Sunday: Romans 7:20
v20: By saying
if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it... Paul is drawing our attention to the fact that there is conflict going on within every Christian (Gal 5:17). Please note: hes not talking about unbelievers in these verses (vs15-25), hes describing the challenge believers face when trying to live according to Gods holy standards. Even after being born-again obedience is not easy. Though our spirit wills to do the right thing our flesh continues to rebel and is such a powerful influence that until we learn to draw on Gods power (Ro 8:4, 11) we perpetually fail.
Monday: Romans 7:20
v20 (continued): The obvious question that arises here is this: If the sin in my flesh can compel me to do things that my spirit (the real me) doesnt want to do, then does God hold me morally responsible for my actions? In effect, can I say, My flesh made me do it? I think from Gods perspective the answer lies in the true condition of the heart. Do we genuinely want to obey? Are we genuinely helpless to stop (or start)? The person Paul describes in verses 15-25 can answer yes to both those questions. This person longs to obey and is helplessly compelled to disobey. In that case I think Paul is telling us that God views this person as a victim, and though their ongoing sin would still produce its death (Ro 2:12; 5:13, 14; 6:23), God evaluates that persons failure differently than someone who deliberately defies His will (1Ti 1:13, 16).
Tuesday: Romans 7:20
v20 (continued): In the case of the person Paul describes in verses 15-25 his sin arises from weakness and continues because he is ignorant of the truths Paul will soon explain in chapter eight. They are not engaged in deliberate transgression in the likeness of the offense of Adam (Ro 5:14). Yes they are sinning and know what they are doing is wrong, but the sin continues only because they dont know how to stop. And God understands their helpless condition so He does not withdraw His grace (Ro 8:1). He continues to forgive even while they fail.
Wednesday: Romans 7:20-22
v20 (continued): Furthermore, by describing a believers helplessness to resist the pressures of their flesh, Paul wants us to see that even after conversion we continue to be dependent on God in order to live victorious Christian lives. Just as unbelievers cannot save themselves but must receive Gods gift of righteousness, so too believers cannot live lives that please God without the constant help of the Holy Spirit. We need grace after conversion as much as we did in becoming converted. vs20-22: Paul describes two different forces (laws) within a believer: On the one hand the persons spirit desires to do good and delights (glad) in the law of God, but on the other, sin is dwelling in me and evil is present in me.
Thursday: Romans 7:20-23
vs20-23: Paul uses several different terms within these few verses to describe the human spirit. Though they differ, all point to the same part of us: I (Ro 7:17-20); the inner man (Ro 7:22); my mind (Ro 7:23, 25; this word [nous] is used to translate the Hebrew word heart [leb] at times in the LXX). Elsewhere Paul employs the terms spirit (1Co 2:11; 1Thess 5:23) and heart (Ro 1:21; 2:5, 15). We need to remember that he considers humans to be composed of three distinct interdependent elements: 1) the physical body; 2) the soul (the biological life which animates our bodies); and 3) the human spirit (our immortal personality made in Gods image, Ge 1:26, 27, so that like God we are spirits having intellect, will and emotions).
Friday: Romans 7:23, 24
v23: He says, I see a different law in my members (bodily organs, limbs) warring (fighting strategically as in a military campaign) against the law of my mind and taking me captive (like a prisoner held at spear point), and the power that holds me captive is the law of sin which is located in the members of my body (my paraphrase). Using these vivid images of battle Paul is showing us that unless someone powerful enters into this struggle to rescue us, we will be overwhelmed by the sin residing in the physical flesh of our bodies. v24: What a terrible situation in which to be trappedlonging to live a pure, holy life yet perpetually failing, virtually a prisoner in ones own body. To express the profound frustration of someone in this condition Paul cries out, Wretched (miserable) man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body which is filled with death?
Saturday: Romans 7:25
v25: He immediately answers his own question with a burst of heartfelt thanks, Thanks to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! He has not yet explained how Jesus rescued us from the control of our flesh, but he assures us with these words that God has accomplished a rescue through (by means of) Him. Then he closes this passage by providing one final restatement of the struggle between a Christians spirit and flesh: On the one hand with the mind I serve the Law of God, on the other with the flesh a law of sin. Now with the problem clearly identified he turns to the solution in chapter eight.