What is Roemer 7 about

Wretched Man I Am - A Brief Explanation of Romans 7



I have heard many people use Paul's words to say, "What a wretched person I am. Who will deliver me from this dead body?" They are using these in a way that suggests that they are addressing these words to us, born again Christians. They use it as if we Christians are slaves to sin (it is to be seen in the same context as a few verses earlier when Paul says, "But I am carnal, sold under sin" (Romans 7:14). Then they say: "Oh what wretched people we are", "we are sinners, sold under sin", "who will set us free here?"

In this article I explain that although people who love and want to follow the Lord - and only such people this article applies to - can make many mistakes, they are NOT sold under sin, nor are they wretched people who waiting for a deliverer. The deliverer has come and his name is Jesus Christ! He opened the door of our prison and set us free. We are no longer "wretched people". We WERE wretched people in the past, when we were dead in guilt and sin. (Ephesians 2: 1). But now we are no longer dead. God made us alive with Jesus as a gift based only on our faith (Ephesians 2: 5)! Now we are "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people owned, that you might proclaim the virtues of him who called you out of darkness to his marvelous light" (1 Peter 2: 9). That is the truth from God's word.

But then we are right to ask what a dire situation Paul describes in Romans 7? Who is he referring to? Why is he using this passage as if he were referring to it, and why is he speaking in the present as if it was something that was happening? Well, we don't have to look that far to get the answer. We just need to read the context of the previous verses, the entire chapter of Romans 7. If you look at Romans 7, you can see that the main subject is the law and how impossible it is if someone just has the sinful nature of Adam, that law to meet. To say this, Paul uses the first person singular and the present tense figuratively, not literally. In other words, it is meant here that what he says is saying to himself personally, he only does it figuratively, he puts himself in the position of those who relate these things directly to themselves. How do we know? For example, let's read verses 7-9 from Romans 7:

Romans 7: 7-9
"What should we say now? Is the law sin? No way! But I would not have recognized sin except through the law. For I would not have known anything about desire either, if the law had not said:" You should not desire ! "But sin seized the opportunity through the commandment and produced every desire in me; for without law sin is dead. But I once lived without law; but when the commandment came, sin revived, but I died" (rev . Elberfelder)

The "without the law" era was before the law was given to us, hundreds of years before Paul was born. So when Paul says "I once lived without the law", he only uses the first person singular ("I") figuratively. He didn't even live at the time, but figuratively he put himself in the position of people who experienced it and said "I lived". The same goes for the next passage, which says, "but when the law came, sin was resurrected and I died." The commandments came with Moses, and even then Paul did not live. It is obvious that he meant himself (first person singular) only figuratively, not literally. The same pattern runs throughout Romans 7. Paul takes himself and many more times in the present tense when describing a situation that is in the past. The reason he does this is to make the situation clearer and to make the contrast to the current situation (which is described in Romans 8) clearer. The main theme in Romans 7 is life without Christ. Before Jesus the law was present, and although that law was good and holy and righteous, it was impossible to be kept by people who were only sinful, carnal1 Had nature. As he characteristically says:

Romans 7:12, 14
"So the law is holy and the commandment holy and righteous and good. Has good now become my death? No way! But sin, so that it might appear as sin, because it caused me to die through good sin would be exceedingly sinful by the commandment. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin "(rev. Elberfelder)

Was Paul carnal when he wrote these things? Did he just have Adam's sinful nature? Was he "sold under sin"? The answer is explicitly NO. Paul, like any born again Christian, has Christ living in him. Christ made him free. He is now born again and free. So what is he referring to when describing himself as "sold under sin"? He relates it to the time of the law, the main theme in Romans 7. There was no rebirth in the Age of Law. There was no new nature! All of these things have been available to us since Jesus' sacrifice, but before that, at the time of the law, they were not available. The only thing people had at that time was the old sinful nature. Though the law was good and holy and righteous, it was a spiritual law while they were still carnal, sold under sin. But when Paul says "but I was carnal, sold under sin", then he uses himself and the present tense only figuratively, substituting himself for those who lived in the time of the law, just as he does in verse 7 those who lived without the law when he said "I lived without the law". By the time Paul wrote Romans 7 he was already a new creature like any of us who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah and Son of God, it says in:

2 Corinthians 5:17
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come."

Paul uses the same language here (first person singular, present tense) throughout Romans chapter 7. Let's read:

Romans 7: 15-24
"for what I do I do not know; for I do not do what I want, but what I hate, I practice. But if I do what I do not want, I agree to the law, that it is good. But now I no longer do it, but the sin dwelling in me, for I know that in me, that is in my flesh, there is nothing good; for the will is present in me, but the accomplishment of it No good ones, because I do not practice the good that I want, but the evil that I do not want, that is what I do. But if I do what I do not want, then I no longer do it, but them sin residing in me. So I find the law that with me who want to do good, only evil is present. For according to the inner man I have pleasure in the law of God. But I see another law in my members, that contradicts the law of my mind and brings me captive under the law of sin that is in my gli edern is. I miserable man! Who will save me from this body of death? "

What Paul is describing here is a pretty nasty situation. If you don't really pay attention to the context of this passage and you ignore and disregard the reborn truth, you will feel very badly too. Then you will also scream "I miserable man! Who will save me from this body of death?" But what Paul says he says to describe the situation before Christ. It is the longing for a deliverer. Yes, before Christ we would all have shouted "I miserable man that I am! Who will save me from this body of death". But the good news is that the Liberator came 2000 years ago !! His name is Jesus Christ! Paul does not stop with the question, "I wretched man! Who will save me from this body of death?" He immediately moves on with the answer and here it is:

Romans 8: 1-4
"So now there is no damnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made you free from the law of sin and death. For what is impossible to the law, because it is through the flesh was powerless, God did by sending his own Son in the form of the flesh of sin and for sin, and condemning sin in the flesh, that the legal requirement of the law may be fulfilled in us who are not in the flesh but in the Spirit to walk "

There were times when we were slaves, sold under sin. But not anymore! By believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, he freed us from this slavery. Now we are a new creature, Christ is in us. Now we are FREE. Now we are fair!

To sum it up, here is Paul's question from Romans 7:24:

"I wretched man! Who will save me from this body of death?"

And here is the answer just 2 verses further:

"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made you free from the law of sin and death"

And Galatians 5: 1 again
"Christ made us free for freedom. Stand firm now and don't let yourself be burdened again by the yoke of slavery!"

We are no longer slaves, sold under sin. We are no longer "wretched people". For this, Christ came as our deliverer, gave himself as a ransom and set us free. So the next time you hear someone screaming "Oh miserable person who I am", which implies that we are now too, then you will know that this relation to us is WRONG. Praise be to the Lord and eternal thanks go to God, who, through His Son, delivered us from this terrible situation. Praise be forever to him, who, although we once "was dead in your transgressions and sins .... But God, who is rich in mercy, has for the sake of his many love what he has loved us with, including us who are in who were dead, with whom Christ was made alive - by grace you are saved! He raised us with us and made us sit with us in the heavenly world in Christ Jesus "(Ephesians 2: 1-5). Praise be to Him and to Jesus our Eternal Deliverer.

Anastasios Kioulachoglou

 



Footnotes

1. The term "carnal" is used in Paul's letters to indicate Adam's sinful nature, i.e. his nature with which he had to live after the fall. Another term that describes this nature is "old man". This nature, the nature of Adam, is the nature one has before he found faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and believes in his resurrection and is the only nature available at the time of the law. Nevertheless, if someone today, due to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, confesses Jesus as his Lord and believes with all his heart that God has raised him from the dead (Romans 10: 8-9), he is born again and is a new creature. This new creature is referred to in the Pauline letters as "new man" (as opposed to "old man"), "spirit" (as opposed to "flesh"), "spiritual" (as opposed to "carnal). The articles:" Body, Soul, and Spirit ”and“ The Holy Spirit Before and After Pentecost ”discuss the above in more detail.