As we come into Romans 7 and 8, we find familiar passages that have received different treatment and applications through the church age. What do we make of these two passages?
Is Paul's struggling with sin in 7:14-24 pre or post conversion? Does a christian have the ability to live sinless or just to sin less? What role does the law play now in the life of a believer?
Let's lay a few foundation stones:
1) SIN is real. Sin is subtle, it deceives, it destroys. It is especially dangerous to the believer!
2) God's law is holy and good.
3) To the unconverted- the law kills.
4) To the adopted son of God the spirit guided and empowered law wages war on the old man.
5) The struggle of the unconverted is always a loss and eventually is not even a struggle.
6) The struggle with the believer is sometimes a loss but eventually will be a victory.
7) The christian who says they have no sin, is not being honest. ( see I John)
8) But we are to grow in obedience, not to earn God's salvation, but in response to the newness in life. It is a fruit and not a merit.
9) No Christ... No chance ( Apart from me you can do nothing)
10) Losing battles do not mean lost war..... you lose when you quit fighting.
Without Christ- you will lose against Sin's team: LAW/FLESH/DEMON'S/ DEATH
With Christ you will win: GOSPEL/Spirit/LAW (Scripture)/Grace/Faith/Hope/Love/Fruit/Fellowship/Prayer/Sacraments/Worship/sanctification....GLORIFICATION.
It looks like the world is winning and the christian is losing. It feels like sin is winning. We want to give up. We get frustrated. Paul says , "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me?"(Rom 7:24).
In preparation for this discussion on Romans 7 and 8, I want you to read an incredible analogy called "Dr Law and Dr Grace by Lester Roloff"- I will post it next.
As you read it, ask yourself, how does Dr Law change after the operation by Dr Grace? It will be a clue to Romans 8.
Push yourself here.... it will be worth it.