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But how has Paul been set free from the very law of sin that had captured him in Romans ? Here are three source statements that confirm Romans 7 is describing his unregenerate nature: 1. Their whole conduct is abhorred of God. How many are alive without the law! In their gross darkness they view themselves with complacency; but let the law of God be revealed to their consciences, as it was to Paul, and they would see that they are sold under sin and must die to the carnal mind. White, Testimonies, vol. Our hearts are evil, and we cannot change them. Such is the cry that has gone up from burdened hearts in all lands and in all ages.

White, Steps to Christ, pp. Serving the Law of Sin At this point, there remains one small perplexity in the wording of Romans Some have questioned how Paul could still talk about serving the law of sin in the flesh after apparently being delivered from the flesh in the same text. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

The very same sentence structure is found in Revelation , 5.

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This is the first resurrection. So the very last sentence, about the first resurrection, is actually referring back to those who are described in verse 4—those saints who had not received the mark of the beast.

Flesh and Blood

In the same way, the final sentence of Romans is referring back to the theme of verse 23 and is not directly related to the first part of verse You see, Paul has just reached the climactic point of logic and pathos in describing his abject condition of condemnation. Now his readers are prepared to appreciate the scope of his transformed experience under grace. And it is only because of the stark manner of portraying his misery under sin that Paul can now project, by comparison, the glory of Spirit-filled children of God.

The Power of the Will in Victory There are yet two important points to be made before we leave chapter 7. Both relate to the manner in which we are able to choose the path of total victory over the flesh. Obviously, the will is very much involved in this process. Few understand the explosive power of this decision-making for every individual.

This independent, sovereign faculty constitutes the most obvious difference between people and animals. No other creature on earth has been given this power of choice. Monkeys cannot reason abstractly; they move by instinct. Man thinks, and man chooses. It is very likely that no other inherent power of mind or body is so deeply rooted as the power of choice.

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In bestowing this gift, the Creator laid upon each person the responsibility for his own salvation. Even though the fallen nature alone has no power to stop sinning, it does have the power to choose to stop sinning. Even the most vile and degraded of men may yet decide what actions to pursue. Often the will has been weakened and traumatized by wrong choices and external pressures, but it remains the one human alternative by which deliverance can be initiated.

Not everyone is willing to give up the enjoyment of sinful indulgence. Here within is where the most desperate battles are fought in the conquest of sin. The contest over the control of the will lies at the heart of every victory and every defeat. It is not a sin to struggle, nor is it wrong to be tempted. Conversion does not remove temptation, but rather makes it possible for the struggle to culminate in victory. Then there must be a clear perception that our decisions and initial actions against sin do not in themselves obtain the victory.

Deliverance is only made possible as divine power responds to the active choice not to sin. How often we limit the Lord by refusing to do what He has given us the power to do ourselves in overcoming sin. We have a mind, and we have a will. By choosing not to sin and putting that decision into action, the way is instantly opened for God to move against the enemy and secure our deliverance.

Is there a struggle, then, in subduing the flesh and escaping from the authority of sin? Indeed, there will be continual conflict in resisting the inherited propensities to disobey God. But the encouraging thing is that none of these efforts need to end with defeat. God causes us always to triumph as we exercise the natural weapons of decisive action against the enemy. Taking a Stand Paul did not intend for us to linger too long in the anguished pathways of chapter 7. It is a necessary place to pass through, but it is not made for Christian dwelling and living. After the law has shown us our need for the cleansing grace of Christ, our relationship with the law changes.

No longer is there the clash between what must be done and what cannot be done. Although chapter 8 still speaks of the law—the very same law—the futile struggle to keep it is finished. The carnal mind, which was not subject to that law, has now been changed into a spiritual mind.

As children of Adam, we will possess his fallen nature until we are translated into glory when Christ returns, but the converted mind no longer is forced to obey the dictates of that fallen nature. The power of the Holy Spirit makes it possible for every Christian to choose not to sin.

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By daily dying to self and sin, the justified believer is enabled to overpower completely the propensities of his fallen nature and to live a life of total obedience to God. The One who has condemned sin in the flesh now fulfills in us the just requirements of the law, making obedience not only possible, but a glorious privilege indeed.

Thanks be to God! In around a. The bloody entertainment consisted of watching human beings and wild beasts battle one another to the death. The assembled multitude wildly reveled in such sport and roared with delight when a person or beast was brutally slain. This is from where we get the world carnival. But on one day, when the vast Coliseum crowd was watching a bloody gladiatorial battle, a Syrian monk, Telemachus, took action. This thing must stop! Thus he died. But through his courage and death, he kindled a flame in the hearts of thinking persons. History records that his sacrifice caused attendance to decline and soon cease altogether.

Because one man dared to speak out against the evil celebration of carnage.

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Despite the popular opinions that appeal to our passions, Christians cannot live for the flesh and still walk in the Spirit. We must speak out against sin, even when unpopular.

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But the good news is that though we all travel through the wilderness experience of Romans 7, we can enter the Promised Land of chapter 8. Let your soul feast upon the milk and honey of freedom, victory, and adoption into the family of God. It is the very best place to pitch your tent and remain forever. Paul reserves his choicest words, his most unrestrained language, to portray the joy and security of those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit. Heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.

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