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Friday, March 8, 2013

What A Wretched Man!


Romans 7:1-25 NIV
An Illustration From Marriage
1Do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to men who know the law—that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives? 2For 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. 3So 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.
4 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. 
5For when we were controlled by the sinful nature,a the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. 6But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

Struggling With Sin
7What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.”b 8But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. 9Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.
13Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.
14We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 
16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 
17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.c For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 
24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Chapter 7

We may observe in this chapter;

I.       Our freedom from the law further urged as an argument to press upon us sanctification (v. 1-6).

II.      The excellency and usefulness of the law asserted and proved from the apostle's own experience, notwithstanding (v. 7-14).

III.   A description of the conflict between grace and corruption in the heart (v. 14, 15, to the end).


Verse 4

We are married to Christ. The day of our believing is the day of our marriage to the Lord Jesus. We enter upon a life of dependence on Him and duty to Him: Married to another, even to Him Who is raised from the dead, for as our dying to sin and the law is in conformity to the death of Christ, and the crucifying of His body, so our devotedness to Christ in newness of life is in conformity to the resurrection of Christ.

We are married to the raised exalted Jesus, a very honorable marriage. Compare 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:29. Now we are thus married to Christ, that we should bring forth fruit unto God, v. 4. One end of marriage is fruitfulness: God instituted the ordinance that he might seek a godly seed, Malachi 2:15.

The wife is compared to the fruitful vine, and children are called the fruit of the womb. Now the great end of our marriage to Christ is our fruitfulness in love, and grace, and every good work. This is fruit unto God, pleasing to God, according to His will, aiming at His glory. As our old marriage to sin produced fruit unto death, so our second marriage to Christ produces fruit unto God, fruits of righteousness. Good works are the children of the new nature, the products of our union with Christ, as the fruitfulness of the vine is the product of its union with the root, the Lord Jesus. 

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