Here is some of the treasure I found while studying Romans chapter 7. I hope this blog post brings you encouragement!
Romans 7:4 says,
So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God. (NLT)
Love, love, love this because this is exactly when I saw a huge harvest of good deeds being produced in my own life – when I finally understood that my Christian life was never really meant to be about the rules, but it was always meant to be about relationship with my Heavenly Father!
Romans 7:5 says,
When we were controlled by our old nature, sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death. (NLT)
Here are some of Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary notes on this verse.
“This is the same phrase that was used in the last part of Romans 7:4. In the same way that relationship with the old self produced death, now realizing our new relationship with Christ produces the fruit of holiness.”
Yes it does!
Romans 7:6 says,
But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit. (NLT)
I’ve heard it said many times that Christianity is not about behavior modification, it’s about heart transformation.
Andrew’s commentary notes:
“True Christianity is not the observance of a different set of rules than some other religion; it is a change of the heart (Ezekiel 11:19, 36:26; and 2 Corinthians 5:17). Once people’s hearts are changed, they will serve God, not because they have to, but because they want to.”
Romans 7:7 says,
Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, You must not covet. (NLT)
Andrew’s commentary notes once again helped me understand this verse better. Hope they do the same for you!
“Remember, in context, the sin being spoken of here is not an individual act of sin but rather the sin nature that compelled us to sin. Paul was saying, Is it the Law that compelled us to sin? The answer to this is no.
Paul had just spoken of being loosed from, free from, dead to, and delivered from the Law . Here he was clarifying his statements so that someone wouldn’t think he was saying that the Law is the thing that drove us to sin. The Law of God simply made clear to us that we already had a depraved nature. When the Law said, Thou shalt not covet, that commandment didn’t make covetousness come; it made the lust that was already present revive (Romans 7:9) and strengthened it (1 Corinthians 15:56) so that we could not be deceived any longer into thinking that we could produce salvation on our own.
God’s commandments are holy, just, and good (Romans 7:12), but man apart from God is sinful. Therefore, it was impossible that a revelation of God’s true standards could change our nature; only the new birth can do that. The Law simply stripped our sinful nature of its disguise so that we could properly assess how bad the situation was.
As explained in note 2 at Romans 1:18, there is an intuitive knowledge of right and wrong inside every person. How does that harmonize with Paul’s statement here? The answer is that the Law brought sin into focus.
Every person has an intuitive picture of what sin is, but hardness of the heart caused this image to become blurred. Once the Law comes to an individual, all blindness is removed, and it is very clear what God’s standard of right and wrong is.”
Romans 7:12 says,
But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good. (NLT)
Andrew’s Commentary Notes
“The problem was not with the Old Testament Law. It was holy, just, and good. The problem was with us mankind. We were sold under sin (Romans 7:14) and couldn’t keep the Law. Therefore, the only thing the Law could justly do was condemn us.”
Now I’m going to switch and use the Message translation in this next group of verses simply because this is the way I have it in my book and want to include my personal experience from my book in regards to these verses.
Romans 7:15-24 says
What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary. But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? (MSG)
Here’s a quote from my book, I Tried Until I Almost Died, in regards to my experience with this group of verses.
None of us is a stranger to this internal struggle that Paul described. We’ve tried everything, just as he noted in verse 24, but no matter how strong our determination to do the right thing, somehow we keep sabotaging our own best intentions.
I lived here for so long. Whether it was a health problem, a character flaw, or the fact that I had failed yet again at checking off all the items on my list, falling short of my ideals just made me that much more determined to come up with a solution for the problem of me. I’d search the Internet for the answer to my current health crisis, immediately put my discoveries into action, and start telling everyone else about how I found this particular health solution that I was sure could also benefit them. I would read a passage in the Bible or listen to a sermon podcast hoping to get an answer for my current character flaw, then I would say to myself, Okay, I’ve got the answer now! I’m going to be more like Jesus tomorrow. Regarding the day-to-day demands of life, I would think, I’ve got to get life right today.
I can’t keep falling short, so let me think – What new method do I need to put into place to be successful today? Just about the time I finally mastered one health regimen or organizational system, I’d realize it wasn’t working like I hoped, so I would switch to something new in an attempt to get a better result. I was so stressed, tired, anxious and did I mention frustrated? And you can guess my family felt pretty much the same.
It took many, many years, but eventually I came to the place that Paul did in verse 24. I came to the end of my rope. And that’s where God showed me how to shift my focus from my flaws to His forgiveness.
The road to victory over sin is paved with right believing. The problem is that, even after salvation, many of us still wrongly believe ourselves to be sinners, rather than seeing ourselves as new creations in Christ, with new natures.
Romans 7:25 a says,
25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. (NLT)
Quote from my book:
Remember how Paul answered his own question about who would free him from a life dominated by failure? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 7:25).
Once I finally understood this, I took a deep freeing breath and started to relax in His love and in His ability! The phrase in Christ was beginning to come alive for me and to hold meaning for my everyday life. Colossians 3:3 says, For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. This means I can live my life through Christ, through His ability in me. I have no need to try to conquer this life on my own. In fact Jesus actually said He has overcome the world. So guess what? Since we are in Him, we have overcome the world too, through Him! This was a total change for me. A completely new approach.
It’s all Jesus folks. It. Is. All. Jesus.
So whatever you’re struggling with today, take it to Jesus, receive from Jesus and believe in Jesus’ ability to help you. He’s just waiting for you to come to Him!
Next God’s Treasure Chest post will be on Romans 8.
If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!