Romans 7

Romans 7  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 5
In Rom. 7 the doctrine before us is not the forgiveness of sins, which is taken up in chapters 1-5. Here it is the struggle of the conscience in regard to what the law has to say.
In Rom. 6 we see that we are dead and buried with Christ, baptism being a picture of this, so the law has nothing more to say to us. Until we see this we struggle because of sin in the flesh from which we seek deliverance.
The law of marriage binds until death. One could be married unto another only if death takes place. It is by the body of Christ, in death, that we are "married" to Christ "to bring forth fruit unto God." Now being delivered from the law, we should serve in newness of spirit, not in the oldness of the letter.
The fruit is what God sees in the believer as the result of the work of Christ and the Spirit, also the result of the exercise of our hearts.
It is through the law that I (the new man, before deliverance) know sin. The law is not sin; it is holy. There I discovered lust, "Thou shalt not covet." It was because of the law that I discovered all manner of sin in me. Without law, sin was dead. I was alive without law once but died under the commandment.
No matter where we turn we find our efforts for deliverance hopeless as long as it is I, I, I, "a quicksand that spoils all my building; a morass impracticable for cultivation." Sin in the flesh cannot be eradicated.
"The law is spiritual: but I am carnal." The law is holy, just and good. It was not the law but sin that brought death.
By doing that which I don't want to do I consent to the law that it is good. "Now it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me," but I do not know how to perform that which is good.
If I do that which I hate, it is not I that do it, but sin in me. "I delight in the law of God after the inward man." This separates me from the flesh.
I am wretched; I seek deliverance from this body of death. Then I turn from self for deliverance and find it in another, Jesus Christ. I thank God that my deliverance has come through Jesus Christ our Lord. Whether it be salvation or deliverance, they were both provided at the cross of Christ.
"As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbor to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the ax to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbor, that he die; he shall flee unto one of those cities of refuge and live." Deut. 19:55As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbor to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbor, that he die; he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live: (Deuteronomy 19:5).
Here is a picture of deliverance. There are two men in the woods, the man cutting the tree and the man who was inadvertently slain by the ax by his neighbor. The one with the ax we will call the believer, the other the old man. The man with the ax had no intention of slaying his neighbor, but in doing so he is made to flee to the city of refuge provided by God for His people. Now we see the old man of sin dead in the woods and the believer safe in the city of refuge. Death has come in and delivered the believer. The ax was the means of bringing sin in the flesh to his attention. The man in the city of refuge is safe until the priest dies. Our Priest will never die. The avenger cannot touch us.
If we believe in Christ Jesus, the Son of God, in our hearts, there is no condemnation. To be delivered is to first recognize that we are dead with Christ. When He died I died with Him, that is, the old man of sin. Being dead in Christ, of which baptism is a picture, we are dead to sin and are no longer in the flesh before God; Christ having died and risen has become our life. No one can touch that life.