Life Change

Romans 7 is Paul’s self-portrait in which he uses the first-person “I” almost 30 times. At the end of the chapter, Paul described himself as a suffering, miserable man. Why does he say this after having escaped the tyranny of sin?


A relationship between the believer and the Law exists after their death in Christ, but it’s a very different relationship.

God gave the Law to accomplish 2 objectives.

1. The Law exposes my sin. 
God gave His Law to confront us with our sin so that we might repent and come to faith in Him.

2. The Law exposes my sinfulness. 
The Law rouses our rebellious nature into action which shows our inability to help ourselves and proves our need for God to change our hearts.

Paul gives our rebellious nature a name. He calls it the flesh, and his use of the term is unlike any other writer in the Bible. Throughout the New Testament, flesh is often used figuratively of our physical aspect, as opposed to the soul or spirit. Prior to Paul, however, no one called this sinful or evil.

The flesh is programmed to think like the world’s system, which is a perverted version of God’s original created order, and it continues to oppose His will. As the fallen world is opposed to grace, so the flesh is opposed to the Holy Spirit.
In chapter 7, Paul says we now have a new nature that isn’t opposed to the Law which is called Spirit because it is God’s Spirit whom we have received. Instead of living in harmony with the Law by studying it and following every letter, which we are powerless to do anyway, we allow the Spirit of God to live through us, who cannot disobey.

The Law is God’s diagnostic tool.
Paul says in verses 7-13 that he didn’t know he was dying from the disease of sin until the Law revealed his terminal condition. The Law is a good diagnostic tool to expose the disease of sin.
While Paul introduced the concept of the flesh earlier, he needs to explain how it continues to impact us as believers. Before someone believes, the flesh serves sin and feels the condemnation of the law. Once someone has received grace through faith, the Holy Spirit takes up residence and so begins the eternal struggle.

We are addicted to sin and will be in recovery until Christ comes. The pull to indulge the cravings for sin will always be part of our lives here until we are freed from the body of death.
The fight against the flesh has left Paul feeling wretched, unable to defeat his flesh by means of his flesh. He cries out for help to the only one who can rescue him: God, through the Lord Jesus Christ.


Once a Christian has died to sin, in Christ, your relationship with the Law is changed forever. The New Covenant give us a new rule of life: the Holy Spirit. So what is our goal in life now that we are saved?

1. Self-improvement carried out in the flesh is worthless
You can push yourself to fatigue trying hard to be like Christ, but you will have an easier time catching the elusive unicorn.

2. Jesus never demands perfection
We are not saved by grace then sanctified by our own labors. You can no more purify yourself after salvation than you could before. Only Christ can purify.

3. My primary purpose is to know Jesus personally with ever deepening intimacy
If we read, pray, meditate, journal, or fast let us do it for the sole purpose of knowing Jesus. Spiritual disciplines are a means to holiness, they are a means of knowing Christ.

Stop fighting, trying, striving, battling and simply be in His presence by spending time with Him, His people, and doing the things He calls you to in His Word.
Pastor Chris Williams
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