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"Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus." (Col 1:28)


Lie: Romans 7 describes the life of a secure Christian

Fact: Romans 7 describes a life of doing what you don't want to do and not doing what you know is right and want to do.

Bible Truth: 

Some say that Romans 7 is an example of the normal Christian life.  These people say that the person who lives by faith is justified so that he has an excuse to live according to the flesh.  They claim that  a Christian’s life is full of sinful actions and desires and the death of Jesus covers his unlawful and sinful behavior and somehow translates this conduct into goodness.  This is supposedly made possible because Jesus’ blood makes God think that the person’s actions are righteous.  God “sees this person as righteous,” yet his fellow man can only see the results of an imperfect and sinful creature.   This “excused” person can now say that he is forgiven for the sinful things that he does, and that he is justified in continuing to do these sinful things because Jesus “paid the price” for it. Therefore, these people teach that the Christian can (and will) continue to sin, but that he is not eligible for punishment—as long as he “repents” and says “I’m sorry” to God each day.  He is thus assured of going to heaven and not to hell. These people teach that this “sinful Christian” can claim that he has been saved from the power of sin—even though it still has dominion over him—because he has “asked Jesus into his heart.”   This “Romans 7 Christian” walks a defeated life and still has sin dwelling in him.  He figures that since he is still in the flesh, he must continue to sin and live according to his flesh for the rest of his life.  He is a man in the flesh who “knows the good he should do”, but he doesn’t do it.  Instead, he fails over and over again—sometimes in different sins, other times in the same sin.  His unspiritual mind prompts him to conclude that, “God understands I am only human (in the flesh) and that I cannot help but sin.” 

Some highly crafty teachers looking to exploit and gain followers or to make profit for themselves will even go so far as to say that Romans 7 is the ultimate chapter in humility shown by an older Christian who knew how weak he really was.  They claim that Christians can never hope for anything but spiritual defeat and bondage to sin in the flesh because “Paul was saying he failed all the time, too.” 

Romans 7 depicts a life of powerlessness versus a life of righteousness.  It characterizes a life of condemnation versus a life of redemption.  Many relate to Romans 7 because it describes a life of spiritual defeat versus a life of victory.  While everyone should be able to relate to this experience because all have sinned and all need to be redeemed, is Romans 7 in fact describing the life of redemption? Since Paul uses the present tense in some parts of this chapter, is he saying this is the life of a Christian—even of himself--in the present day? 

If we take Romans 7 in context, we will see that it is describing the life under law versus the life under grace.  It is a contrast of a life of flesh versus a life in the Spirit. Rom 8:1 contrasts the life of the law versus the life of the Spirit by saying “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.“ (NKJV)  Paul introduces the chapter by talking about the law and telling how it brought the knowledge and power of sin into his life.  He then continues by describing in detail the life he lived under condemnation and sin.  Paul concludes by admitting that this life in the flesh was wretched and in need of deliverance—not the loving, joyful, Spirit-filled life of a Christian.

In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul tells us that if anyone is in Christ, he is changed into a new person through the power of Jesus the Lord. True Christians are redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to them by their forefathers (1 Peter 1:17-21).  Jesus raised the dead, healed the sick and by His suffering and stripes redeemed our souls so that we can be healed from our sinful backslidings and hypocrisies against God.  “While we were yet his enemies, Christ died for us.”  What an amazing power and love He has shown; but we must not receive this love in vain (2 Cor. 6:1-2)!

If we look, therefore, at the truth shown in Romans 6, 7 and 8 in its entirety,  we will see that there is a clear distinction and contrast between the righteous and the wicked; between the clean and the unclean; between the man of the Spirit and the man of the flesh; between a life of faith and a life of defeat; between the power of grace and the powerlessness of law and between those who serve God and those who do not.

Faith & Spirit (Rom 6-8)

Law & Flesh (Rom 7)

Died to the law through Christ to serve in the newness of the Spirit (not the oldness of the letter) bearing good fruit to God (7:4, 6)

While in the flesh the sinful passions at work in body and members (7:5)

The “law of the Spirit of life” set me free from the “law of sin and death” (8:2)

Sin uses the law to every kind of evil and death – “the law of sin and death” (7:8)

The outcome of sin is death, but we are freed from sin (by the Spirit of Christ), benefiting in sanctification and the result and outcome will be eternal life (6:22)

The law makes sin, utterly powerful and sinful (7:13) – Sting of sin is death and strength of sin is the law; but thanks be to God he gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15)

God condemned sin in the flesh by the sending of His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and to be an offering for sin (8:3)

He is of the flesh, weak and in bondage to sin (7:14)

Righteous requirements of the law fulfilled through us who walk after the Spirit, NOT the flesh (8:4)

Wishing to do good but unable to do it (7:18)

Mind of the flesh is death (anguish); the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace (8:6)

Not doing the good I want (7:15, 19)

Mind set on flesh is hostile toward God because it does not subject itself to the law of God and cannot do it (8:7)

Doing the evil he hates (7:15)

If you live according to the flesh you must die, but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body you will live (8:13)

Practicing the evil he does NOT want (7:19)

Those who are in the flesh cannot please God   But you are not in the flesh but the Spirit which dwells in you (8:9)

Agree in mind with good, but actions are a prisoner to sin (7:23)

Those who are lead by the Spirit of God are sons of God (8:14)

Wretched man in a body of death (7:24)


Summary of Christian Evidences:


Unbeliever or Disobedient

Humble and meek and hoping the best for others

Accusing others of wrongdoing and looking for faults to try and make yourself look okay

Free from sin

Bound to sin (keeps doing it)

Loving and willing to deal with issues out of concern for others

Claim to love but living in strife and selfishness

Obedient to Word

Washing out the Scriptures while adding men’s teachings and rules

Of Promise

Of Law

Persecuted and accused

Attacking and obstinate

Hold and sow to the Spirit

Satisfy the flesh, anger, wrath, jealousy, envy, sexual desire

Continuing in the faith

May start but not finish

Submissive & righteous – can do what told to do without questioning and needing perfect foresight

Rebellious – not doing anything without being proved and explained and convinced.  Not receiving authority or instruction.  Showing little trust.

Uses life and body to demonstrate a holy, righteous, joyful harmony that also turns others from wickedness to the truth

Plays a wicked, sinful tune that is hurtful to others and is used as an instrument of the devil

Accesses grace to abstain (Titus 2:11)

Uses grace as an excuse to sin (Jude 1:4)



Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor [hate] what is evil. Cling to what is good.
(Rom 12:9)

"Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
(John 6:27)

 "Be perfect therefore, even as your Father in heaven is perfect."
(Matthew 5:48)

"Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God--I say this to your shame."
(1 Corinthians 15:34)

"But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.
 The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble."
(Prov 4:18-19)

"You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone."
(James 2:24)

"Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.."
(2 Peter 1:10-11)


Grace to all of you who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and truth--Ephesians 6:24 * 2006 *
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