The Struggle of the Bond Slave

Preaching Christ CrucifiedAs 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 several lessons we have 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.

Over these next few weeks, as we bring Romans 7 to a close, we will look at four primary points in our struggles as the Lord’s bond slave:

  1. My Reality
  2. My Wrestlings
  3. My Wretchedness
  4. My Redemption

I’m using “My” in the headings because we ought to see this as individual Christians; it needs to be personal. It must be intimate. Even in the writing of this letter, the apostle seems to treat this as a very intimate and personal matter. Not only does Paul shift from his use of “you” in Romans 6 to “we” in Romans 7:1-6, but he also shifts to “I” in Romans 7:7.  I believe that we should as well.

And having built upon what we have already learned through this tremendous epistle, I pray that we come away from this with the blessed simplicity that God intended us to have by it.  Yes, the past one hundred years has brought a controversy to the text, and the irony is that, because of what this teaches, it will be very apparent to us why the controversy exists.

In the text ahead, the apostle Paul makes a noticeable change from speaking in past tense (Romans 7:1-13) to speaking in present tense (Romans 7:14-25).  That is important to note; in fact, critical for our understanding because without recognizing that, we will not understand Romans 7:14. If we do not understand Romans 7:14, we will miss the truth of this text to follow; if we miss the truth here, our Christianity will lack life, power, and victory.

Now, there are three possible views taken concerning Romans 7:14-25:

  • One says that Paul is speaking as if he were a natural, unsaved, unregenerate man;
  • Another says that Paul is speaking of a “carnal Christian” that has not yet been brought into the glorious and victorious life of Romans 8; and finally,
  • The last view states that Paul is speaking in the present tense as a mature believer.

I believe it is the third view that is most consistent with the context of the overall and continuous flow of the letter, especially when considering all that we have learned from the preceding portions since Romans 1:1.

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT. Let us know your thoughts.

Listen to the sermon preached on this text, Romans 7:14-25,O Wretched Man!,” on December 6, 2009 at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church.

Read the previous article in this series,The Restrictions of the Law” (Romans 7:10-13).

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About Jon J. Cardwell

"The Spirited Speaker" - Pastor of Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Anniston, Alabama. Nationally recognized speaker and publisher. Author of several books, including the bestseller, Christ and Him Crucified.

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