Freed from the Law
7:1 Or do you not know, brothers and sisters (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law is lord over a person as long as he lives?
Paul addresses his comments to those who know the Law of God, that would be the Jews, in doing so he brings out truths for all of us to know. It is only as long as a man is alive that the law has authority over him.
7:2 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of the marriage.
For an illustration he takes the law concerning marriage. A wife is bound to her husband by the law as long as he lives. If he dies that she is set free from the law, she is no longer married.
7:3 So then, if she is joined to another man while her husband is alive, she will be called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she is joined to another man, she is not an adulteress.
If she marries another man while her husband is alive she breaks the law and will be called an adulteress (Math. 19:9). If her husband dies however, she is set free from the marriage law and can marry another and will not be an adulteress.
7:4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you could be joined to another, to the one who was raised from the dead, to bear fruit to God.
He says this is what happens when the sinner receives salvation. He becomes dead to the Law through the crucified body of Christ for He fulfilled the law (Math 5: 17, Rom. 6:4). We are set free and belong to another, even Christ who was raised from the dead in order that that we may bear fruit to God (John 15: 5).
7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful desires, aroused by the law, were active in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.
When we were dead in our trespasses and sins, living to fulfil the passions of the physical body which were aroused by the Law, we bore fruit that worked death in us (James 1: 15). The Law of God made us conscious of our sin and therefore brought us greater guilt (Wesley Bible).
7:6 But now we have been released from the law, because we have died to what controlled us, so that we may serve in the new life of the Spirit and not under the old written code.
Now having been delivered from the law and died to what once held us captive we are free to obey the prompting of the Spirit by the new nature given us by Christ (2 Cor. 5: 17) and not the rules and regulations of the Law.
Sin takes Advantage of the Law
7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! Certainly, I would not have known sin except through the law. For indeed I would not have known what it means to desire something belonging to someone else if the law had not said, "Do not covet."
In case some should think that by his reasoning it would appear that the Law is made out to be sinful he sets out to show the purity and purpose of the Law. Sin would not have been recognised if the Law had not been given to make it known. He uses the law against covetousness to bring this out. If the law did not say "you shall not covet" (Exod. 20:17) there would be no guilty conscience concerning it.
7:8 But sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of wrong desires. For apart from the law, sin is dead.
But sin that dwells in us takes a hold of the opportunity that the law gives and creates a desire to break it. Without the law there is no sense/feeling of sin.
7:9 And I was once alive apart from the law, but with the coming of the commandment sin became alive
Although Paul uses the personal pronoun “I” he refers to all people. Before God gave the Law to Moses there was no Law therefore man was living without and unaware of it his conscience being his guide between right and wrong. When the Law was given it made clear what sin was, it revealed the law of sin within mankind, (sin revived) and it brought death (Ezel. 18:4).
7:10 and I died. So I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life brought death!
The purpose of the Law was to bring life but it proved to bring death instead.
7:11 For sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it I died.
Indwelling sin strengthened by the Law deceived and brought the penalty of death.
7:12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good.
The Law is holy because it is of and comes from God and it is therefore just and good because it was intended for our good.
Battle between the flesh and the spirit
7:13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? Absolutely not! But sin, so that it would be shown to be sin, produced death in me through what is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful.
Has what is good become evil then ? Certainly not ! It is sin that works death in us using good as a weapon in order that through the commandment the absolute sinfulness of sin is shown.
7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual — but I am unspiritual, sold into slavery to sin.
The Law is spiritual for it came from God but man is carnal sold to sin.In the remaining verses he describes the war that goes on between the spiritual and carnal.
7:15 For I don't understand what I am doing. For I do not do what I want — instead, I do what I hate.
The good things that he wants to do he finds that he doesn't always do them but the things that he loathes he does.
7:16 But if I do what I don't want, I agree that the law is good.
This baffles him why should this be ? If he does the things that he doesn't want to do then he agrees that the law is good because it makes known sin.
7:17 But now it is no longer me doing it, but sin that lives in me.
He concludes that it is no longer he that does it but sin that dwells within him.
7:18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For I want to do the good, but I cannot do it.
He knows that within is flesh there is nothing good. He can will do what is right but cannot carry it out for he has no power to do so.
7:19 For I do not do the good I want, but I do the very evil I do not want!
The good that he wants to do he fails to do: the evil that he doesn't want to do is what he ever does.
7:20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer me doing it but sin that lives in me.
Therefore if he does the things that he doesn't want to do it is no longer him (because he is in Christ) but sin that dwells within.
7:21 So, I find the law that when I want to do good, evil is present with me.
He further concludes that their is a law of sin that is ever present when he wants to do what is right and good and makes demands upon him.
7:22 For I delight in the law of God in my inner being.
In his new nature, that which is born of the Spirit and of God, he delights in and wishes to do the will of God.
7:23 But I see a different law in my members waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that is in my members.
But there is another law at work in his body that wars against the spirit and brings it into captivity, that is the law of sin.
7:24 Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
He realises the utter hopelessness of his situation and the need for someone to delivery him from the shackles of death. "Who will deliver me" ?
7:25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
He, and we, have the answer. Thanks be to God He will deliver from the body of sin through the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen !. So with the mind and heart, the new nature, we serve God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
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