Episode #124. Today we’ll read Romans Chapter 7 together: Paul uses an illustration from marriage; he explains how sin uses the Law; and also the problem of sin in us.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #124. Today we’ll read Romans Chapter 7 together: Paul uses an illustration from marriage; he explains how sin uses the Law; and also the problem of sin in us.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
Remember a couple of days ago I was encouraging you to motor thru reading some of the more difficult passages in Romans? It occurred to me that I didn’t talk about one of the most useful resources available! That is the paraphrase.
Way back when the podcast started, we talked about the three different categories of Bible translations: word-for-word, thought-for-thought, and the paraphrase. The reason a paraphrase is so useful in navigating difficult texts is that it’s not so much a translation as it is an interpretation.
Where the other two translations tell us what a passage says, a paraphrase is more useful in telling us what it means. And, wow…I don’t know about you, but I need that sometimes!
The Three I Use
I have three paraphrases that I use regularly: The Message, The NLT or New Living Translation, and the TLB or The Living Bible. It was actually the TLB that caused me to fall in love with reading the Bible when I was 19 or 20. Coincidentally, it was Romans 7, and I came away amazed that I could finally relate to the Bible and how it applies to my life. The Message, written by Eugene Peterson, has an interesting introduction by the author. Amazon lets us read most intros and I encourage you to do so. There’s a link at Lifting Her Voice.com. I use this Bible all the time and so does my pastor.
I hope you’ll find one or all three of these interpretations useful in your daily study.
Romans Chapter 7
An Illustration from Marriage
Since I am speaking to those who know the law, brothers and sisters, don’t you know that the law rules over someone as long as he lives? For example, a married woman is legally bound to her husband while he lives. But if her husband dies, she is released from the law regarding the husband. So then, if she is married to another man while her husband is living, she will be called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law. Then, if she is married to another man, she is not an adulteress.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you also were put to death in relation to the law through the body of Christ so that you may belong to another. You belong to him who was raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God. For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions aroused through the law were working in us to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the law, since we have died to what held us, so that we may serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the old letter of the law.
Sin’s Use of the Law
What should we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! But I would not have known sin if it were not for the law. For example, I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, Do not covet. And sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind. For apart from the law sin is dead.
Once I was alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life again and I died. The commandment that was meant for life resulted in death for me. For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good.
Therefore, did what is good become death to me? Absolutely not! But sin, in order to be recognized as sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that through the commandment, sin might become sinful beyond measure.
The Problem of Sin in Us
For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold as a slave under sin. For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate. Now if I do what I do not want to do, I agree with the law that it is good. So now I am no longer the one doing it, but it is sin living in me.
For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do. Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one that does it, but it is the sin that lives in me.
Who Will Rescue Me?
So I discover this law: When I want to do what is good, evil is present with me. For in my inner self I delight in God’s law, but I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body. What a wretched man I am!
Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am serving the law of God, but with my flesh, the law of sin.
I love the way Paul distances himself from the sin nature. He contends, as should we all, that the work of Christ has made us new. He even says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!” In this chapter, he dives into the constant tension we have as believers, desiring to live life as a new creation and yet finding it too tempting to fall back into that old sin nature. In other words, the push and pull between spirit and flesh. Who will rescue me, he exclaims! Ahhh, we can rest. The work has already been done in Christ.
Let’s pray. Oh, Jesus, thank You for the hope You have given us! Thank You that Your yoke is easy and Your burden is light! It is finished. We praise You. We delight in You. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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