My Wrestlings: Laws at War

“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.” —Romans 7:23

I perceive a different law in my members. “Another law” is translated from the Greek words ετερον νομον (heteron nomon), meaning “different law.” Does that mean that God has given another or a different law than that, which is understood in Scripture? No, I suggest that what Paul sees as a disciple of Christ, what you and I perceive, is a different dimension of the law, because now, in Christ, the statutes of God have been put in our inward parts, written in our new hearts given us by God’s grace (Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 36:26-27). So, what is this different law in my members?

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My Wrestlings: I Find a Law

“I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:” —Romans 7:21, 22

The word “law” in Romans 7:21-23 presents many facets and dimensions of God’s law as it pertains to the sinner saved by grace. Because we are “dead to the law” (Romans 7:4) as Christian disciples, some may want to refer to “law” as merely principles of truth. It would not be wrong to define “law” in this way, as principles of truth, for so they are; yet, they are also more than that.

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My Wrestlings: Accountable, Not Condemned

“For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” —Romans 7:19, 20

“For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do” (Romans 7:19). My nature is flesh. I am a human being. I am a sinner because I am a descendent of Adam. Yet, by God’s grace, through faith in the righteous life, crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, I am a new creature (2 Corinthans 5:17). Although this has happened, I still believe I only have one nature; that is, my humanity, which has never changed, and will not change until Christ come; yes, when we who are in Christ, “shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). I HAVE a nature, but it is no longer “natural,” meaning unsaved and reprobate (1 Corinthians 2:14). My nature, now abides with a new truth because I have been saved by God’s grace. Regeneration has given me a new heart and a new spirit; but I hesitate to call it another nature. It is spiritual and heavenly because it is the very Spirit of God, and therefore, I must call it supernatural. Perhaps you might refer to that as a “divine nature.”

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My Reality: Hating My Actions

“Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” —Romans 7:17, 18

Here is a place where we must not forget from where we came, and with what we have been previously taught. Though I am dead to the law and resurrected unto Christ, the law is unchanging as a standard of God, made even more visible and apparent through the perfect obedience and righteousness of Christ, wherein the law has been fulfilled. As my saved soul has been declared justified, having my sins imputed to Christ as the perfect sacrifice for sins, and having Christ’s righteousness accounted to me, I still have mortal flesh because I am sold under sin (Romans 7:14). Understanding this, the apostle reminds me, “Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.”

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My Reality: Carnal, Sold under Sin

“For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.” —Romans 7:14

As mentioned in the last article, there is a shift from the use of the past tense to the present tense: “…the law is spiritual… I am carnal.” Not only do I believe that this verse is key to unlocking the truth in the verses to follow, but that the tenses used in this verse are a key to unlocking the truth in this verse.

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The Struggle of the Bond Slave

As we examined the Scriptures from Romans 6 several weeks ago, the Holy Spirit illuminated to us that we, as sinners saved by grace, are no longer under bondage to sin. In the past two weeks we examined the Scripture portion from Romans 7:1-13, which taught us that we are not under bondage to the law. Can we sin freely and openly disregarding the law? No. Does forcing the observance of the law upon myself and others make me more righteous? Absolutely not.

The freedom of bondage from both sin and law presents a struggle since the sinner that is saved by grace has been changed, made alive in Christ; nevertheless, he is not yet glorified. The struggle exists, and must exist, because it moves us to embrace grace and not let go; to cling to the Cross of Calvary; to cleave to Jesus Christ and no one else; it presses us to trust in and depend upon the Master, leaning upon His everlasting arms.

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The Restrictions of the Law

If the Law could teach anything, the apostle Paul, being perhaps one of the most brilliant scholars of the Law in his day, may have gotten saved through the law. But no, it took the revelation of Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus to reveal life to him and create life in Him. The law, though it offered life through its obedience, was unable to give life because no sinful descendent of Adam could obey.

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