Moment of truth(click HERE for study notes) (Romans 7:14-25)Hans Krause, September 11, 2011
Part of the Exposition of Romans series, preached at a Sunday Service service
How would you describe the apostle Paul's dilemma as he faces the power of sin in his life? How does that compare with Romans 6:11–14 or 1 John 3:7–10. How can we reconcile these views?
When Paul writes in the first person singular present (I am, I do, I know...), that can be understood in three ways:
1) Paul writes about himself while being an apostle of Christ
2) Paul writes about the time before he accepted Christ and about his actual conversion
3) Paul embarks on an imaginary dialogue with an imaginary opponent, who asks him these questions
Consider all three options, the pros and cons. Which explanation is the most likely one?
Does Paul exhibit a lack of moral integrity and spirituality here? How does his confession of unspirituality affect his suitability for the ministry?
Reflect on how the words of Paul resonate with your own experience and life. Do you go through any of the struggles that Paul describes?
We often talk about sanctification and the process of becoming more Christ-like. How do you see that materialize in Paul's life and teaching? How has it affected and changed you during your walk with Christ?
What can we learn from Paul's public and openhearted confession with regards to witnessing as Christians to non-Christians, seekers and young Christians? How will it affect your life in the days and weeks to come?
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14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. (ESV)