Monday, June 19, 2023

2023.06.19 Hopewell @Home ▫ Romans 7:13-20

Read Romans 7:13-20

Questions from the Scripture text: What does Romans 7:13 ask about the law? What actually produced the death? What did this show? Where did the law come from (Romans 7:14a)? But what are we like, apart from the Spirit (verse 14b)? When the flesh expresses itself, how does the believer feel about it (Romans 7:15)? What doesn’t he practice? But what does he do? So, then, what is the believer agreeing with (Romans 7:16)? And what does he think of the law? What does this new, spiritual person no longer do (Romans 7:17)? What part of him is doing it? What is still in the believer (Romans 7:18)? How much good dwells in it? What is present with the believer? What doesn’t he find yet? What does he will (Romans 7:19)? What does he will not to do? But which does he practice? What does he conclude about himself (Romans 7:20)? What does he conclude about sin?

What does a believer’s experience of remaining sin show him about himself? Romans 7:13-20 looks forward to the sermon in the upcoming midweek meeting. In these eight verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that when a believer experiences his remaining sin, he realizes what he was apart from the Spirit, and he realizes that the sinfulness of his former nature still dwells in him.  

The believer used to be in the fleshRomans 7:13-14. Our sinfulness is so bad that, before we died in Christ, our sinfulness took advantage even of the good law to produce desire to sin (cf. Romans 7:8). So, God’s commandment showed that sin is exceedingly sinful (Romans 7:13). So at first, the law was from the Spirit, but we were not in the Spirit or in Christ. At the first, we were in the flesh (“carnal,” Romans 7:14), slaves of sin that could not disobey it in order to obey the law. 

The believer is now in the SpiritRomans 7:15-16. What’s confusing to the believer (Romans 7:15a) is that he now has desires for good and hatred for evil (verse 15b–c), even though he still does it. In an important sense, this is very good news, because it’s an indication of life in him that is from the Spirit. He now agrees with the law, not only that it is holy and righteous, but that it is good and has done him good! He recognizes that he no longer agrees with the sort of thinking at the beginnings of Romans 7:7Romans 7:13. If you hate your sin, and delight in God’s law from the heart (cf. Romans 7:22), then praise God that you are in the Spirit!

But sin is still in the believerRomans 7:17Romans 7:19-20. Sadly, although the believer is now “in the Spirit” instead of being “in the flesh,” the flesh is still in the believer. Sinfulness dwells in the believer (Romans 7:17). So to summarize, if the Romans 7:15 experience is true, as Romans 7:19 states, then we have a new nature (praise God! Romans 7:20a, cf. Romans 7:16), but there is sinfulness that still dwells in us and which belongs to us (Romans 7:20b).

So that the believer has an ongoing need of graceRomans 7:18. Praise God that as a believer we have come to taste and love the goodness of God to us in His law. And praise God that we have come to love righteousness and hate sin. But there is still the issue of how to do the good that we love. The performing of it is not in us. When we see what our indwelling sin produces in our lives, it drives us back to Christ for more grace. After all, He not only works in us to will to do according to His good pleasure, but He also works in us to work according to His good pleasure.

What good, that you desire to do, do you keep failing to do? But where did that desire come from? What evil, that you hate to do, do you keep doing? But where did that hate come from? If you don’t have the desire for good and the hatred for sin, then what condition are you still in? But if you do have it, where will you get the doing?

Sample prayer:  Lord, we thank You for getting us out of our flesh and into the Lord Jesus Christ by Your Spirit. Please help us, we pray, for there is a wretched sinfulness that remains in us. Grow us, by Your grace, in walking in the righteous requirements of Your law, by Your Spirit, we ask in Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH193 “Baptized into Your Name Most Holy”

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