Rom. 7:21 – 8:11
1. It Demonstrated the Reality of Our Human Nature 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. (Romans 7:21–23)
A. Finding a New Thing · It is interesting that Paul, the great scholar and once, the Pharisee, speaks of something that he has now “found”
· The Pharisees (and the Sadducees, every Herodian, etc.) had almost dialectically the opposite view point…
· They didn’t believe that there was such a thing as evil, let alone that it was “present within” a man, especially within them!
· Notice that he specifies that this evil is present in “the one who wills (or wants, desires to do good…).
· I also want to think for a moment about what Paul says about that he “found a law”.
· “To find” points to come across a thing that one was seeking for.
· I don’t think that Paul thought of himself as an angel, at least not after his conversion to Christ.
· I think, like most believers, he was aware of the general nature of his failings.
· And, again, like most believers, he began to think his way through his condition and the issues in his life.
· Remember that he was, and had been for a while, one who knew the OT very, very well.
· Because of that he would have been aware of what the OT has to say about the need of man for redemption.
· He would also have been aware of what the OT had to say about the “How” of redemption as well.
· Because of this, when he became a NT (read New Covenant) believer all of that OT knowledge would have come to fruit in his mind.
· It is perfectly justified to conclude that Paul had been searching for the Lord for quite some time and that this had when fruit was borne in his life.
· And so, he came to see that he had a “law” that evil resided within him.
· “Law” is the generic word that speaks of everything from a rule, to the Pentateuch.
· He develops this idea later on.
B. Evil Was Present 1. It Dwelt Within · The Law that he mentions now is in the definition that there is “evil” dwelling within him.
· Evil, BTW, has a broader definition that just “sin” though it certainly takes that in.
· In the NT kakos and ponēros mean respectively the quality of evil in its essential character, and its hurtful effects or influence.
2. It Dwelt In Spite of Good · I think that Paul saw some “extra” contrast there.
· He says that this “evil” was “present with me, the one who wills to do good”.
· “Good” underscores the idea I’ve already mentioned.
· It refers to the kind of good that speaks of satisfying something that is good to the senses.
· Hence, if, as we said, Paul was one who had solid OT education and, as we know, had come to Christ and seen that OT knowledge bear good fruit, then we could say that he was one who, now, desired to do what he now saw as good.
C. Evil in Him Functioned as a Law 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.
1. It Functions By Its’ Set of Own Rules · “Law” is that which functions as a set of rules and in the Scripture has been (or is) formalized.
· Hence The principle of evil that was in him functioned, would not cease functioning and essentially did what it did in spite of all restraint.
2. In Functioned In Spite of Any Desire To Do or In the Face of Good. · It also would not even acknowledge and presence of good that was in Paul. He got no relief from it.
· It did not even matter that he knew what was good, or that he’d really rather do what was good.
D. Paul had a genuine delight in the Law of God in his inward man. 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. (Romans 7:21–23)
1. He took joy and Appreciation Concerning the Law of God. · A sense of joy and pleasure, experienced especially through achievements or relationships.
· This word is used in two basic ways in the Bible:
· God as the source of delight
· Delight in the person of God
10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
My soul shall be joyful in my God;
For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)
· See also Ne 1:11; Job 22:26; Ps 22:8; 37:4; 43:3-4;
· Delight in the word of God
16 I will delight myself in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word. (Psalm 119:16)
· Delight in the works of God
2 And Hannah prayed and said:
“My heart rejoices in the Lord;
My horn is exalted in the Lord.
I smile at my enemies,
Because I rejoice in Your salvation. (1 Samuel 2:1)
· There are actually quite a number of different way that “delight” is used in the Bible.
2. It seems that Paul is Speaking of Delighting in the Revelation of the Mind of God in the Word. 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. (Romans 7:21–23)
· For is another instance of “because” from the prior section
· What he will now say is “because” of what he had said in vv1ff
· Salvation frees one from the Binding grasp of the Law (which he cannot & would not fulfill)
· Believers are now (post redemption) free from the demand of the Law.
· That death regards the accountability that all men have toward the righteousness of God that was defined by the Law in the OT.
· Paul says earlier that sin takes a great effect, advantage in the demand of the law.
· That is a non-negotiable advantage
· It is not one we can fulfill, nor would we if we could. That is the nature of the flesh.
· Further, it is the Law and the offerings, rules and regs it demanded that defined what sin really was.
· God intended to bring life (as it was observed).
· The “I” that was alive before the Law came refers to mere knowledge of the facts of the Law with no real understanding.
· The contrast between the “inward” and “outward” men is referring to the split between the spirit/mind and the flesh/mind.