falls short of the righteousness that God demands of him to the extent that he is under God's wrath. Note that the Greek text in verse 3:20 has the word rendered "law" without the definite article, which emphasizes the quality of the particular kind of law in view - rules governing human behavior such as the prime example in view in verse 3:19: the Mosaic Law.

*** END OF EXCERPTS FROM CHAPTERS ONE - THREE ***

VI) [Ro 7:8]:

(v. 7:8 NIV) "but sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead."

A) PAUL CONTINUES TO DESCRIBE HIS EXPERIENCE WHEN HE WAS NOT A BELIEVER RELATIVE TO HIS RESPONSE TO THE COMMANDMENT 'DO NOT COVET' AS AN EXAMPLE OF THE RESPONSE OF ALL UNBELIEVERS TO THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LAW: HE BECOMES CONSCIOUS OF SIN, HIS SINFUL PASSIONS ARE AROUSED, AND HE DELIBERATELY INCREASES SINNING, BEARING FURTHER FRUIT, (UNGODLY BEHAVIOR), FOR DEATH. SUCH DEATH (1) BRINGS ABOUT DAILY SPIRITUAL DEATH / SEPARATION FROM DAILY FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD, (2) CONTRIBUTES TOWARD PHYSICAL DEATH AND (3) ULTIMATELY CAUSES, IF ONE REMAINS AN UNBELIEVER, ETERNAL DEATH IN THE LAKE OF FIRE

(v. 3:19) "Now we know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. (v. 3:20) Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing law; rather, through law we become conscious of sin. (v. 3:21) But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (v. 3:22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, (v. 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (v. 5:20 NKJV) Moreover..... law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. (v. 5:21 NKJV) so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (v. 7:4 NIV) So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. (v. 7:5 ASV) For when we were in the flesh, [= controlled by the sinful nature within], the sinful passions, which were through the Law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. (v. 7:6 KJV) But now we are delivered from the Law, that being dead [lit. having died] wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in [the] oldness of [the] letter. (v. 7:7 NIV) What shall we say, then? Is the [Mosaic] Law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through law [law, no article = any rules of moral behavior]. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the [Mosaic] Law had not said, 'Do not covet.' [Ex 20:17, Dt 5:21] (v. 7:8 NIV) but sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead." =

The word "hamartia" rendered "sin" twice in verse 7:8 refers NOT to acts of sin since the word here implies some kind of nature within Paul, (and by example every individual), causing him to behave in a sinful way. Hence "hamartia" here refers to the intrinsic sin nature in Paul and every individual which propels him to violate commandments - godly rules governing human behavior - when he cooses to recognize the meaning of those commandments and his responsibility to keep them. Hence we have the phrase "but sin [=the sin nature within man] seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment [to not covet, v. 7:7] produced in me [= Paul as an example of all individuals before they became believers] every kind of covetous desire" wherein the sin nature in man when man chooses to recognize the true meaning of the commandment to not covet seized that opportunity of awareness and prompted in man every kind of covetous desire.

Paul continues to use himself when he was an unbeliever as an example of all unsaved individuals. He refers to the commandment 'Do not covet' as representative and characteristic of all the commandments of the Law in the sense that when he had a correct understanding of it and his responsibility to it, the passion of his sin nature was aroused to produce every kind of that particular sin.

So choosing to recognize the correct meaning of specific commandments causes unsaved individuals to violate those commands all the more, demonstrating man's intrinsic sin nature all the more. So through law man becomes conscious of sin, (v. 3:20), his sinful passions are aroused, (v. 7:5), he now deliberately increases sinning, (vv. 7:5-8), and bears further fruit, (ungodly behavior), for death, (v. 7:5). Before an individual became a believer, he was controlled by the sinful nature. His sinful passions which were aroused by Law were at work in his body. His lifestyle was one that "bore fruit for death," (v. 7:5). The phrase in 7:5, "bore fruit for death" refers to behavior which (1) brings about daily spiritual death / separation from daily fellowship with God, (2) contributes toward physical death and (3) ultimately causes, if one remains an unbeliever, eternal death in the Lake of Fire, [not having been justified unto the reception of a righteousness from God by a moment of faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, (vv. 3:21-24)].

[John A. Witmer states, Bible Knowledge Commentary, Walvoord & Zuck, Editors, Victor Books, USA, 1988, p. 466]:

"Paul went on to explain that the Law made sin known (cf 3:19-20). Then to be specific, he mentioned coveting. The Law's prohibition, 'Do not covet' (Ex 20:17; Dt 5:21), makes people want to covet all the more. Paul knew sin as a principle and specifically, covetousness as an expression of it, and that knowledge came through the Law. Paul described how it worked. The indwelling principle of sin, seeing the opportunity (lit., 'taking a start point' = "aphormen" = a base for military operations or for an expedition) afforded by the commandment (cf. Rom 7:11), 'produced in me every kind of covetous desire.' The Law is not the cause of the act of sin; the principle or nature of sin within an individual is. But the Law's specific commandments [or of any code of moral behavior] stimulate the sin principle into acts that violate the commandments and give those acts the character of transgression (4:15; cf. 3:20; 5:13b, 20a)..."

B) APART FROM LAW THE UNBELIEVER DELIBERATELY MISCONSTRUES OR IS WILLFULLY IGNORANT OF COMMANDS FOR GODLY BEHAVIOR. HENCE TO HIM SIN IS DEAD IN THE SENSE OF NOT REGARDING HIS SINFUL ACTIONS AS WRONG BEFORE GOD. NEVERTHELESS, LAW IS NOT AN ORIGINATOR OF SIN

(v. 3:19) "Now we know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God..... (v. 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God... (v. 7:5 ASV) For when we were in the flesh, [= controlled by the sinful nature within], the sinful passions, which were through the Law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death... (v. 7:7 NIV) What shall we say, then? Is the [Mosaic] Law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through law [law, no article = any rules of moral behavior]. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the [Mosaic] Law had not said, 'Do not covet.' [Ex 20:17, Dt 5:21] (v. 7:8 NIV) but sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. "For apart from law, sin is dead." =

When law is actually in place, as is the case in v. 7:8, then when an individual denies being under law, or when he deliberately misconstrues its content to release himself from accountability to God, then he regards himself as "apart from law". The truth of the matter is that he is apart from it - not in reality, but only within his vain imagination. So the phrase "apart from law" in verse 7:8 portrays the mentality of an unbeliever, in which mode Paul continues in verse 7:8 to portray himself before he became a believer.

In verse 7:8, sin, (= action short of a righteousness from God, (cf. 3:21-23), is declared dead, (= inactive in the mind), apart from law, (= when rules of godly behavior are not a concern). This is not saying that one does not commit sin when one is "apart from law". Nor is it implying that law is the originator of sin. The phrase "For apart from law, sin is dead" is saying that one does not regard ones actions that fall short of a righteousness from God as sinful, nor does the unbeliever regard himself as accountable to God for keeping law or for any wrong doing.

Just as the expression "Oh, He's dead to the world" can mean "not being cognizant to what is going on in the world about you", so the expression "dead to sin" can mean "willfully denying wrong doing" in spite of the reality that one is committing sins and clearly violating commandments. In the context of this passage this phrase can only mean inactive in the mind and not inactive in reality. Scripture reports that all individuals have sinned and fall [daily] from the glory and righteousness of God:

1) [Compare Ro 3:21-23]:

(v. 3:21) "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.

(v. 3:22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,

(v. 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"

Notice the phrase "all... [individuals] fall short [present tense] of the glory of God," (v. 3:23), i.e., everyone sins daily. Yet "apart from law," i.e., when one deliberately misconstrues or is willfully ignorant of commands for godly behavior, "sin is dead," (v. 7:8c), i.e., inactive in ones conscious life. Although ones accountability for ones actions before God is a reality, it is NOT acknowledged by the individual when one considers himself "apart from law" and law is ignored. Due to a flawed nature and conscience, man is willfully ignorant of an accurate understanding / acknowledgement of the content of law and does not admit it is in effect in his life. This is a deliberate and willful denial. So man considers wrong doing in his life as of no consequence, even acceptable behavior, (cf 1:32). He denies that he is breaking any law.

Notice that the phrase "apart from law" in verse 7:8 is not describing those times in history when the Mosaic Law or any rules governing human behavior existed. The phrase "apart from law" is describing the mentality of individuals who refuse to recognize the validity of and their personal accountability to existing rules governing human behavior. In effect, the phrase "For apart from law, sin is dead," i.e., it portrays the seared or dead conscience of individuals who refuse to admit they are under any obligation before God.

2) [Compare Ro 1:18-20, 32; 3:19-23]:

(v. 1:18) "The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness,

(v. 1:19) since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.

(v. 1:20) For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

(v. 1:32) Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

(v. 3:19) Now we know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.

(v. 3:20) Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the Law; rather, through the Law we become conscious of sin.

(v. 3:21) But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.

(v. 3:22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,

(v. 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

"fall short of the glory of God" = "usterountai" rendered "fall short" is in the present tense which signifies that all men are constantly falling short of the glory of God, i.e., all men are constantly sinning = all men are constantly committing sins - from birth, since no exception is indicated here.

If it were the case that no sins were committed before the law came, then all sins committed could be considered as originated by law, which makes law evil; and God evil for instituting it. But this is not the case. If that were the case, then one could live a sinless life apart from law. But then this would make our Lord's sacrifice on the cross of questionnable worth.

Notice that a function of law, (rules governing human behavior), is to make individuals become conscious of sins that they commit. For all men have sinned and constantly fall short of the glory of God, His holiness, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God, (3:19, 23). On the other hand, when one is willfully ignorant of law, then sin is dead in the sense of not regarding ones sinful actions as wrong before God.

C) LAW IS NOT AN ORIGINATOR OF SIN, NOR IS GOD EVIL FOR BEING THE CREATOR OF THE LAW. THERE WAS CONTINUAL SIN ON THE EARTH FROM ADAM AND EVE TO MOSES LONG BEFORE LAW WAS INSTITUTED

(v. 3:19) "Now we know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God..... (v. 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (v. 3:24) and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus... (v. 7:5 ASV) For when we were in the flesh, [= controlled by the sinful nature within], the sinful passions, which were through the Law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. (v. 5:13) For before law [= code of behavior] was given, sin [= acts of sin] was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law [any code of behavior]. (v. 5:14) Nevertheless, [physical] death [= God's judgment on all men, all of whom are guilty before Him] reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the One to come... (v. 5:20 NKJV) Moreover ... law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more (v. 5:21 NKJV) so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.... (v. 7:7 NIV) What shall we say, then? Is the [Mosaic] Law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through law [law, no article = any rules of moral behavior]. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the [Mosaic] Law had not said, 'Do not covet.' [Ex 20:17, Dt 5:21] (v. 7:8 NIV) but sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead." =

Before law was instituted, sin flouished - from shortly after the beginning of creation, (cf. 5:14). But "sin is not taken into account," i.e., men were not held accountable for their sinful behavior relative to God's temporal wrath when there is no law, (v. 5:13).

Objectors often raise the question that since through law we become conscious of sin, (v. 3:23); and since sinful passions are thereby aroused, (v. 7:5); and knowledge of sin therefore comes, (v. 7:7); such that sin abounds and reigns, (vv. 5:20-21); then could not law be a cause of sin and God, being its Author, evil if it were the case that no sins were committed before law existed?

Answer: No, because before any law existed there was continual sin on the earth from Adam and Eve to Moses.

1) [Compare Ro 5:13-14]:

(v. 13) "For before law [= code of godly behavior] was given, sin [= acts of sin] was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law [any code of behavior].

[Notice that there was sin in the world before law was instituted]

(v. 14) Nevertheless, death [God's judgment on all men, all of whom are guilty before Him] reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the One to come."

If it were the case that law was the originator of sin, then could not one live a sinless life while one were apart from law? But such has never been the case with any individual in history except our Lord Who was not born in Adam's sin like the rest of humanity. If it were so then this would bring our Lord's gracious sacrifice on the cross into question as to its value and fairness. For the redemption that came by Christ Jesus was on the basis that all individuals fall short of the glory of God and His righteousness and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus, (Ro 3:21-24).

Consider a playground where children's behavior is out of control. An individual in charge sets up rules of proper playground behavior which results in even more unruly behavior. Can the rules be considered evil because it caused such a reaction?

VII) [Ro 7:9]:

(v. 7:9 NKJV) "I was alive once without... law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died."

egO de ..ezOn .........chOris .......nomou ....pote .elthousEs

I ......but .was living .apart from law ..........then .having come

de tEs entolEs ..............hE ..hamartia anezEsen .egO de ..apethanon

but the commandment, .the .sin ..........revived, ...I ......but .died

A) PAUL CONTINUES TO DESCRIBE HIS EXPERIENCE BEFORE HE WAS A BELIEVER RELATIVE TO HIS PERCEPTION OF THE LAW AS AN EXAMPLE OF THE RESPONSE OF ALL UNBELIEVERS TO THE LAW. HE FALSELY PERCEIVED HIMSELF AS ALIVE WHEN HE DELIBERATELY MISCONSTRUED THE LAW. HE CONVINCED HIMSELF THAT HE WAS BLAMELESS UNDER IT AND HE DENIED THAT HIS LIFESTYLE (1) CONDEMNED HIM TO DAILY SPIRITUAL DEATH / SEPARATION FROM DAILY FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD, (2) CONTRIBUTED TOWARD HIS PHYSICAL DEATH AND (3) ULTIMATELY WOULD HAVE CAUSED ETERNAL DEATH IN THE LAKE OF FIRE HAD HE NOT BECOME A BELIEVER

(v. 2:17) "Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (v. 2:18) if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law; (v. 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (v. 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth - (v. 2:21) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? [The implication is yes]. You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? [The implication is again, yes] (v. 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? [The implication is yes]: (v. 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you." (v. 3:19) Now we know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. (v. 3:20) Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the Law; rather, through the Law we become conscious of sin. (v. 3:21) But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (v. 3:22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, (v. 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (v. 5:20 NKJV) Moreover..... law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. (v. 5:21 NKJV) so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (v. 7:4 NIV) So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. (v. 7:5 ASV) For when we were in the flesh, [= controlled by the sinful nature within], the sinful passions, which were through the Law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. (v. 7:6 KJV) But now we are delivered from the Law, that being dead [lit. having died] wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in [the] oldness of [the] letter. (v. 7:7 NIV) What shall we say, then? Is the [Mosaic] Law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through law [law, no article = any rules of moral behavior]. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the [Mosaic] Law had not said, 'Do not covet.' [Ex 20:17, Dt 5:21] (v. 7:8 NIV) but sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. (v. 7:9 NKJV) I was alive once without... law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died." =

Paul continues to describe his experience before he was a believer relative to his perception of the Law as an example of the response of all unbelievers to the Law. He falsely perceived himself as alive when he deliberately misconstrued the law. He convinced himself that he was blameless under it and he denied that his lifestyle (1) condemned him to daily spiritual death / separation from daily fellowship with God, (2) contributed toward his physical death and (3) ultimately would have caused eternal death in the lake of fire had he not become a believer.

Just as one can say, 'I was so alive when I was a child that I thought I would live forever; but this not actually true. When I became older, I died to that idea, and realized my mortality. I understood that my life would have an inevitable physical end;

so the phrase in verse 7:9 rendered "I was alive without... law" is not referring to being physically alive without law, but having a mindset of deliberately misconstruing or being willfully ignorant of the Law's condemnation of him unto death. There was in Paul an absence of conviction before God of sin and daily spiritual death / separation from daily fellowship with God. In that absence, Paul considers himself alive, not having to acknowledge the true content of law which makes one conscious of being dead in trespasses and sins before a holy God. If one were willing to receive an accurate understanding and were submissive to law, one would be convicted of God's condemnation unto death. Hence one would then consider oneself dead to God, not alive.

The phrase "chOris nomou" rendered "without... law" does NOT refer to a time in Paul's life when law did not exist, i.e., was not yet historically instituted. Instead, Paul is referring to himself as "without... law" in a period of time and scenario in which the Mosaic Law had been fully in force as a rule of life from a time before he was born, during which time he deliberately misconstrued the Law, falsely concluding that he was "without law" in the sense of not being accountable to it.

B) THE PHRASE "WHEN THE COMMANDMENT CAME" DOES NOT REFER TO WHEN GOD FIRST INSTITUTED THE MOSAIC LAW IN HISTORY, WHICH BEGAN BEFORE PAUL WAS BORN: BUT TO WHEN PAUL HIMSELF BECAME CONSCIOUS OF THE ACTUAL CONTENT OF THE LAW

By virtue of the past tense, Paul continues to reflect on his past experience before he became a believer relative to his preception of the Law in order to show that this is how all unbelievers respond via the sin nature within to a correct understanding of the Law. He indicates that once he was alive apart from law before he permitted himself to become aware of it's actual content and authority over him. Note that the phrase "When the commandment came" does not refer to when God first instituted the Mosaic Law in history, for that occurred long before Paul's time. Rather the phrase refers to when Paul himself became conscious of the actual content of the commandments of the Mosaic Law relative to his accountability before God for keeping them under consequences of spiritual, physical and eternal death. So Paul declares that before the Law came he was "alive" in the sense of willfully not choosing to recognize its condemnation of him. But when the commandment came, i.e., the Mosaic Law, in the sense of Paul now choosing to recognize its actual content and authority over him, sin sprang to life in Paul. This is not to say that Paul did not sin while he was not aware of the actual content of law, but that it sprang to life in Paul's consciousness. So Paul's sinful passions were aroused, (v. 7:5), as a result of becoming aware of his transgressions of the Law before a holy God. He bore further fruit to death by committing even more sins. Hence Paul says, as a result of this, that he died, not a physical death but death in the sense of choosing to recognize that he was under God's condemnation unto spiritual, physical and eternal death.

[BKC, Ibid., NT, Walvoord & Zuck, Eds., Victor Books, USA, 1988, p. 466]:

[Ro 7:9]: "Some generalize the words, Once I was alive apart from Law, [v. 7:9] to refer to the experience of mankind in the period between the Fall and the giving of the Mosaic Law. But there is no basis for this. Evidently the apostle was speaking of his personal experience as a child and perhaps even a youth prior to his awareness and understanding of the full impact of God's commandments. The clause, but when the commandment came, (v. 7:9) does not speak of the giving of the Mosaic Law, but the dawning of the significance of the commandment ("Do not covet") on Paul's mind and heart before his conversion. The result was that the principle of sin within made its presence and power known (it sprang to life) in his violations of the commandment. As a result Paul died spiritually... under the sentence of judgment by the Law he had broken. The commandment not to covet was given to help people see how to live, but it actually produced death because of the sin in human hearts."

1) [Compare Ro 2:17-24]:

(v. 17) "Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God;

(v. 18) if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law;

(v. 19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark,

(v. 20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth -

(v. 21) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? [The inference is yes]. You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? [The inference is again, yes]

(v. 23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? [The inference is yes on all counts previously mentioned]:

(v. 24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."

Notice that the Jews so willfully misconstrued and violated the Mosaic Law that God's name was blasphemed among the Gentiles who viewed the behavior of the Jews and their willful misperception and violation of the Law as evil and hypocritical.

Paul's misconstruing of law, specifically the Mosaic Law and his lack of conviction of sin was in fact deliberate self-deception to the point of searing his conscience from believing that he was accountable at all to God for any sins. How could Paul NOT really be aware of sins in his life after he reached the age of accountability, studied the Law under Gamiliel like no one else, and became a Pharisee of Pharisees?

Just as Ro 2:17-24 stipulates, Paul was the epitome of the self-deceived religious Jew convinced of his own righteousness before God yet totally dead in his transgressions and sins. Romans 2:17-24 implies that the Jew was specifically given the Mosaic Law which clearly stipulates God's standard of righteous behavior. Yet Jews are characterized as deliberating misconstruing and acting in violation of the Law, willfully ignorant of what has been made plain to them by God, convincing themselves that by their actions they are keeping the commandments when they were not. They blasphemed God's name among the Gentiles, who viewed the Jews as God's chosen people to whom God gave the Mosaic Law and who constantly violated it.

VIII) [Ro 7:10]:

(v. 7:10 NKJV) "And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death."

A) BY VIRTUE OF THE PAST TENSE, PAUL CONTINUES TO REFLECT ON HIS PAST EXPERIENCE BEFORE HE BECAME A BELIEVER RELATIVE TO HIS PRECEPTION OF THE LAW IN ORDER TO SHOW THAT THIS IS HOW ALL UNBELIEVERS RESPOND VIA THE SIN NATURE WITHIN TO A CORRECT UNDERSTANDING OF THE LAW. SO THE COMMMANDMENTS OF THE LAW SIGNIFY THAT ALL INDIVIDUALS ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO GOD FOR RIGHTEOUS LIVING THEREBY BRINGING LIFE WHEN OBEYED IN THE SENSE OF (1) BEING SPIRITUALLY ALIVE / IN DAILY FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD, (2) ENHANCING THE QUALITY AND LENGTH OF ONES PHYSICAL LIFE AND (3) LEADING ONE TO ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE. BUT DUE TO A FLAWED NATURE, MANKIND DELIBERATELY MISCONTRUES AND VIOLATES THE LAW RESULTING IN LIVES (1) BEING CHARACTERIZED BY PERSONAL DESTRUCTION AND SPIRITUAL DEATH / SEPARATION FROM DAILY FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD, (2) BEING LED TOWARD PHYSICAL DEATH AND (3) BEING ON A PATH TOWARD ETERNAL DEATH BEFORE GOD, (UNLESS ONE TRUSTED ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE UNTO A RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD)

(v. 3:19) "Now we know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. (v. 3:20) Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the Law; rather, through the Law we become conscious of sin. (v. 3:21) But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (v. 3:22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, (v. 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (v. 5:20 NKJV) Moreover..... law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. (v. 5:21 NKJV) so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (v. 7:4 NIV) So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. (v. 7:5 ASV) For when we were in the flesh, [= controlled by the sinful nature within], the sinful passions, which were through the Law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. (v. 7:6 KJV) But now we are delivered from the Law, that being dead [lit. having died] wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in [the] oldness of [the] letter. (v. 7:7 NIV) What shall we say, then? Is the [Mosaic] Law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through law [law, no article = any rules of moral behavior]. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the [Mosaic] Law had not said, 'Do not covet.' [Ex 20:17, Dt 5:21] (v. 7:8 NIV) but sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. (v. 7:9 NKJV) I was alive once without... law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died
(v. 7:10 NKJV) And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death." =

"Kai .heurethE ..moi ...hE entolE ...............hE eis zOEn hautE eis thanaton

"And was found .to me the commandment .the to .life ....this ....to death"

By virtue of the past tense, Paul continues to reflect on his past experience before he became a believer relative to his preception of the Law in order to show that this is how all unbelievers respond via the sin nature within to a correct understanding of the Law. The phrase in v. 7:10, "Kai heurethE moi hE entolE hE eis zOEn hautE eis thanaton" literally rendered in the NKJV "And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death" refers to not just the specific commandment "Do not covet" relative to author Paul's personal experience, but by example, to the principle behind all godly commands regulating the behavior of all mankind, (law) - to bring life. The commmandments signify that all individuals are accountable to God for righteous living thereby bringing life when obeyed in the sense of (1) being spiritually alive / in daily fellowship with God, (2) enhancing the quality and length of ones physical life and (3) leading one to eternal life through a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, (cf. 3:21-24). But due to a flawed nature, author Paul is illustrating, by his personal experience, an example of all mankind deliberately miscontruing and violating law resulting in lives (1) being characterized by personal destruction and spiritual death / separation from daily fellowship with God, (2) being led toward physical death and (3) being on a path toward eternal death before God , [unless one trusted alone in Christ alone unto a righteousness from God, (Ro 3:21-23)]. The phrase "sin revived" in verse 7:9 indicates when Paul came upon an understanding of the true content of law, whereupon he realized that he was dead before a holy God in his trespasses and sins as a result of his natural, (sin nature's), response to law. Note that this is a repeat of the message of verse 9: "I was alive once without... law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died."

[BKC, Ibid., NT, Walvoord & Zuck, Eds., Victor Books, USA, 1988, p. 466]:

[Ro 7:9]: "Some generalize the words, Once I was alive apart from Law, [v. 7:9] to refer to the experience of mankind in the period between the Fall and the giving of the Mosaic Law. But there is no basis for this. Evidently the apostle was speaking of his personal experience as a child and perhaps even a youth prior to his awareness and understanding of the full impact of God's commandments. The clause, but when the commandment came, (v. 7:9) does not speak of the giving of the Mosaic Law, but the dawning of the significance of the commandment ("Do not covet") on Paul's mind and heart before his conversion. The result was that the principle of sin within made its presence and power known (it sprang to life) in his violations of the commandment. As a result Paul died spiritually... under the sentence of judgment by the Law he had broken. The commandment not to covet was given to help people see how to live, but it actually produced death because of the sin in human hearts."

IX) [Ro 7:11]:

(v. 7:11 NKJV) "For sin, taking [lit., having taken] occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me."

A) WHEN AN UNBELIEVER CHOOSES TO RECOGNIZE THE TRUE MEANING OF THE COMMANDMENT TO NOT COVET AND BY IMPLICATION ANY COMMANDMENT OF THE LAW, SIN REVIVES IN HIM IN THE SENSE THAT HE BEGINS TO HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING THROUGH THE LAW THAT HIS LIFE IS SINFUL AND DEAD BEFORE GOD

(v. 3:21) "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (v. 3:22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, (v. 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (v. 7:9 NKJV) I was alive once without... law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. (v. 7:10 NKJV) And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. (v. 7:11 NKJV) For sin, taking [lit., having taken] occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me." =

Begun at verse 7 and continued in verses 9 and 10, Paul provided an example of himself as representative of all individuals, pointing out that he was "alive once without ...law" in the sense of thinking that his life was not jeopardized toward physical or daily spiritual death before God. But he had a false sense of well being. When he, (and by implication, any individual), chose to recognize the true meaning of the commandment to not covet, (and by implication, any commandment of the Law), "sin revived" in him in the sense that he began to have an understanding of his life (1) being characterized by personal destruction and spiritual death / separation from daily fellowship with God, (2) being led toward physical death and (3) being on a path toward eternal death before God, [unless one trusted alone in Christ alone unto a righteousness from God, (Ro 3:21-23)].

Although the commandments signify that all individuals are accountable to God for righteous living thereby bringing life when obeyed in the sense of (1) being spiritually alive / in daily fellowship with God, (2) enhancing the quality and length of ones physical life and (3) leading one to eternal life through a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, (cf. 3:21-24); due to a flawed nature, author Paul is illustrating, by his personal experience, an example of all mankind deliberately miscontruing and violating law resulting in death.

Verse 7:11 begins with "hE gar hamartia..." literally "the for sin..." and rendered in the NKJV, "For sin". The word "For" means because and provides further details in explanation of verses 9 and 10. The Greek words "hE hamartia," lit. "the sin" are rendered "sin" without the definite article in the NKJV in English as the context refers to the sin nature being the agent within Paul and not a particular act of sin. It is implied here that Paul is an example of all men wherein his sin nature within brings forth the death mentioned in verse 7:10; which death came as a result of [choosing to recognize the meaning of] "the commandment". "The commandment" refers to not just the commandment to not covet, but to principles of godly behavior which are representative of all the commandments, i.e., law, specifically the Mosaic Law. The subject of the interaction between man's intrinsic sin nature and rules of godly behavior was previously made in Ro 7:8a:

1) [Compare Ro 7:8a NIV]:

"But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire..."

Notice in verse 7:8 that by the work of the sin nature within Paul in his unbeliever past, (and by implication, within all unbelievers), when anyone becomes chooses to recognize the meaning of a commandment, (to not covet or any of the commandments) - the sin nature seizes that opportunity and produces in one every kind of covetous desire, (or sin corresponding to any of the commandments). Verses 9-11 then go on to say that law correctly understood, specifically the Mosaic Law, gave Paul in his past as an unbeliever, as it gives to all unbelievers who correctly understand the Law, a true perspective of ones life before God (1) being characterized by personal destruction and spiritual death / separation from daily fellowship with God, (2) being led toward physical death and (3) being on a path toward eternal death before God , [unless he trusted alone in Christ alone unto a righteousness from God, (Ro 3:21-23)].

So apart from a conscious and accurate awareness of law = godly rules of behavior, sin is dead in the sense that one willfully misconstrues it, leading to a blocked understanding of ones true reality of estrangement, death and condemnation before God for sinfulness. On the other hand, with a conscious and accurate awareness of law comes the correct perception of death in the sense of the three deadly conditions just enumerated.

The Greek text of Ro 7:8 with literal English below is as follows:

(v. 7:8) "aphormEn de ..labousa ............hE .hamartia .dia tEs entolEs ...........kateirgasato

............."occasion ...but .having taken ..the .sin ...........by .the commandment worked out

en emoi pasan .epithumian chOris .......gar nomou hamartia nekra"

in .me ...every .lust; ............apart from for .law .....sin ..........dead"

The Greek phrase at the beginning of verse 7:8 noted above, "aphormEn de labousa hE hamartia dia tEs entolEs" rendered "sin seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment" in the NKJV is literally "But sin having taken [aorist participle] occasion by the commandment." Due to the aorist participle, the action of the verse indicates a completed action in the past of Paul's life when he was an unbeliever. This evidently refers to a particular moment in time in the life of Paul when he became conscious of his spiritual and physical death before God. Author Paul portrays this personal experience as an example of the potential of all unbelievers when each begins to recognize the true meaning of law.

X) [Ro 7:12]:

(v. 7:12 NKJV) "Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good."

A) SINCE THE LAW COMPRISES COMMANDMENTS FOR GODLY RIGHTEOUS BEHAVIOR CAUSING MEN TO BE CONSCIOUS OF SIN AND DEATH THEN THE LAW IS HOLY, SET APART AS ABSOLUTELY JUST, HAVING THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD

(v. 2:13 NIV) "For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (v. 7:7 NIV) What shall we say, then? Is the [Mosaic] Law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through law [law, no article = any rules of moral behavior]. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the [Mosaic] Law had not said, 'Do not covet.' [Ex 20:17, Dt 5:21] (v. 7:8 NIV) but sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. (v. 7:9 NKJV) I was alive once without... law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. (v. 7:10 NKJV) And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. (v. 7:11 NKJV) For sin, taking [lit., having taken] occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. (v. 7:12 NKJV) Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good." =

The Greek word "hOste" at the beginning of verse 12, rendered "Therefore" in the NKJV is a conjunction which begins a conclusion of what chapter 7 has been saying about the Law, especially verse 7 which poses the question, "What shall we say, then? Is the [Mosaic] Law sin?" Since "the commandment" of which many comprise the Law are rules for godly, righteous behavior, (cf. Ro 2:13); then the Greek words rendered "holy" in the phrase "The Law is holy and the commandment is holy," in verse 7:12 mean set apart having the quality of an absolute righteousness, a righteousness from God which is corroborated by the next two adjectives describing it: "just and good." Notice that in verse 7:12, the expression "the commandment" is paralleled with "the law" relative to the commandment being representative of the Law in portraying principles and qualities of godly human behavior. This corroborates author Paul's method of using examples of the commandments relative to marriage in vv. 7:1-3 and the commandment, 'Do not covet' in vv. 7-11 to illustrate the godly righteous principles and qualities which comprise the Law. So the statement following the word rendered "Therefore" in verse 7:12 explains that the holiness, justice and goodness of the Law is the reason why the commandment made Paul conscious of his sin and aware of his deadness before God. For by contrast the holiness, justice and goodness of the Law made Paul's sin appear to be what it was: utterly sinful.

1) [Compare Ro 2:13 NIV]:

(v. 13) "For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous."

a) The Law Is A Rule Of Life Which Standard Is God's Righteousness Because When One Observes It One Is Declared Righteous By God. Hence The Law Embodies The Righteousness Of God

(v. 13) "For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous." =

The Law is a rule of life which standard is God's righteousness because when one observes it one is declared righteous by God. And when one does not, one can be observed to be utterly sinful. Hence the Law embodies the righteousness of God and its commandments are absolutely just and good.

XI) [Ro 7:13]:

(v. 7:13 NKJV) 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."

A) THE LAW WHICH WAS JUST DECLARED HOLY, JUST AND GOOD, DID NOT BECOME (= CAUSE) DEATH IN PAUL (OR ANY INDIVIDUAL). IT IS SIN - THE SIN NATURE - THAT PRODUCES DEATH. THE LAW CAUSES RECOGNITION OF THAT FACT RESULTING IN DELIBERATE VIOLATIONS OF IT CAUSING SIN TO BE SHOWN AS EXCEEDINGLY SINFUL AND CAUSING RECOGNITION OF ONES DEATH BEFORE GOD

(v. 2:13 NIV) "For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (v. 3:19) Now we know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. (v. 3:20) Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the Law; rather, through the Law we become conscious of sin. (v. 5:20 NKJV) Moreover..... law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. (v. 7:5 ASV) For when we were in the flesh, [= controlled by the sinful nature within], the sinful passions, which were through the Law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. (v. 7:7 NIV) What shall we say, then? Is the [Mosaic] Law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through law [law, no article = any rules of moral behavior]. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the [Mosaic] Law had not said, 'Do not covet.' [Ex 20:17, Dt 5:21] (v. 7:8 NIV) but sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. (v. 7:9 NKJV) I was alive once without... law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. (v. 7:10 NKJV) And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. (v. 7:11 NKJV) For sin, taking [lit., having taken] occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. (v. 7:12 NKJV) Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. (v. 7:13 NKJV) 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." =

"Alla hE hamartia hina phanE ...............hamartia dia tou .agathou moi ....katergazeomenE thanaton"

"But the sin, .........that .it might appear sin, .........by .the ..good .....to me working out .........death"

The first Greek word spelled "hamartia" rendered "sin" in verse 7:13 in the NKJV is singular with the definite article, ("hE"). It refers to an entity that "might appear to be sin" where the second "sin" is rendered from "hamartia" without the definite article referring to the quality of sin, i.e., unrighteous. Furthermore, the first "hamartia" is declared to be "producing death" in Paul which points to the sin nature within Paul and every individual as opposed to acts of sin which are produced by that sin nature.

The Law which was just declared holy, just and good, (v. 7:12), did not become (= cause) death in Paul (or any individual). It is sin - man's sin nature - that produces acts of sin and death. The Law causes recognition of that fact resulting in further acts of sin which are deliberate violations of the Law causing the sin nature to become exceedingly sinful.

In verse 7:13, Paul answers 'Certainly not!' to the question which he just posed, "Has then what is good [the Law, cf 7:12] become death to me?" in the sense of his life (1) being characterized by personal destruction and spiritual death / separation from daily fellowship with God, (2) being led toward physical death and (3) being on a path toward eternal death before God.

So by no means did the Law - which has just been declared "holy, just and good" in verse 7:12, become death to Paul in the sense of having an intrinsic value which imparts any kind of death to him or any individual. Verse 7:13 goes on to explain that when the commandment did 'come to Paul,' (v. 7:9), in the sense of Paul willfully recognizing its true meaning, it was discovered by Paul that sin, (not the Law), produced death in him in the sense of his life (1) being characterized by personal destruction and spiritual death / separation from daily fellowship with God, (2) being led toward physical death and (3) being on a path toward eternal death before God , [until he trusted alone in Christ alone unto a righteousness from God, (Ro 3:21-23)]. Furthermore, Paul says why this is so: He implies that a purpose of the Law was that "sin might be recognized as sin,"(v. 7:13c), to such an extent that it produces in one an understanding that the sin nature in one caused one to be dead before God in trespasses and sins as explained in the 3 points just made. Previously it was established that when the commandment, (= the Law), is correctly understood, one becomes conscious of sin, (cf. 3:20), one bears further and deliberate fruit (trespasses) for death, (cf. v. 7:5); so that the trespass (= offense against a known commandment) might abound, (cf. v. 5:20). Hence it is made clear through a true understanding of the Law that sin is what it is, especially relative to that fact that it is evil and produces death. The character of sin is brought out all the more with a true understanding of the Law because law causes the sin nature in man to commit deliberate violations of the commandment so sin becomes exceedingly sinful, (v. 7:13c).

XII) [Ro 7:14]:

(v. 7:14 NKJV) "For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, [having been] sold under sin."

"Oidamen .gar hoti ho ..nomos .pneumatikos estin egO .de .sarkikos .eimi

"We know for .that the .Law ....spiritual .........is......I ......but fleshly ....am

pepramenos .........hupo ..tEn hamartian"

having been sold .under .the sin."

A) THE SINFUL (UNRIGHTEOUS) CHARACTER OF SIN (= THE SIN NATURE IN MAN) IS MANIFESTED AND EVEN MAGNIFIED THROUGH LAW BECAUSE THE LAW IS SPIRITUAL HENCE RIGHTEOUS AND MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE FROM MAN'S UNRIGHTEOUS SIN NATURE

(v. 2:13 NIV) "For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (v. 3:19) Now we know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. (v. 3:20) Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the Law; rather, through the Law we become conscious of sin. (v. 5:20 NKJV) Moreover..... law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. (v. 7:5 ASV) For when we were in the flesh, [= controlled by the sinful nature within], the sinful passions, which were through the Law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. (v. 7:7 NIV) What shall we say, then? Is the [Mosaic] Law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through law [law, no article = any rules of moral behavior]. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the [Mosaic] Law had not said, 'Do not covet.' [Ex 20:17, Dt 5:21] (v. 7:8 NIV) but sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. (v. 7:9 NKJV) I was alive once without... law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. (v. 7:10 NKJV) And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. (v. 7:11 NKJV) For sin, taking [lit., having taken] occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. (v. 7:12 NKJV) Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. (v. 7:13 NKJV) 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. (v. 7:14 NKJV) For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, [having been] sold under sin" =

The word "For" means because. It points to a forthcoming explanation as to why the sinful (unrighteous) character of sin (= the sin nature in man) is manifested and even magnified through the commandment, i.e., law of which the Law is the epitome. The declaration, "For we know that the Law is spiritual but I [Paul] am carnal, [having been] sold under sin." From this we can discern that the Law has a characteristic which is spiritual and hence from God which thus reflects the righteousness of God, (cf. 2:13; 7:12). Hence the Law is righteous and mutually exclusive from man's unrighteous sin nature.

Notice that verse 7:14 places the Law in direct and opposing contrast with Paul's carnality which is "[having been] sold under sin" using the contrasting conjunction "de" rendered "but" in the NKJV.

1) [Compare Ro 2:13; 7:12]:

(v. 2:13 NIV) "For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous.

[Note that the Law must be righteous if those who obey it are declared righteous in God's sight]

(v. 7:12 NKJV) Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good."

[To be holy, just and good means to have a characteristic of God's righteousness]

2) [Compare Ro 3:10]:

"As it is written: 'There is no one righteous, not even one.' "

[Note that all men are unrighteous by nature]

B) STATEMENTS REFERRING TO PAUL'S EXPERIENCE NOW MOVE TO THE PRESENT TENSE TO PORTRAY HIS PRESENT STATUS AS A BELIEVER BEGINNING WITH THE DECLARATION "I AM CARNAL, [HAVING BEEN] SOLD UNDER SIN." THIS IS NOT PORTRAYING PAUL'S UNBELIEVER PAST VIA THE HISTORICAL PRESENT TENSE AS SOME MAINTAIN. THE CONTEXT HAS PROVIDED NOTHING TO SUPPORT THIS AND PRECEDENT IN CHAPTER 7 FOR PORTRAYING PAUL AS A BELIEVER IN THE PRESENT TENSE HAS ALREADY BEEN ESTABLISHED AND WILL BE FURTHER CORROBORATED THROUGHOUT LATER VERSES

(v. 2:13 NIV) "For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (v. 3:19) Now we know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. (v. 3:20) Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the Law; rather, through the Law we become conscious of sin. (v. 5:20 NKJV) Moreover..... law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. (v. 7:5 ASV) For when we were in the flesh, [= controlled by the sinful nature within], the sinful passions, which were through the Law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. (v. 7:7 NIV) What shall we say, then? Is the [Mosaic] Law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through law [law, no article = any rules of moral behavior]. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the [Mosaic] Law had not said, 'Do not covet.' [Ex 20:17, Dt 5:21] (v. 7:8 NIV) but sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. (v. 7:9 NKJV) I was alive once without... law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. (v. 7:10 NKJV) And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. (v. 7:11 NKJV) For sin, taking [lit., having taken] occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. (v. 7:12 NKJV) Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. (v. 7:13 NKJV) 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. (v. 7:14 NKJV) For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, [having been] sold under sin." =

Statements referring to Paul's personal experience now move to the present tense to portray his status as a believer beginning with the present tense declaration, "I am carnal, [having been] sold under sin" even while a believer. The present tense illustrates his present state at the time of his writing the letter to the Roman believers of being a believer himself. Heretofore, the verb tenses in Paul's personal references were predominately in the past tense referring to a time in his life when he was NOT a believer and as an illustration of the behavior of all unsaved individuals. So the phrase "I am carnal, sold [as a slave] under sin," implies that Paul while he was a believer possessed a nature, an activity within his mind, that chooses to be controlled by sin which nature evidently opposes another side of him - his mind - which recognizes the content of the Law as spiritual, holy, just and good, (cf. v. 7:12; 14a).

1) [Compare Ro 7:12]:

(v. 7:12 NKJV) "Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good."

[To be holy, just and good means to have a characteristic of God's righteousness]

2) [Compare Ro 7:14a]:

(v. 7:14a NKJV) "For we know that the law is spiritual"

Although other passages portray unbelievers as sold under sin, (cf. Ro 3:9-12), it cannot then be said that this excludes believers, saying that they cannot be so described, as some maintain. Their error in logic lies in the fact that none of these passages has in view an exclusion of believers such as the use of the phrase 'only unbelievers...' Hence what is not addressed in a passage must not be said is included. Nor does any passage stipulate that believers are no longer liable to choose to commit sins. As a matter of fact, Romans chapters 6 & 7 as well as many other passages teach that believers can and do voluntarily commit sins all the time, constantly re-enslaving themselves to their sin natures such that the Apostle Paul went so far as to say that all believers can describe themselves as "carnal, [having been] sold under sin," (v. 7:14b NKJV).

********* EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 6 ********

..........................OR SKIP TO NEXT SECTION

SIN, I.E, THE SIN NATURE, REMAINS IN THE BELIEVER, IT CAN REIGN IN THE BELIEVER'S MORTAL BODY AND IS CHARACTERIZED AS HAVING EVIL DESIRES

"Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires." =

Notice that the word sin, (singular), is in view which has the characteristic of being in the believer in some capacity which includes having evil desires such that it can reign as it formerly did in the mortal body of the individual before he became a believer. Hence sin can be viewed as an intrinsic part of the believer's nature. It is portrayed as having evil desires and a capacity to sin. It can reign in the believer in spite of the believer's position in Christ and His righteousness.

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE BELIEVER'S POSITION IN CHRIST JESUS AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HOW THE BELIEVER CONDUCTS HIMSELF IN HIS MORTAL BODY IN HIS DAILY EXPERIENCE - WHICH MAY NOT ALWAYS BE RIGHTEOUS

"In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires." =

Believers are to count themselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. They are exhorted not to let sin reign in their mortal bodies so that they obey the sin nature's evil desires which remains an intrinsic part of the believer.

This passage and the book of Romans indicate that in God's view an individual is declared and positioned in Christ Jesus and His righteousness when he believes. There is no indication that this a guarantee that in the believer's experience he will always live to righteousness; rather in view of frequent admonishments to the believer to live unto righteousness, just the opposite is implied in scripture as possible by the believer. Thus it is not in view here that the true believer will always behave in perfect godly righteousness all the time. The believer has to constantly choose whom he will serve.

Paul uses the verb to count, (logizomai), instead of the verb to know, as in vv. 3, (agnoeO), 6, (ginOskO) & 9, (oida). The verb to know indicates passiveness on the part of the individual with a view to acknowledging one's position that one is no longer under the control of the sin nature.

Paul uses the present tense of the verb to reckon, i.e., to count (logizomai) in 6:11 to indicate an active ongoing participation by the individual in ones experience as a result of the knowledge of one's position of no longer being under sin's control. Verse 11 commands the believer to reckon/count his position in Christ. He must follow through on his knowledge that in his position he has 'died with Christ' and 'will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection' and that his 'old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with that we should no longer be slaves to sin.' The believer must choose daily to do good and not choose to do evil.

Verses 2, ('We died to sin'), and 6, ('Our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin') indicate that the control of the sin nature was broken so that believers should no longer be slaves to sin. The word should, (subjunctive mood), indicates that there is a possibility that he might or might not comply. So this passage does not to say that the believer does not nor will not ever commit acts of sin, but instead it indicates that he has the capacity to commit acts of evil but should not.

Hence the believer is in Christ Jesus and His righteousness in the believer's eternal position, but not in every moment of his experience in his mortal body. The reign of the sin nature within the believer was broken when he believed, but the believer can still let that sin nature reign once more in his daily experience in his mortal body from moment to moment. This is why Paul commands the believer, 'Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.

********** END OF EXCERPT **********

XII cont.) [Ro 7:14 cont.]:

(v. 7:14 NKJV) "For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, [having been] sold under sin."

B cont.) STATEMENTS REFERRING TO PAUL'S EXPERIENCE NOW MOVE TO THE PRESENT TENSE TO PORTRAY HIS PRESENT STATUS AS A BELIEVER BEGINNING WITH THE DECLARATION "I AM CARNAL, [HAVING BEEN] SOLD UNDER SIN." THIS IS NOT PORTRAYING PAUL'S UNBELIEVER PAST VIA THE HISTORICAL PRESENT TENSE AS SOME MAINTAIN. THE CONTEXT HAS PROVIDED NOTHING TO SUPPORT THIS AND PRECEDENT IN CHAPTER 7 FOR PORTRAYING PAUL AS A BELIEVER IN THE PRESENT TENSE HAS ALREADY BEEN ESTABLISHED AND WILL BE FURTHER CORROBORATED THROUGHOUT LATER VERSES

So the phrase "but I am carnal, [having been] sold under sin," in v. 7:14b, which is in the present tense, portrays Paul's present tense condition when he was writing to the Roman believers as a born again believer himself.

"Oidamen .gar hoti ho ..nomos .pneumatikos estin egO .de .sarkikos .eimi

"We know for .that the .Law ....spiritual .........is......I ......but fleshly ....am

pepramenos .........hupo ..tEn hamartian"

having been sold .under .the sin."

The word "sarkikos", lit. "fleshly," rendered "carnal" in verse 7:14 in the NKJV indicates that the members of the body which demonstrate the activity controlled by that part of an individual believer's mentality which has been sold under sin, i.e., controlled by the sin nature. Previously the same root word, "sarki" rendered "flesh" in verse 7:5 was defined as that part of a believer's mentality [as well as all men] that is controlled by the sin nature and is demonstrated via sinful activity in the members of the physical body, i.e., the flesh.

3) [Compare Ro 7:5]:

(v. 7:5 ASV) "For when we were in the flesh, [= controlled by the sinful nature within, (cf. Ro 6:20] the sinful passions, which were through the Law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death

[Notice that being "in the flesh" is defined as having the sinful passions cause the members of the body to bring forth fruit unto death, i.e., acts of sin. In Ro 7:5, Paul is speaking of himself and fellow believers using the personal pronoun "we" with the past tense phrase "were in the flesh" to indicate the time before they were believers. This includes himself.]

4) [Compare Ro 6:19]:

"I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness."

The Greek word "sarkos" literally, "flesh", rendered "natural selves" in the NIV in Ro 6:19 is defined in this verse as that part of the believer which can choose to be enslaved to impurity and ever-increasing wickedness or to righteousness leading to holiness. The part of an individual which can choose to be enslaved "to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness" or "to righteousness leading to holiness" must be a part which is exclusively located in the mind of an individual where only that cognitive function exists in man. Hence the term "sarkos" literally "flesh" and rendered "natural selves" in the NIV, refers to an activity of the mind. Previously the same root word, "sarki" rendered "flesh" in verse 7:5 was defined as that part of a believer's mentality [as well as all men] that is controlled by the sin nature and is demonstrated via sinful activity in the members of the physical body, i.e., the flesh.

On the other hand, Paul demonstrates that he is a believer, albeit, sold as a slave to sin:

5) [Compare Ro 7:22]:

"For I delight in the Law of God according to the inward man."

Notice that Paul in the present tense delights in the Law of God "according to the inward man", referring to the human spirit within him which is evidently alive, (born again). Only a believer can demonstrate such a delight in the Law with an alive spirit. Unbelievers' human spirits are dead and have no such capacity.

6) [Compare Ro 7:24-25]:

(v. 7:24 NKJV) "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

(v. 7:25 NKJV) 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's portrayal of himself in chapter 7 since verse 14 as a believer is not in an historical present tense referring to Paul's days as an unbeliever as some maintain, because the context has provided nothing to support such a tense. On the other hand, there is precedent of portraying Paul's status as a believer in the present tense previous to this, (cf. 1:1; 5:1; 6:1-10). Furthermore, the passage, especially verse 7:22, continues the present tense context of 7:14 referring to Paul when he had an alive and active inner man wherein being a believer is a prerequisite. Finally, Paul speaks of himself in 7:24 in the present tense when he says "O wretched man that I am," immediately whereafter he poses a question, "Who will deliver me from this body of death" which portrays the mentality of a believer aware of his sin before God causing his deathly condition. An unbeliever hardly admits he needs deliverance from his wretched body of death, especially via the answer which Paul provides in the very next verse, "(v. 7:25 NKJV) 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." The question, "Who will deliver me from this body of death" itself implies that one has admitted guilt before God and is looking outside of oneself for deliverance, looking for mercy, not for something one can do, as many unbelievers do. This confirms that Paul is portraying himself during the present time of his writing of the Romans epistle when he was a believer, thus linking all that he has said about himself to chapter 7 since verse 7:14 as part of this experience. This is further corroborated by the next verse's "I thank God - [that deliverance from this body of death will be, (cf. v. 7:24b)] through Jesus Christ our Lord." (v. 7:25a). A statement like this can only come from the lips of a believer for it declares an expression of saving faith which ends with the phrase "Jesus Christ our Lord"! Unbelievers haven't yet expressed saving faith in Christ to deliver themselves from the "body of death," and if and when they do, they are no longer unbelievers. Furthermore, in order for the declaration "Jesus Christ our Lord" to be true we must be believers in order for Him to be "our Lord." Final corroboration in chapter 7 to the fact that Paul is referring to his experience as a believer from verse 14 on comes when Paul speaks of his present day experience immediately after this in verse 7:25b: "So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin." No unbeliever can truthfully state that he serves the law of God with his mind, for that would make him a believer.

C) THE PART OF AN INDIVIDUAL BELIEVER'S MENTALITY WHICH HAS BEEN SOLD UNDER SIN, I.E., CONTROLLED BY THE SIN NATURE IS IN CONFLICT WITH THAT PART OF HIS MIND WHICH IS MOTIVATED BY THE SPIRITUAL, GODLY AND RIGHTEOUS AS EXEMPLIFIED BY THE LAW

(v. 2:13 NIV) "For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (v. 3:19) Now we know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. (v. 3:20) Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the Law; rather, through the Law we become conscious of sin. (v. 5:20 NKJV) Moreover..... law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. (Ro 6:19) I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. (v. 7:5 ASV) For when we were in the flesh, [= controlled by the sinful nature within], the sinful passions, which were through the Law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. (v. 7:7 NIV) What shall we say, then? Is the [Mosaic] Law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through law [law, no article = any rules of moral behavior]. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the [Mosaic] Law had not said, 'Do not covet.' [Ex 20:17, Dt 5:21] (v. 7:8 NIV) but sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. (v. 7:9 NKJV) I was alive once without... law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. (v. 7:10 NKJV) And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. (v. 7:11 NKJV) For sin, taking [lit., having taken] occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. (v. 7:12 NKJV) Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. (v. 7:13 NKJV) 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. (v. 7:14 NKJV) For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, [having been] sold under sin." =

"Oidamen .gar hoti ho .nomos pneumatikos estin egO .de ..sarkikos .eimi,

"We know for .that the Law ....spiritual ........is; ....I ......but .fleshly ....am,

pepramenos ........hupo ..tEn .hamartian"

having been sold .under the .sin"

Notice that the word "sarkikos", lit. "fleshly," rendered "carnal" in the NKJV indicates that part of an individual believer's mentality which has been sold under sin, i.e., controlled by the sin nature and demonstrated in the members of the body as opposed to the mentality which is motivated by the inner man, i.e., the born again spirit which delights in the Law, (cf. v. 7:22). Previously the same root word, "sarki" rendered "flesh" in verse 7:5 was defined as that part of a believer's mentality [as well as all men] that is controlled by the sin nature and is demonstrated via sinful activity in the members of the physical body, i.e., the flesh.

The contrastive conjunction "de" rendered "but" in Ro 7:14 NKJV: "For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, [having been] sold under sin" portrays a mutually exclusive contrast between the character of the Law which is spiritual and righteous, i.e., "holy, just and good," (v. 7:12), and Paul's carnal nature when he is a believer which has been sold under sin, i.e., unrighteous.

The verb "pepramenos hipo" in the phrase rendered "having been sold under sin" in verse 7:14 corroborates the point that a believer's fleshly nature - his natural self - has been "sold under sin", i.e., controlled by the sin nature. Since the phrase "[having been] sold under sin" signifies ownership, the owner being sin, i.e., the sin nature, signifying a choice the individual makes to obey the sin nature, then such ownership must be exercised in the mind of the individual.

1) [Compare Ro 6:19]:

"I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness."

The Greek word "sarkos" literally, "flesh", rendered "natural selves" in the NIV in Ro 6:19 refers to that part of the believer which can choose to be enslaved to impurity and ever-increasing wickedness or to righteousness leading to holiness. The part of an individual which can choose to be enslaved "to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness" or "to righteousness leading to holiness" is a part which is exclusively located in the mind of an individual. Hence the term "sarkos" literally "flesh" and rendered "natural selves" in the NIV, refers to an activity of the mind and as demonstrated in the members of the body. Previously the same root word, "sarki" rendered "flesh" in verse 7:5 was defined as that part of a believer's mentality [as well as all men] that is controlled by the sin nature and is demonstrated via sinful activity in the members of the physical body, i.e., the flesh.

D) THE STATEMENT "FOR WE KNOW THAT THE LAW IS SPIRITUAL, BUT I AM CARNAL, [HAVING BEEN SOLD] UNDER SIN," DOES NOT HAVE AN UNBELIEVER IN VIEW

(v. 3:9) "What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. (v. 3:10) As it is written: 'There is no one righteous, not even one; (v. 3:11) there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. (v. 3:12) All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one' (v. 7:12 NKJV) "Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good... (v. 7:14 NKJV) For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, [having been] sold under sin." =

Note that verse 7:14 cannot represent the mind of any unbeliever, for unbelievers do not accept that they are sold under sin which implies that there is nothing they can offer God which is acceptable. Immoral unbelievers suppress the truth about God, and deny any responsibility to live righteously before Him, as exemplified by the righteous character of the Law. Hence they do not hold to the Law as spiritual which implies an acceptance of its value as spiritual, i.e., holy, just and good relative to their responsibility to uphold it as corroborated by the message of verse 7:14: "For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, [having been] sold under sin." Even moral and religious unbelievers think they can offer something acceptable to God, (cf. Ro 1:18-3:22 )

XIII) [Ro 7:15]:

(v. 7:15 NKJV) "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."

A) A BELIEVER DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THAT WHAT HE HATES TO DO (SIN) HE DOES AND WHAT HE WANTS TO DO (RIGHTEOUSNESS) HE DOES NOT DO. THIS POINTS TO A CONFLICT WITHIN THE MIND OF A BELIEVER BETWEEN HIS FLESHLY MENTALITY - HIS SIN NATURE - AND HIS SPIRITUAL MENTALITY WHICH IS MOTIVATED BY AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE LAW AS SPIRITUAL, GODLY AND RIGHTEOUS. NO UNBELIEVER HAS SUCH A MINDSET

(v. 7:12 NKJV) Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. (v. 7:13 NKJV) 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. (v. 7:14 NKJV) For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, [having been] sold under sin. (v. 7:15 NKJV) 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." =

Note that the word "polO" rendered "do" in the last phrase of v. 7:15 in the NKJV is literally "practice" and is paralleled with the Greek work "prassO" rendered "practice" which portrays a pattern of behavior - a lifestyle characterized as sinful.

So in verse 7:15, Paul continues to reflect on the operation of his "flesh [having been] sold under sin", i.e., a part of his mentality which had become a slave to sin as stipulated in v. 7:14 which part is often referred to as the Greek word "harmartia" singular, i.e., his sin nature. This is assuredly an example of a believer's mentality, not an unbeliever. He says in v. 7:15 that what he is doing at the present time in his life which is as a believer is evidently "carnal", i.e., sinful, (v. 7:14). His reflections corroborate that he is portraying his experience as a believer as no unbeliever views his sinful actions as hateful and in conflict with his desire to do good, the kind of good that the Law commands. Paul is expressing the mentality of a believer, not an unbeliever. He does not understand his behavior in the sense that it is contrary to what he wants to do. He is compelled in his mind to act sinfully contrary to his wishes in his mind to behave righteously. His inability to understand why he does that which is contrary to what he wants to do is explained in the rest of the verse 7:15: "For what I will [want] to do, I do not do, but what I hate I do." Paul's difficulty as a believer lies in giving into the control of his sin nature over his actions, which he describes as "carnal" in verse 7:14. This sinful behavior, Paul says, is in conflict with "what I will [want] to do." The phrase "What I will [want] to do refers to another part of Paul's mentality which is spiritual - the part of his mentality that is motivated to do what is righteous and godly - a motivation reserved for believers only. Note that Paul is giving his personal experience as an example of the conflict within all believers.

Although chapter 7 is a portrayal of the conflict within the mentality of Paul as an example of a believer; which conflict reflects the battle between the righteousness of God which the Law represents and is on the mind of a believer and sin which controls actions within the mind of all men, believer and unbeliever alike, the subject of unbelievers is not in view in this passage. Other passages deal with this topic, (cf Ro 1:18-3:23).

XIV) [Ro 7:16]:

(v. 7:16 NIV) "And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the Law is good."

A) AN INDIVIDUAL WHO DOES NOT DO THE GOOD THAT HE WANTS TO DO, AGREES THAT THE LAW IS HOLY, JUST AND GOOD AND AGREES WITH THE LAW'S JUDGMENT OF HIS BEHAVIOR AS SINFUL HAS THE MINDSET OF A BELIEVER, NOT AN UNBELIEVER

(v. 3:20) "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing law; rather, through law we become conscious of sin... (v. 6:19 NIV) I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. (v. 7:12 NKJV) Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. (v. 7:14 NKJV) For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, [having been] sold under sin. (v. 7:15 NKJV) 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. (v. 7:16 NIV) And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the Law is good." =

The Greek phrase "Ei de ho ou thelO touto polO" rendered "And if I do what I do not want to do" in verse 7:16 of the NIV is a first class condition 'if-then' statement because the Greek word "ei" meaning "if" is in the indicative mood in verse 7:16 indicating 'if and it is so,' or 'since.' Hence the verse is best rendered "And since I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the Law is good". So Paul agrees that if [since] he does what he does not want to do, then the Law is good because of its contrast with Paul's sinfulness and making Paul conscious of that fact. This points to Paul's acceptance of the Law as holy, just and good and its judgment of his behavior as sinful, (cf. Ro 7:12; 3:20). Paul's desire to do what the Law commands and his agreement that the Law is good even when he does not do what he wants to do corroborates that he is a believer. Unbelievers neither desire to do good as defined by a correct view of the Law, nor do they view the Law as good when it judges their behavior as sinful. They suppress the truth about God and anything godly, ()

XV) [Ro 7:17]:

(v. 7:17 NKJV) "But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me."

A) IN A BELIEVER'S MIND THERE IS A CONFLICT BETWEEN SIN AND RIGHTEOUSNESS, BETWEEN THE SIN NATURE, THE NATURAL SELF AND THAT PART WHICH IS MOTIVATED TO DO WHAT IS HOLY, RIGHTEOUS AND GOOD AS EXEMPLIFIED BY THE LAW

(v. 6:19 NIV) "I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. (v. 7:5 ASV) For when we were in the flesh, [= controlled by the sinful nature within], the sinful passions, which were through the Law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death (v. 7:14 NKJV) For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, [having been] sold under sin. (v. 7:15 NKJV) For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will [= want] to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. (v. 7:16 NIV) And if [= since] I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the Law is good. (v. 7:17 NKJV) But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me." =

Paul corroborates earlier statements in chapter 7 that the character of what he does which he does not want to do is sinful, for he attributes what he does to "sin that dwells in me," defined earlier as "natural selves" in believers, (cf. Ro 6:19), which natural self "used to offer the parts of ... [the] body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing widckedness." He now stipulates in verse 7:17, "It is no longer I who do it [sinful actions]" evidently, the "I" referring to that part of his mentality which desires not to sin but to do that which is of the Law, i.e., holy, just and good, (cf. 7:12). And he goes on to say in 7:17, "but [it is] sin [the flesh or the sin nature] that dwells in me" referring to that part of his mentality which is compelled to sin despite the other part of his mind which he identifies as "I" who wills to do good, (cf. 7:15). Note that only a believer has this kind of discernment and conflict within his mind.

The Greek word "ouketi" rendered "no longer" in the NKJV in the phrase of 7:17, "But now, it is no longer I who do it [sin]" implies that the part of Paul's mentality which now wants to do good, formerly chose to do evil before he became a believer.

Paul also uses the pronoun "I" in verses 7:14-15 to refer to that part of him that is "sarkikos" (= fleshly) rendered "carnal" in 7:14 NKJV. His carnal part it is implied is doing sinful things. So the personal pronouns "I" and "me" are used to refer to Paul's mentality which "wills to do [good]," (cf. 7:15), and knows that "the Law is spiritual," (cf. 7:14), as well as another part of his mind which motivates him to do evil. This points to a conflict within Paul's mind which makes choices to do good or evil.

XVI) [Ro 7:18]:

(v. 7:18 ASV) "For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but [in me] to do that which is good is not."

A) THE BELIEVER STRUGGLES WITHIN HIS OWN MIND BETWEEN HIS "FLESH" WITHIN WHICH HE SAYS HE KNOWS THAT NO GOOD DWELLS - IT IS SOLD UNDER SIN - AND THAT PART IN HIS MIND WHICH WILLS TO DO GOOD. SO DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE DESIRE TO DO GOOD IS ALSO PRESENT WITH HIM - IN HIS MIND, NEVERTHELESS THE IMPETUS TO CARRY THAT DESIRE OUT AND DO GODLY GOOD IS NOT PRESENT

(v. 7:12 NKJV) "Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. (v. 7:14 NKJV) For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, [having been] sold under sin. (v. 7:15 NKJV) For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will [= want] to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. (v. 7:16 NIV) And if [= since] I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the Law is good. (v. 7:17 NKJV) But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. (v. 7:18 ASV) For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but [in me] to do that which is good is not." =

Paul continues to explain that in him, that is in his "sarki" rendered "flesh" in the NKJV, nothing good dwells. Heretofore author Paul used"sarkikos" which is the same root word as "sarki" and is rendered "fleshly" in verse 7:14 to describe a facet of his mentality which is "sold under sin." Evidently the phrase "in me" in verse 7:18 ASV which refers to Paul's person - his mentality - which is responsible for his behavior as demonstrated in the members of his body. It is identified as his "flesh" which is described as "sold under sin", i.e., that part of his mentality which nature is sinful, i.e., the sin nature. Previously the same root word, "sarki" rendered "flesh" in verse 7:5 was defined as that part of a believer's mentality [as well as in all men] that is controlled by the sin nature and is demonstrated via sinful activity in the members of the physical body, i.e., the flesh.

So Paul explains that he knows that in his 'flesh', i.e. a part of his mentality previously defined as sold under sin and controlled by the sin nature, no godly good dwells. So despite the fact that the desire to do good is also present with him - in his mind, nevertheless the impetus to carry that desire out and do godly good is not present.

The phrase "to de ..katergazesthai to ....kalon ouch heuriskO" in verse 7:18 literally is:

...................."to but .to work out ......the .right ..not ...I find" and is rendered in the ASV:

....................."but [in me] to do that which is good is not."

Verse 7:18 continues to portray the struggle of Paul, as an example of a believer - a struggle within his mind between that part of his mentality defined as "sarki" and rendered "flesh," (v. 7:18); and "sin that dwells in me," (v. 7:18); i.e., the sin nature which nature is "sold under sin," (v. 7:14); within which "nothing good dwells," (v. 7:18); doing what he [Paul] hates, (v. 7:15); and not what he wants to do, (v. 7:15); but which is always committing acts of sin;

and another part of Paul's mentality which is later defined as the "inward man," (v. 7:22); which is portrayed as always wanting to do good, (v. 7:18); especially doing that which the Law commands, (v. 7:16); which is viewed by the "inward man," (v. 7:22), as holy, just and good, (v. 7:12).

Notice that Paul often uses the personal pronouns "I" and "me" in this chapter to portray both parts of his mentality as an example of all believers: one which is controlled by the sin nature and the other which is motivated to do good as exemplified by the righteousness of the Law.

XVII) [Ro 7:19]:

(v. 7:19 NKJV) "For the good that I will [want] to do, I do not do; but the evil I will [want] not to do, that I practice."

A) THE BELIEVER KNOWS THAT IN HIS 'FLESH', I.E., A PART OF HIS MENTALITY PREVIOUSLY DEFINED AS SOLD UNDER SIN AND CONTROLLED BY THE SIN NATURE, NO GODLY GOOD DWELLS. SO DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE DESIRE TO DO GOOD IS ALSO PRESENT WITH HIM - IN HIS MIND, NEVERTHELESS THE IMPETUS TO CARRY THAT DESIRE OUT AND DO GODLY GOOD IS NOT PRESENT. SO THE GOOD HE WANTS TO DO, HE DOES NOT DO AND INSTEAD HE PRACTICES THE EVIL HE DOES NOT WANT TO DO

(v. 7:14 NKJV) "For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, [having been] sold under sin. (v. 7:15 NKJV) For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will [= want] to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. (v. 7:17 NKJV) But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. (v. 7:18 ASV) For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but [in me] to do that which is good is not. (v. 7:19 NKJV) For the good that I will [want] to do, I do not do; but the evil I will [want] not to do, that I practice." =

Verse 7:19 explains 7:18 with the word "gar" in the beginning of the words of verse 7:19, rendered "For" = 'because'. The message in verse 7:18 is that no good thing dwells in the "sarki" rendered "flesh" = that part of Paul ["me"] which has been defined in this context as that part of Paul's and any believer's mentality [as well as all men] that is controlled by the sin nature and is demonstrated via sinful activity in the members of the physical body, i.e., the flesh. Notice the words "polO" rendered "I do [not] do" referring to the good that Paul wants to do but does not do and "prassO" rendered "I practice" referring to the evil Paul practices continually. The Greek word "polO" rendered "do" here refers to single acts of righteousness which is the will of Paul to do. And the Greek word "prassO" rendered "practice" here refers to ongoing activity of evil which characterizes Paul's and any believer's behavior, i.e., constantly falling short of the righteousness of God.

XVIII) [Ro 7:20]:

(v. 7:20 NKJV) "Now [but] if I do what I will not to do [= don't want to do], it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me."

A) THAT PART OF THE BELIEVER'S MIND WHICH FORMERLY MOTIVATED HIM TO DO EVIL, NOW AS A BELIEVER DESIRES TO DO GODLY GOOD. NEVERTHELESS THE BELIEVER CONSTANTLY DOES EVIL AS EVIDENCED IN THE FLESH, I.E., THE MEMBERS OF HIS MIND AND BODY. THIS IS CAUSED BY ANOTHER PART OF HIS MIND WHICH IS DEFINED AS SIN, (SINGULAR), I.E., THE SIN NATURE

(v. 7:17 NKJV) "But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. (v. 7:20 NKJV) Now [but] if do what I will not to do [= don't want to do], it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me." =

The Greek phrase "Ei de ho ou thelO egO touto polO ouketi egO" rendered "Now [but] if I do what I will not to do [= don't want to do]" in verse 7:20 of the NKJV is a first class condition 'if-then' statement because the Greek word "ei" meaning "if" is in the indicative mood in verse 7:20 indicating 'if and it is so,' or 'since.' Hence the verse is best rendered "Now [but] since I do what I will not to do [= don't want to do]"

Paul reiterates the message of verse 7:17 in v. 7:20b. In verses 7:17 & 7:20, Paul stipulated, "It is no longer I who do it [sinful actions]" evidently, the "I" referring to that part of his mentality which desires not to sin but to do that which is of the Law, i.e., holy, just and good, (cf. 7:12). And he goes on to say in both verses, "but [it is] sin [sin, singular, the sin nature] that dwells in me" referring to that part of his mentality which is compelled to sin despite the other part of his mind which he identifies as "I" who wills to do good, (cf. 7:15). Note that only a believer has this kind of discernment and conflict within his mind.

The Greek word "ouketi" in verses 7:17 and 7:20, rendered "no longer" in the NKJV in the phrase of 7:17, "But now, it is no longer I who do it [sin]" and in the phrase of verse 7:20 NKJV, "Now [but] if do what I will not to do [= don't what to do], it is "no longer" I who do it" implies that that part of Paul's mentality which wants to do good, formerly chose to do evil, evidently before he became a believer.

Note that Paul also uses the pronoun "I" to refer to that part of him that is "sarkikos" (= fleshly) rendered "carnal" in 7:14b NKJV. This carnal part of his mentality, it is implied, is doing sinful things. So the personal pronouns "I" and "me" are used to refer to Paul's mentality which "wills to do [good]," (cf. 7:15), and knows that "the Law is spiritual," (cf. 7:14a), as well as another part of his mind which motivates him to do evil, (cf 7:14b). This points to a conflict within Paul's mind, a believer's mind, which makes choices to do good, i.e., that which is godly or evil.

[BKC, Ibid., p. 468]:

"7:18-20. Paul's experience convinced him that 'the Law is good' (v. 16). But he also concluded, I know that nothing good lives in me. Then he hastened to explain that by the phrase 'in me' he meant in my sinful nature (sarki, 'flesh'; cf. vv. 5, 25). This is not literal physical or material flesh, but the principle of sin that expresses itself through one's miond and body.

As suppport for this conclusion Paul explained, For I have the desire to do what is good ('For to wish is present with me' [or 'is lying beside me']), but I cannot carry it out (lit., 'but to produce the good is not'). Paul then repeated in slightly different words the statement of verse 15b, and then in verse 20 he repeated in effect his statement on verse 17. Paul recognized that even as a believer he had an indwelling principle of sin that once owned hiim as a slave and that still expressed itself through him to do things he did not want to do and not to do things he desired to do. This is a problem common to all believers."

XIX) [Ro 7:21-23]:

(v. 7:21 KJV) "I find then a law, that, when I would [want to] do good, evil is present with me.

(v. 7:22 NKJV) For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.

(v. 7:23 NKJV) 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."

A) PAUL CONTINUES TO DRAW FROM HIS PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AS A BELIEVER. HE STIPULATES THAT WHEN HE WANTS TO DO GOOD, EVIL IS PRESENT WITH HIM. HENCE HE FINDS A LAW WITHIN EVERY BELIEVER: WHEN HE WANTS TO DO GOOD HE SUFFERS FROM A PERSISTENT PRESENCE OF EVIL RESULTING IN THE PRACTICE OF SIN IN THE MEMBERS OF HIS MIND AND BODY

(v. 7:15 NKJV) For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will [= want] to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. (v. 7:19 NKJV) For the good that I will [want] to do, I do not do; but the evil I will [want] not to do, that I practice. (v. 7:20 NKJV) Now [but] if I do what I will not to do [= don't want to do], it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. (v. 7:21 KJV) I find then a law, that, when I would [want to] do good, evil is present with me =

Paul continues to draw from his personal experience as a believer. He stipulates that when he wants to do good, evil is present with him. This pattern has already been referred to in verses 7:15, 19-20. Hence, Paul finds a law within himself and all believers, a principle which describes a set pattern of behavior: the believer, whenever he wants to do good, he suffers from a persistent presence of evil, resulting in the practice of sin instead of godly good in the members of the his body. This is not to say that evil is only present in a believer when he desires to do good. It has already been established in this chapter that evil is ever present in the believer, (cf. Ro 7:17; 20). So the statement "when I want to do good, evil is present with me" in verse 7:21 refers to the ever present sin nature within the believer which especially makes its presence known whenever the believer desires to do good.

B) PAUL PRESENTS FURTHER DETAILS OF THE CONFLICT WITHIN THE BELIEVER'S MENTALITY WHICH REFLECT HIS FINDING OUT ABOUT A LAW IN WHICH EVIL IS PRESENT WHEN THE BELIEVER WANTS TO DO GOOD. ON ONE SIDE OF THE CONFLICT IS THE "INWARD MAN" WHICH IS PART OF THE BELIEVER'S MENTALITY WHICH DELIGHTS IN THE LAW OF GOD - IN HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH MOTIVATES THE BELIEVER TO DESIRE TO DO GOOD

(v. 7:18 ASV) "For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but [in me] to do that which is good is not. (v. 7:19 NKJV) For the good that I will [want] to do, I do not do; but the evil I will [want] not to do, that I practice. (v. 7:20 NKJV) Now [but] if I do what I will not to do [= don't want to do], it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. (v. 7:21 KJV) I find then a law, that, when I would [want to] do good, evil is present with me. (v. 7:22 NKJV) For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. (v. 7:23 NKJV) 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." =

Verses 22-23 go on to explain verse 21 which verse indicates that when the believer wants to do good, evil is always present with him. The first word in v. 7:22 in the NKJV, rendered "For" = because, begins this explanation. The frequent 'I's and 'me's' since v. 7:14 refer to Paul as an example of all believers. Relative to an explanation of this conflict, verse 7:22 stipulates that the believer delights in the law of God in his inward man. The law of God referred to in verse 7:22 is a principle that declares that everything that is of God is holy, just and good because anything of God must reflect His character. So delighting in it refers to delighting in and wanting to do godly things. The location in the believer of that which delights in the law of God is described as the inward man. The term "inward man" portrays the cognitive capacity which motivates the mind of a believer to delight in and do godly things. Only the mentality of the believer delights in true godliness.

Unbelievers are never portrayed as having an "inward man" which delights in the Law - the righteousness of God. Unbelievers of all types have been previously characterized in Romans as suppressing the truth about God and His righteousness which He expects all men to live by. . The phrase "esO anthrOpon" rendered "inward man" in the NKJV ("inner being" in the NIV), is used to describe the consciousness of the believer which delights in and desires to do God's righteousness - His law.

C) THERE IS ANOTHER LAW IN THE BELIEVER WHICH IS A PATTERN OF BEING MOTIVATED TOWARD SINFUL BEHAVIOR. THIS LAW WARS AGAINST THE LAW OF THE BELIEVER'S MIND WHICH IS A PATTERN OF WANTING TO DO GOOD. THIS WARRING LAW BRINGS THE BELIEVER INTO CAPTIVITY TO THE LAW OF SIN WHICH IS A PATTERN OF SINFUL BEHAVIOR EVIDENCED BY THE BELIEVER'S MEMBERS

(v. 7:14 NKJV) "For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, [having been] sold under sin. (v. 7:15 NKJV) For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will [= want] to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. (v. 7:16 NIV) And if [= since] I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the Law is good. (v. 7:18 ASV) For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but [in me] to do that which is good is not. (v. 7:19 NKJV) For the good that I will [want] to do, I do not do; but the evil I will [want] not to do, that I practice. (v. 7:20 NKJV) Now [but] if I do what I will not to do [= don't want to do], it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. (v. 7:21 KJV) I find then a law, that, when I would [want to] do good, evil is present with me. (v. 7:22 NKJV) For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. (v. 7:23 NKJV) 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." =

Paul, an example-believer, sees another law - one of a pattern of the mind evidenced by sinful behavior in his members, warring against the law of his mind - a pattern of wanting to do godly good; bringing him into captivity to the law of sin - a constant pattern of sinful behavior evidenced by his members from top of head, eyes, mouth, hands to toes.

Based on Paul's repeated statement that he finds that he consistently does not do what he wants to do, i.e., that inspite of the fact that as a believer he wants to do godly things; nevertheless he practices the ungodly, (cf. 7:14-16, 18-21). This is portrayed as an example of all believers. Paul finds, in view of this, that there is a law that when believers want to do good, evil is present with them in the sense that they choose in their minds to practice evil in spite of the desire in their minds to do good. This is a pattern so hard and fast that Paul finds that it is a law for all believers.

Notice that the phrases, "another law in my [Paul's] members" brings the believer "into captivity to the law of sin which is in [his] members" in verse 7:23, is part of a portrayal of Paul in his present time as a believer and in turn of all believers. This law of sin has already been touched upon in 7:21:

1) [Compare Ro 7:21]:

"I find then a law, that, when I would [want to] do good, evil is present with me."

The first law referred to in verse 7:23, the law of the members of the body refers to a principle, a pattern of sinful behavior chosen in the minds and evidenced by the members of the believer's body. Note that activity of the body is controlled by the mind. So we see "the law in [the] members [of the believer] warring against the law of [the] mind." On the other hand, the law of the mind of the believer as Paul describes it in verse 7:23 is the principle of constantly wanting to do good - also an activity of the mind. The law of the mind has been repeatedly referred to in this chapter relative to the activity of believers, (cf. Ro 7:15-16, 18-20). Although sin is evidenced in the members of the body, since the behavior of the members of the body is determined via decisions in the mind, then the war which is indicated by the word "warring" in the phrase "another law my members, warring against the law of my mind" in verse 7:23 is waged in the mind of the believer. The members of the body such as arms and legs, etc., don't choose to sin, but they certainly evidence it.

Verse 7:23 goes on to say that the law in the members of a believer's body brings the believer into captivity to the law of sin which is in his members. The law of sin in the members of the believer's body refers to the principle, i.e., constant pattern of behavior which Paul has repeatedly established in this chapter, namely that the members of an individual's body, (believer's are in view) - which encompassess everything from head/mind to toe which expresses thoughts, words and deeds - practices sin, (cf. Ro 7:19). Note that it is not the members of the body which choose to practice sin, although they are evidenced and often observed to sin. That decision is a function of the headquarters of human decision: the mind.

[BKC, Ibid., p. 468]:

"7:21-23. Paul was a person who tried to learn from his experiences, so now he concluded, I find this law at work. This is not the Mosaic Law, of course, but a principle drawn from experience. Also in 8:2 'law' (nomos) means principle. This law or principle is the reality of ever-present evil in an individual whenever he wants to do good. Paul held fast to the fact that, as he said, In my inner being I delight in God's Law (cf. 7:25). 'In my inner being' is literally, 'according to the inner man.' ... Because of regeneration, a believer has a new nature or capacity for loving spiritual truths. Yet, recognizing the facts of experience, Paul said he saw another law or principle at work within him. This is the principle of sin. Paul called it 'sin living in me' (Rom 7:17, 20), 'evil' right there with me (v. 21), and 'the sinful nature' (vv. 5, 18, 25). This principle is continually doing two things: waging war against the law of the believer's mind and making him a prisoner of the law of sin at work within his members. The indwelling principle of sin is constantly mounting a military campaign against the new nature, trying to gain victory and control (cf. 'slave' in vv. 14, 25 and 'slaves' in 6:17, 19-20), of a believer and his actions. The new nature is called 'the law' of the 'mind' (noos; cf 7:25) because it has the capacity for perceiving and making moral judgments. Further, despite a believer's identification with Jesus Christ's death and resurrection and his efforts to have Christ-honoring attitudes and actions, he cannot in his own power resist his indwelling sin nature. In and of himself he repeatedly experiences defeat and frustration."

XX) [Ro 7:24-25]:

(v. 7:24 NKJV) "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

(v. 7:25 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."

A) THE PRESENT TENSE PHRASE "O WRETCHED MAN THAT I AM" AND THE FUTURE TENSE PHRASE "WHO WILL DELIVER ME FROM THIS BODY OF DEATH" CORROBORATES PAUL'S EXPERIENCES AS A BELIEVER FROM VERSE 7:14 ON. FURTHERMORE, ONLY A BELIEVER CAN TRULY STATE WHAT PAUL SAYS IN VERSE 7:25: THAT HE SERVES THE LAW OF GOD WITH HIS MIND, YET AT THE SAME TIME SERVES THE LAW OF SIN WITH THE FLESH

(v. 7:14 NKJV) "For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, [having been] sold under sin. (v. 7:15 NKJV) For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will [= want] to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. (v. 7:17 NKJV) But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. (v. 7:18 ASV) For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but [in me] to do that which is good is not. (v. 7:19 NKJV) For the good that I will [want] to do, I do not do; but the evil I will [want] not to do, that I practice. (v. 7:20 NKJV) Now [but] if I do what I will not to do [= don't want to do], it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. (v. 7:21 KJV) I find then a law, that, when I would [want to] do good, evil is present with me. (v. 7:22 NKJV) For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. (v. 7:23 NKJV) 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. (v. 7:24 NKJV) O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (v. 7:25) 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 is portraying his experience in chapter 7 since verse 14 as a believer. This is not an historical present tense referring to Paul's days as an unbeliever as some maintain. Notice that Paul speaks of himself in the present tense when he says "O wretched man that I am," confirming that he is portraying himself during the present time of his writing of the Romans epistle when he was a believer, thus linking all that he has said about himself to chapter 7 since verse 7:14 as part of this experience. This is further corroborated by the next verse's "I thank God - [that deliverance from this body of death will be, (cf. v. 7:24b)] through Jesus Christ our Lord." (v. 7:25a). A statement like this can only come from the lips of a believer for it declares an expression of saving faith which ends with the phrase "Jesus Christ our Lord"! Unbelievers haven't yet expressed saving faith in Christ to deliver themselves from the "body of death," and if and when they do, they are no longer unbelievers. Furthermore, in order for the declaration "Jesus Christ our Lord" to be true we must be believers in order for Him to be "our Lord." Final corroboration in chapter 7 to the fact that Paul is referring to his experience as a believer from verse 14 on comes when Paul speaks of his present day experience immediately after this in verse 7:25b: "So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin." No unbeliever can truthfully state that he serves the law of God with his mind, for that would make him a believer.

[BKC, Ibid., p. 468]:

"Despite a believer's identification with Jesus Christ's death and resurrection and his efforts to have Christ-honoring attitudes and actions, he cannot... resist his indwelling sin nature. In and of himself he repeatedly experiences defeat and frustration.

7:24-25. Paul expressed that frustration in his exclamation, What a wretched man I am!... The apostle then asked, Who will rescue me from this body of death? Paul recognized that as long as he was in his mortal body he would face the conflict with the indwelling sin principle and would have defeat in his own strength. Here he wrote of the 'body of death' in Romans 6:6 he wrote of the 'body of sin.' These mean that sin works through one's human body (cf. 6:6, 12-13, 19; 7:5, 23), bringing death (6:16, 21, 23; 7:10-11, 13; 8:10). Paul's answer to this question was triumphant and immediate: Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord! Paul in this answer was looking to the final triumph of Jesus Christ for His people. Just as believers are identified with Him in His death and resurrection by faith here and now, so they will join their resurrected and exalted Lord for all eternity in new bodies, free forever from the presence of sin... Meanwhile, in this life, Paul concluded, I myself in my mind (noi; cf. noos in Rom. 7:23) am slave (lit., 'am serving as a slave') to God's Law, but in the sinful nature (sarki, 'flesh'; cf. vv. 5, 18, where sarki, from sarx, is also trans. 'sinful nature') a slave to the law of sin (cf. 'slave to sin,' v. 14). While awaiting freedom from the presence of sin, believers still face conflicts between their regenerated minds (or new natures or capacities) and their sin natures or capacities."

B) PAUL AS AN EXAMPLE-BELIEVER DESCRIBES HIMSELF AS A WRETCHED MAN REQUESTING TO BE DELIVERED FROM HIS BODY OF DEATH. THIS PORTRAYS BEING DELIVERED FROM AN UNGODLY MIND AND PHYSICAL BODY CONTAMINATED BY SIN, ESTRANGED FROM GOD, DESTINED TO DIE AND BE DESTROYED UNTO THE RECEPTION OF AN ETERNAL, GODLY, PERFECT AND SINLESS MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT IN FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD

(v. 7:14 NKJV) "For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, [having been] sold under sin. (v. 7:15 NKJV) For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will [= want] to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. (v. 7:17 NKJV) But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. (v. 7:18 ASV) For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but [in me] to do that which is good is not. (v. 7:19 NKJV) For the good that I will [want] to do, I do not do; but the evil I will [want] not to do, that I practice. (v. 7:20 NKJV) Now [but] if I do what I will not to do [= don't want to do], it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. (v. 7:21 KJV) I find then a law, that, when I would [want to] do good, evil is present with me. (v. 7:22 NKJV) For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. (v. 7:23 NKJV) 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. (v. 7:24 NKJV) O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (v. 7:25) 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 his present state at the time of his writing the Epistle to the Romans, Paul calls himself, and by implication describes any believer, a "wretched man" with a "body of death." The phrase "body of death" refers to his current physical body and mind which is dead in the sense of having the presence in it of evil and thus is separated from the holiness of God and unacceptable to Him relative to fellowship in eternity with God. The question, "Who will deliver me from this body of death?" has in view a future deliverance from being contaminated with sin, and being estranged from God, and from being connected with a physical body and mind which is destined to physically die and be destroyed. This implies a future deliverance into a perfect, sinless mind, body and spirit. Note that the future tense in the context or Romans chapter 7 Romans corroborates that Paul was relating his experience as a believer from verse 14 on.

C) PAUL ANSWERS HIS OWN QUESTION, "WHO WILL DELIVER ME FROM THIS BODY OF DEATH?" BEGINNING WITH "I THANK GOD" IMPLYING THAT IT IS GOD WHO HAS PROVIDED HIM WITH DELIVERANCE UNTO A BODY THAT IS ETERNAL AND RIGHTEOUS WHICH PAUL DECLARES COMES "THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD" IN WHOM HE HAD TRUSTED UNTO A RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD

(v. 3:21 NIV) "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (v. 3:22 NIV) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, (v. 3:23 NIV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (v. 3:24 NIV) and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (v. 6:23 NIV) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (v. 7:14 NKJV) For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, [having been] sold under sin. (v. 7:15 NKJV) For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will [= want] to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. (v. 7:17 NKJV) But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. (v. 7:18 ASV) For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but [in me] to do that which is good is not. (v. 7:19 NKJV) For the good that I will [want] to do, I do not do; but the evil I will [want] not to do, that I practice. (v. 7:20 NKJV) Now [but] if I do what I will not to do [= don't want to do], it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. (v. 7:21 KJV) I find then a law, that, when I would [want to] do good, evil is present with me. (v. 7:22 NKJV) For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. (v. 7:23 NKJV) 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. (v. 7:24 NKJV) O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (v. 7:25) 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 verse 7:25, Paul answers his own question posed in verse 7:24, "Who will deliver me from this body of death?" To be delivered from the body of death means that a believer's present body is sinful and is going to physically die. He needs to be rescued from this so that he will have one that will live without death, i.e., forever - and one that won't sin which causes physical and eternal death, (cf. Ro 6:23), i.e, a sinless, perfect one. He begins his answer with "I thank God" implying that it is God Who has provided for his deliverance from his body of death. This deliverance is stipulated as accomplished "through Jesus Christ our Lord." In view then is a deliverance from a "body of death," an unrighteous body that will physically die to one that is righteous, evidently an eternal godly body, mind and spirit that won't ever die. He begins his answer with "I thank God" implying that it is God Who has provided for his deliverance, which deliverance is stipulated as "through Jesus Christ our Lord." Evidently, the believer's deliverance from his body of death to one of righteousness is "through Jesus Christ our Lord." Recall that a moment of faith alone in Jesus Christ alone provided Paul and every believer with a righteousness from God leading to a redemption which evidently includes a righteous body and mind to replace the unrighteous one:

1) [Compare Ro 3:21-24]:

(v. 3:21 NIV) "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.

(v. 3:22 NIV) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,

(v. 3:23 NIV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

(v. 3:24 NIV) and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

Notice that a righteousness from God is part of the redemption that came by Christ Jesus where an individual in his sinful condition is to be redeemed and evidently transformed into a righteous being with an eternal and righteous body.

D) PAUL REITERATES A MAIN THEME OF CHAPTER 7: THE CONFLICT WITHIN EVERY BELIEVER BETWEEN THE MINDSET WHICH SERVES THE LAW OF GOD - WANTING TO DO GODLY GOOD - AND THE FLESH - THE MINDSET WHICH DIRECTS THE BODY TO SERVE THE LAW OF SIN, THE PRINCIPLE THAT THE MEMBERS OF THE BODY OF THE BELIEVER CONSTANTLY PRACTICE SIN

(v. 3:21 NIV) But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (v. 3:22 NIV) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, (v. 3:23 NIV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (v. 3:24 NIV) and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus... (v. 7:5 ASV) For when we were in the flesh, [= controlled by the sinful nature within], the sinful passions, which were through the Law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death... (v. 7:14 NKJV) "For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, [having been] sold under sin. (v. 7:15 NKJV) For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will [= want] to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do... (v. 7:17 NKJV) But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. (v. 7:18 ASV) For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but [in me] to do that which is good is not. (v. 7:19 NKJV) For the good that I will [want] to do, I do not do; but the evil I will [want] not to do, that I practice. (v. 7:20 NKJV) Now [but] if I do what I will not to do [= don't want to do], it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. (v. 7:21 KJV) I find then a law, that, when I would [want to] do good, evil is present with me. (v. 7:22 NKJV) For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. (v. 7:23 NKJV) 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. (v. 7:24 NKJV) O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (v. 7:25) 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." =

To conclude this section of his letter, (chapter 7), author Paul reiterates the main theme: the conflict within him and every believer: "So then with the mind, I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh, the law of sin."

The law of God referred to in verse 7:22 is a principle that declares that everything that is of God is holy, just and good because anything of God must reflect His character. And with the mind, the center of cognitive decision making, Paul says, he serves the law of God by delighting in it, and wanting to follow it, (cf 7:15-16, 18-22).

On the other hand, at the same time of serving the law of God with his mind, Paul stipulates in 7:25b that "with the flesh [he serves] the law of sin." The word "sarki" rendered "flesh" in this part of verse 7:25 is the same root word of "sarkikos", lit. "fleshly," rendered "carnal" in verse 7:14 in the NKJV which indicates the members of the body which demonstrate the activity controlled by that part of an individual believer's mentality which has been sold under sin, i.e., controlled by the sin nature. Previously the same root word, "sarki" rendered "flesh" in verse 7:5 was defined as that part of a believer's mentality [as well as all men] that is controlled by the sin nature and is demonstrated via sinful activity in the members of the physical body, i.e., the flesh.

1) [Compare Ro 7:5]:

(v. 7:5 ASV) "For when we were in the flesh, [= controlled by the sinful nature within, (cf. Ro 6:20] the sinful passions, which were through the Law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

Notice that being "in the flesh" is defined as having the sinful passions cause the members of the body to bring forth fruit unto death, i.e., acts of sin. In Ro 7:5, Paul is speaking of himself and fellow believers using the personal pronoun "we" with the past tense phrase "were in the flesh" to indicate the time before they were believers. This includes himself.

2) [Compare Ro 6:19]:

"I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness."

The Greek word "sarkos" literally, "flesh", rendered "natural selves" in the NIV in Ro 6:19 is defined in this verse as that part of the believer which can choose to be enslaved to impurity and ever-increasing wickedness or to righteousness leading to holiness. The part of an individual which can choose to be enslaved "to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness" or "to righteousness leading to holiness" must be a part which is exclusively located in the mind of an individual where only that cognitive function exists in man. Hence the term "sarkos" literally "flesh" and rendered "natural selves" in the NIV, refers to an activity of the mind. Previously the same root word, "sarki" rendered "flesh" in verse 7:5 was defined as that part of a believer's mentality [as well as all men] that is controlled by the sin nature and is demonstrated via sinful activity in the members of the physical body, i.e., the flesh.

Verse 7:25b goes on to say that with the flesh Paul as an example of believers serves the law of sin. The law of sin was stipulated previously as expressed in the members of the believer's body. It refers to the principle, i.e., constant pattern of behavior which Paul has repeatedly established in this chapter, namely that the members of an individual's body, (believer's are in view) - which encompassess everything from head/mind to toe which expresses thoughts, words and deeds - practices sin, (cf. Ro 7:19). Note that it is not the members of the body which choose to practice sin, although they are evidenced and often observed to sin. That decision is a function of the headquarters of human decision: the mind.

Continue to Romans chapter 8