Law Cannot Save from Sin

Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. — Romans 7:13-25.

Paul develops the preceding principle and applies it to himself. He says that the law shows him that he is doing wrong, that he cannot do good. Even when he wants to do good, he cannot do it. He feels wretched because of his inability to conquer indwelling sin, and asks who can deliver him from this ‘body of death’ which he cannot control as he would like.

He answers the question of who can deliver him, thanking God that it is ‘through Jesus Christ our Lord’. Even with this knowledge of Christ’s deliverance through faith, eternally and daily, he is still aware of the twofold contrary pull in his life: God’s law pulls him towards righteousness, and the law of the flesh towards sin. [Source: The Bible Panorama.]

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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