The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 9 : Romans (Commentaries on the Book of Romans)

[Chapter 7-7] (Romans 7:1-25) The Law That Has Dominion over Man

(Romans 7:1-25)
“Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet.’ But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”
 
 
(Romans 7:1) “Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?”
The Apostle Paul is discussing the Law’s function. He says that the Law of God continues to have dominion over a sinner only as long as he is alive.
That the Law has dominion over a man only as long as he is alive is because of the particular characteristics of the Law. The function of the Law of God is to render judgment according to the rule that “the wages of sin is death.” Because this is a statute, regardless of who might be standing before the Law, if he has sin, there is no way he can avoid death.
Paul said, “The law has dominion over a man as long as he lives.” Therefore, for a sinner to be freed from the dominion of the Law, he must die according to the statutes of God, and then be brought back to life again by believing in the righteousness of God. For the Law of God is such a clear truth, from the statutes of this Law of God we must realize and admit that everyone is bound to hell because of his sins.
Have you admitted that you are bound to hell before the statute of God declaring the wages of sin to be death? If any of you still has not acknowledged the strictness of the Law of God, then I ask all such people to admit that they are bound to hell before God’s Law and hold onto His righteousness. All of us should not just realize that the function of the Law of God is to give us the knowledge of sin, but we should actually admit from this Law that we ourselves have sin, and that because of our sins we are bound to hell. What the Apostle Paul is telling us here is to admit that we are destined to hell for our sins according to God’s Law, and to believe in the salvation that has come by the baptism and blood of Jesus Christ.
 
 
The First Husband Must Die
 
(Romans 7:2) “For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband.”
Drawing an example from marriage on this earth, the Apostle Paul is explaining the truth that to be freed from sin, human beings must die once according to the Law of God. All human beings were born as Adam’s descendants and they have all inherited sin from their common forefather, Adam. Given this, how could sinners then approach Jesus Christ, who is the new groom, while they still remain sinful? That is why Paul says here that sinners should not only admit through the Law that they cannot escape from the condemnation of their sins, but they should also admit that they are spiritually dead because of their sins. Only then can they receive Jesus Christ, their new groom.
Some Christians have never admitted their sins from the written Word of the Law, nor have they admitted that they are bound to hell for their sins, even as they profess to believe in God. That is why anyone who wants to come to Jesus Christ needs to first stand before the Law, the strict statutes of God, recognize his sins, and realize his spiritual death resulting from these sins.
The Apostle Paul also said, “But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband.” How, then, could we die to our sins? The way for this is to believe in the baptism of Jesus Christ and His blood on the Cross. By thus believing, we can die to our sins and we can attain God’s righteousness, and therefore we can approach God. For all of us to die to our sins, it is made possible only when we first admit our sins, recognize our accursed destiny condemned to hell on account of these sins, and then believe in Jesus Christ united with His baptism and His death on the Cross.
What the Apostle Paul said is that one can die to his sins by believing in Jesus Christ who has become God’s righteousness. For you also, if you want to die to your sins and be alive to the righteousness of God, you should believe in Jesus Christ who has come by the water and the blood as your Savior.
 
 
To Go to Another Husband
 
(Romans 7:3) “So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.”
This passage says that if one believes in the baptism of Jesus and His blood of the Cross, which have become God’s righteousness, then he now belongs to Christ because he has passed his sins to Christ, died with Christ and was brought back to life with Christ.
If a married woman goes to another man while her husband is alive, then she is actually an adulterous woman. Likewise, if someone who does not believe in the righteousness of God and remains sinful believes in some religion, then he is actually turning himself into a servant of Satan. If today’s Christians professing to believe in Jesus still have not resolved their sins by believing in the righteousness of God, and yet they continue to claim to believe in Jesus, then they are not God’s people, but Satan’s people in fact.
As those who claim to believe in Jesus, how can they leave their sins intact and yet still say that they believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior? In other words, if they really believe in Jesus Christ properly, then shouldn’t they realize that the righteousness of God has come through Jesus Christ, be resolved from the problem of all their sins, and then say that they have become Christ’s people? As such, those in today’s Christianity who believe in Jesus without knowing the righteousness of God have not actually become God’s people, but in fact, have become Satan’s people.
We need to reflect once again before the Law of God whether we really know and believe in the righteousness of God and have received the remission of our sins when we profess that we believe in Jesus as our Savior, or we have not gotten the problem of our sins resolved, even as we claim to believe in Jesus. We should examine ourselves to see if we still remain as sinners before God or have become righteous. With our hearts starting from scratch, we need to renew our faith in Jesus properly by once again placing our faith in God’s righteousness. We cannot have sin in our hearts even as we profess to believe in Jesus. To avoid this, we must clearly understand the baptism and the blood on the Cross of Jesus Christ who has become God’s righteous, believe in these truths, and thereby become sinless and righteous people.
 
 
Only If We Have United Faith
 
(Romans 7:4) “Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.”
The Apostle Paul continues to bear witness to the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist an indispensable element in testifying the righteousness of God. That is because Jesus Christ was baptized in the Jordan River, through which He took upon Himself the sins of the world. For us to die to our sins, we must have the kind of faith that makes us realize that the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist was to fulfill the righteousness of God (Matthew 3:15). With this passage, the Apostle Paul is once again speaking about the baptism that fulfilled God’s righteousness.
When we profess to believe in Jesus as our Savior, we must unite ourselves with four beliefs: First, we must have the belief that Jesus is the Son of God. Second, we must have the belief that Jesus took upon Himself the sins of the world once for all by being baptized by John the Baptist. Third, we must believe that because Christ accepted the sins of the world by receiving His baptism from John the Baptist, He went to the Cross and was crucified to be condemned for the sins of the world. At the same time, we Christians must be united together with the death of Jesus, that we were also crucified with Him. And lastly, we must also have the belief that along with the resurrection of Christ, our souls and bodies were also brought back to life.
Only when we have faith in the baptism that constitutes the righteousness of God can we really say that we have become dead to the Law through the body of Christ. As such, because we believe in the righteousness of God that Jesus Christ fulfilled through His baptism and His blood on the Cross, we can now go to Christ and bear the fruit of new life to God. You and I must realize that the sins of the world were passed onto Jesus as He was baptized, and that through His death on the Cross you and I have also become dead to sin, and through the resurrection of Jesus Christ we have become alive to the righteousness of God.
 
 
By Legalistic Faith
 
(Romans 7:5) “For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.”
Those who know and believe in God’s righteousness have received this righteousness of God into their hearts, and as a result, they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. When people do not know and do not believe in the gospel of the righteousness of God, they are not the people of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, sin reigns over them and makes them bear the fruit of sin.
Everyone must ponder on the following question: “Do I really belong to Christ by believing in the righteousness of God, or am I just professing to believe in Jesus without knowing the righteousness of God, and therefore am I someone who does not have the Holy Spirit?” So the “people in the flesh” whom the Apostle Paul spoke about refer to those who still belong to the flesh and can only bear the fruit of death, for they have failed to attain the righteousness of God.
We need to grasp here that when we were in the flesh, we could not avoid falling into sin because of the Law. Although we realize that the Law of God is holy and makes us realize sin, we must also realize that God’s Law arouses carnal passions in our hearts and makes us fall into sin even further. In other words, the more we know the Law of God, the deeper it makes us fall into carnal sins, and it is incapable of making us wholly righteous. That is why the Apostle Paul said the above passage to explain the role of the Law.
 
 
With the New Faith of the Spirit
 
(Romans 7:6) “But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.”
What is “the newness of the Spirit” that Paul is speaking of here? It refers to faith in the righteousness of God. The gospel of the righteousness of God that Paul is speaking of is the gospel of the water and the Spirit of which the Lord spoke. To believe in this gospel is to believe in the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist, His blood on the Cross, and His death and resurrection.
If we believe in God’s righteousness like Paul, then we will also die to the sins that have bound us and be freed from the wrath of the Law. When Paul and all those in this age who believe in the righteousness of God serve Him, they do not serve Him with the Law, but they serve Him with the righteousness attained by their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Who would have the faith that serves God rightly and properly? Those who serve God by the Law are not ultimately serving God, but they are serving only their own flesh. In contrast, for those who serve God by placing their faith in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit where the righteousness of God is revealed, they serve God by doing His righteous work—that is, by preaching everywhere the gospel of the water and the Spirit that saves sinners from sin, and by delivering the all mankind from sin. Therefore, we who believe in God’s righteousness are not of those who serve God with the Law, but we are of those who please God by believing in His righteousness.
Anyone who serves God must never try to do so with legalistic faith. I admonish all of you who now believe in the gospel of the righteousness of God to serve Him, follow Him, and preach Him by this faith in God’s righteousness. It is with such beliefs that the life of faith should be led.
 
 
The Effects of the Law
 
(Romans 7:7) “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet.’”
Indeed, as Paul said, the Law of God is holy and just, and it enables us to realize our sins. The Law itself is not sin, nor is it unnecessary for us to live our lives of faith. On the contrary, God’s Law is the indispensable barometer that tells us what constitutes sin. For sinners, the Law also has dominion over their souls and flesh, thus preventing them from debauchery. Such restraining function of the Law is even more effective for Christian sinners who profess to believe in Jesus but still do not know the righteousness of God.
However, the Law also has the effect of pointing out sin to those who have become God’s people and believe in His righteousness. Since without the Law of God no one can know what sin is, it is indispensable for everyone. It is not, however, because the believers in God’s righteousness fear the statutes of His Law that they serve Him. Far from it, they believe with the heart in the righteousness of God that is more exalted than the Law, for they have the Holy Spirit and trust in Him. This is how they come to do what pleases God.
Do you know God’s righteousness and believe in it? Or are you trying to serve God with your own righteousness, attempting to keep the Law? I admonish all of you to serve God with the knowledge of and faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the gospel that enables you attain the righteousness of God. I thank the Lord for giving us the Law and God’s righteousness.
 
 
Without the Law, Sin Is Dead
 
(Romans 7:8) “But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead.”
It is correct that the Law of God enables us to realize sin. Paul wrote this passage thinking back to his old self that had been in the Law before he was born again.
As Paul testified about his own experience and realization of the role of God’s Law and statutes, “sin took opportunity” and by the statutes of God provoked evil desires in him. That is the reality. As we all know, the Law of God reveals His holiness to all of us, for it is holy itself. However, apart from this role, the Law has another function: It exposes the sins that are hidden in our hearts to our realization, stirs them up, and makes us commit them. That is why Paul said, “Sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire.”
God spoke to all those who believe in Him about the Law that must be kept in everyday life. This Law entails no less than 613 statutes. To classify them into two, these statutes are divided into positive and negative commandments—that is, what we must do and must not do. However, although this Law commands mankind with the “do’s and don’ts,” because all human beings were born with twelve kinds of sins, the sins that are latent in their hearts are eventually manifested outwardly. Paul said that the Law “produced in me all manner of evil desire.” Therefore, without the Law that God has given to mankind, people’s sins could have been considered non-existent even when they were real.
The Apostle Paul said, “Apart from the law sin was dead.” Before the Word of the Law of God, all of us should reflect on what wrongdoings we might have committed, admit all such wrongdoings, and also give thanks to God believing in His righteousness.
 
 
The Law Leads People to Death
 
(Romans 7:9) “I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.”
Do you really know the Law of God? If you know the Law and its commandments that God has given to mankind, then you would realize that you are revealed as a great sinner before God, and that nothing but death awaits you.
When Paul did not truly realize the Law of God, he used to think of himself as a decent man. But once he reached the proper understanding of God’s Law, he realized that he was a sinner who simply could not live before God, and that the wages of his sins was death.
When we realize properly that God is the Creator and Judge to us, we come to recognize God’s commandments properly and bow our heads before the statutes that He established. In doing so we are truly recognizing God as God. In contrast, when we do not recognize God as God, even though He is our Creator and very much alive, we do not tremble in fear before the statues commanded by Him, our hearts are hardened, and we live thinking that no terrifying judgment will befall us.
However, when we really acknowledge the God of creation and engrave His commandments in our hearts, we come to realize that we are indeed sinners bound to reach death, and hold onto the righteousness of Jesus Christ the Savior.
For us to truly believe in God’s righteousness, we must admit that Jesus Christ is the God of creation, confess that we are great sinners before Him, and at the same time thank Him for delivering us from all our sins through the righteousness of God when we could not avoid but be accursed to death for the wages of our sins.
 
 
Wow! How Is That Possible?
 
(Romans 7:10) “And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death.”
When we believe in God for a long time, we can reach the same realization of the Truth that Paul had. One major problem, however, is that many Christians usually have no such realization, only trying to establish their own righteousness by keeping the Law.
Before he was born again, Paul also used to think that he could receive eternal life if he kept God’s commandments. So he devoted all his life and gave his everything trying to keep all the 613 commandments of the Law, to abide by God’s commandments to honor Him above and to love fellow men at his side. However, what he actually experienced was this: “The commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death.” This means that Paul truly came to realize the role of the Law of God. The Law’s function is to enable us to recognize our sins, and to also make us realize just how strict God’s commandments are, so that we would grasp that we have no choice but to die for our sins.
At the same time as Paul reached this realization, he also saw for himself especially that Jesus Christ was absolutely necessary to him, and that the righteousness of God far exceeded the righteousness of man. Paul was someone who fully understood the righteousness of God. That is why he could make such a confession out of his personal experience. We who believe in Jesus as our Savior in this age and time should also be able to confess this kind of personal experience, which we have also realized the same righteousness of God that Paul realized. I believe that if you do not treat the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit lightly, then you will all be able to grasp God’s righteousness just like Paul. May the blessings of the faith in the righteousness of God be with you.
 
 
Misunderstanding the Law
 
(Romans 7:11) “For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.”
Few ever understood the Law of God as profoundly as the Apostle Paul. Even from the Word of the commandments of God, Paul recognized thoroughly his own insufficiencies. Having realized profoundly that he was to die for his sins, Paul confessed, “Sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.”
The sad reality today is that many Christians are now quite satisfied at just keeping God’s commandments. It is also a fact that they somehow take their obedience to God’s commandments as their own righteousness, and they are thankful for this and pleased by it. However, if one does not have the righteousness of God in his heart, then he should realize his insufficiencies from the commandments of God and not be filled with his own righteousness just because he sometimes manages to keep some small commandments. That’s because if one has failed to possess the righteousness of God by faith, then he is still a sinner before God; and since he is a sinner, he has no righteousness to exalt himself just because he kept God’s commandments to some extent.
Looking back to when he himself was a sinner, Paul is confessing the truth that he realized through his own experience. Like the Apostle Paul, those who have really recognized their sins in-depth before God will be able to confess as Paul did by placing their faith in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit that has become the righteousness of God.
 
 
The Good Law and We Who Are Piles of Sin
 
(Romans 7:12) “Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.”
What the Apostle Paul realized was that all the commandments given in the Word of the Law of God, which he had to keep in everyday life, were all holy, just, and good. He simply confessed that he was a great pile of sin before God, and that he was a man bound to hell. Before God, those who realize their sins and recognize that they are fundamentally bound to hell thank God for and believe in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit that enables them to attain God’s righteousness. Although there are many Christians in this world professing to believe in Jesus, not just anyone recognizes his sinful self before God, and few actually realize the Truth that the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit constitutes the righteousness of God.
What about you then? Have you really discovered God’s righteousness through the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit? If you just say that you believe in Jesus, even as you cannot find the righteousness of God fulfilled in the baptism and blood of Jesus, then you will still continue to live your life buried in sin and face your destruction just like those who do not believe in Jesus.
I admonish you to find your sins before the Word of the Law and discover the righteousness of God manifested in the gospel of the water and the Spirit from His written Word. If you discover God’s righteousness in the Word of the water and the Spirit and accept Jesus as your Savior, then you will be forever saved.
 
 
What Makes Sin Exceedingly Sinful
 
(Romans 7:13) “Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.”
The Apostle Paul is not advocating the abolition of the Law. Some people falsely assert that the Word of the Old Testament is needless in the present age of the New Testament. Referring to the function of the Law of God, however, Paul said, “Sin, that it might appear sin,” and he also believed that God’s Word of the Law was still “what is good”.
Paul was correct in his understanding of the Law of God and His commandments. That is why when he discovered the righteousness of God, he could perceive this Truth correctly, obey it, and believe in it. The statutes and commandments that God has given to mankind are good.
Through God’s commandments we must realize our sins, and we must accept God’s righteousness into our hearts. To give us the salvation of His righteousness, God has given us the good Word of the Law, enabling us to recognize our sins and believe in the true gospel of salvation. The gospel that brings true salvation to mankind is made of the baptism of the Lord and His blood on the Cross. This gospel is none other than the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit of which the Lord spoke.
I pray and hope that you would also all become exceedingly sinful through the commandments of God, believe in the gospel where the righteousness of God is revealed, and thereby be saved from sin perfectly.
 
 
The Powerlessness of the Flesh
 
(Romans 7:14) “For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.”
Paul is confessing the powerlessness of his flesh. Paul is confessing from his own experience how much his flesh still followed the sins that the Law spoke of, even though he had the righteousness of God by then. All of us have a great deal of respect for Paul because he reached such a high spiritual height of faith. This does not mean, however, that we respect Paul because his flesh was somehow different from ours. Far from it; Paul had the same flesh as our flesh and committed the same sins that we commit, but despite this he held onto the righteousness of God, believed in it, and preached this righteousness. Seeing the weaknesses of his flesh, in other words, Paul believed even more firmly in the righteousness of God revealed through Jesus Christ and thanked for it.
To properly understand what Paul is saying from verse 14 and on, we need to make sure that we have the correct assessment of his state, whether what he is saying applies to before or after he believed in God’s righteousness. What Paul is saying from here and on is that the flesh of man continues to break the Law of God and to commit sin, whether before or after being born again. However, we see that Paul was a man of faith who lived a victorious life by believing in Jesus Christ who fulfilled the righteousness of God. If Paul triumphed by believing in God’s righteousness, then we should thank the Lord for imparting us with the belief that we can also triumph with the same faith as that of Paul.
Are you satisfied by your own righteousness, or by the righteousness of God?
 
 
For the Good That I Will to Do, I Do Not Practice
 
(Romans 7:15) “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.”
When Paul says here that he does not understand what he is doing, he is talking about the acts of his flesh. What Paul is talking about in verse 15 is the dualistic life of his flesh and his soul. So Paul is lamenting here over his flesh, seeing that it follows the lusts of the flesh rather than the will of the Spirit in his heart.
Paul said this because he saw that his flesh always wanted to disobey the will of God. In other words, he saw that the flesh of the believers in the righteousness of God was following the same sins prohibited by the Law, just like the flesh of those who were not born again. So he confessed like this ever more frustrated and lamenting: “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Though Paul thus lamented, he was soon joyous for the righteousness of God that came to him through Jesus Christ.
The flesh of man always seeks after carnal lusts. The lusts of the flesh always constitute sin before God. So anyone who believes in God’s righteousness must preach this righteousness throughout the whole world. That’s why Paul said in Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
We need to realize here that even for those who were born again by believing in the righteousness of God, their flesh follows sin constantly. However, we should also realize and believe that the spirits of the believers in God’s righteousness always want to serve it and follow it. There is one thing that even the believers in the righteousness of God should realize. It is the immutable, everlasting truth that in their flesh, they are still following the lusts of the flesh, while in their spirits they desire to serve God’s righteousness. So those who believe in God’s righteousness must live their lives serving it.
 
 
We Must Admit the Goodness of the Law
 
(Romans 7:16) “If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.”
Paul admits here the weaknesses of his flesh and the goodness of the Law of God. God’s Law is forever good. In contrast, the flesh of man always commits rebellious sins. So we can see that the flesh of man constantly disobeys the will of God and stands against it. No one should ever expect any goodness from his flesh, but instead place their expectations of goodness only on their faith in the righteousness of God and the Holy Spirit who follow it.
We have to admit that the flesh of man is wicked, but the minds and bodies that follow the will of the Holy Spirit are instruments that are used for good works. We should realize and believe that God’s righteousness always leads the believers to the way that pleases God.
 
 
The Lusts of the Flesh
 
(Romans 7:17) “But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.”
The Apostle Paul is saying that even as a believer in God’s righteousness, his flesh still serves sin. He is revealing here that even in his heart, there is a desire to follow both the flesh and the Spirit. So because of his carnal thoughts, the Apostle Paul faced many hardships, and therefore he always held fast onto the righteousness of God that came through the Lord. That’s because there was no other way for Paul to live but to hold onto God’s righteousness and follow it.
 
 
There Is Nothing Good in the Flesh
 
(Romans 7:18) “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.”
We should believe that although the flesh of man may desire to do what is good, it is incapable of actually practicing true goodness. No one can follow the will of God with his carnal thoughts. Therefore, even for those who believe in God’s righteousness, only when they seek and realize God’s will that pleases Him can they unite with this will and follow God.
We need to realize that it is possible to follow the will of God only when the saints and servants of God want to follow the Lord uniting themselves with God’s will. Anyone who wants to live righteously on this earth must not follow their flesh, but the will of God.
 
 
Practicing Good Is Impossible by the Strength of the Flesh
 
(Romans 7:19) “For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.”
Fundamentally speaking, without following the righteousness of God no one is capable of practicing what is truly good, but only of practicing wickedness. This is the typical way of life and its consequences for those who do not follow God’s righteousness.
For all, only when they believe in the righteousness of God and follow His written Word can they practice what is truly and genuinely good. The Apostle Paul, too, testified that he could not practice true goodness without following the righteousness of God by faith.
How about us then? We cannot deny the fact we are also like Paul. Therefore, even for someone who believes in God’s righteousness, if he wants to live truthfully and virtuously, he must never stop believing in God’s righteousness and serving the true gospel. Only when we infallibly believe in God’s righteousness and serve His righteousness until the day we stand before the Lord, can we avoid falling into sin. Therefore, we shouldn’t place any expectations on our own flesh, but we should continue to serve the gospel of the righteousness of God step by step.
All of us must realize this: In our flesh and our carnal thoughts, we are incapable of doing what is good; and only when we believe in and serve God’s righteousness can we become true workers of righteousness and please God, and we must all believe accordingly.
 
 
Did Paul Have Sin?
 
(Romans 7:20) “Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.”
When Paul mentioned here, “Sin that dwells in me,” we shouldn’t misinterpret it as saying that Paul had sin in his heart. That’s because in Paul’s heart there was God’s righteousness, and therefore he was actually sinless.
We may then wonder what Paul meant when he talked about the “sin that dwells in me.” What is this sin that Paul is speaking of, that dwells in his heart? By these words, he is referring to the carnal mind in him discussed in Romans 7:18. Paul always described his carnal mind as the flesh, and his spiritual mind as the right heart that follows the righteousness of God. Paul was explaining that the human heart had two minds. The Apostle Paul is saying that if he dwelt in sin, which he did not desire, he did so because he followed his carnal mind and the flesh of man, instead of following the righteousness of God and the Holy Spirit.
As such, we must not misconstrue the Apostle Paul as a servant of God who had sin in his heart. Fundamentally speaking, the Apostle Paul’s heart had faith in the righteousness of God, and therefore there was no sin. You may then ask, “But didn’t he say that he committed sin? Doesn’t this then mean he was a sinner?” However, as someone who possessed God’s righteousness, Paul was not a sinner. He was actually sinless because he believed in God’s righteousness; not because he was called sinless based on the Doctrine of Justification even though he still remained sinful.
You must all grasp this truth. It is by believing in the gospel of the righteousness of God that human beings can become sinless even though they are all weak beings who cannot help but commit sin in their flesh. Those who actually believe in the gospel of the righteousness of God in their hearts can see and realize that they have become sinless when they look into their hearts.
As the Bible testifies, “In it [the gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith” (Romans 1:17), I admonish all of you to realize this righteousness of God and become sinless.
 
 
Every Christian Has Both Body and Soul
 
(Romans 7:21) “I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.”
Even for those who have received the remission of their sins from God by believing in His righteousness, they desire to follow both the righteousness of God and their flesh. Since one part of our heart desires to follow the Spirit while the other desires to follow the flesh, it is by nature that the flesh would follow carnal lusts, and it is a God-given desire of our spirit to follow His righteousness. So since one man has two laws and two hearts, he can only be tormented.
Therefore, depending on which of these two hearts a man follows, he obtains either peace or suffering. That’s why it is so indispensable and critically important for us to realize the Truth that the Apostle Paul grasped. We must realize and believe in the righteousness of God; however, even after attaining this righteousness of God by faith, we still agonize between the spirit and the flesh, and we need to realize that we must overcome by believing in God’s righteousness.
For us to follow God, we should not just skirt over the fact that in our flesh there are two minds, but instead follow the spirit by believing in God’s righteousness. We should never forget that in our hearts as the believers in the righteousness of God, both the heart of the spirit and the heart of the flesh coexist. Those who realize that there are two different hearts in themselves can fight and overcome Satan by believing in God.
 
 
According to My Inward Man
 
(Romans 7:22) “For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.”
This passage is talking about the heart of someone who knows and believes in the righteousness of God. When people believe in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, they will be delivered from sin, become God’s sinless people, be nurtured with the Word of God, and turn into the servants of faith and righteousness. So they will become God’s faithful workers.
 
 
Another Law in My Members
 
(Romans 7:23) “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”
In the Apostle Paul’s heart, his carnal mind sought to remove the other mind that desired to follow the Spirit. So Paul’s heart suffered because this could not be tolerated. Yet, it was an unavoidable battle that there would be two laws in one man’s heart, and these laws would wage war against each other. That is why the saints and servants of God are endlessly struggling against themselves. So they tire from the battle and fall, but it is still only a matter of course for them to eventually overcome as they believe in the righteousness of God. Such battles are waged by anyone who believes God’s righteousness, but the victory is obtained by trusting in the Lord who brings this victory.
 
 
The Lord Who Saves the Wretched People
 
(Romans 7:24) “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”
If any servants of the righteousness of God who have become Christ’s people tire from the battle and fall down, it is because of the unflagging pursuit of the desires of their flesh and the sins of carnal lusts. But there is a General who enables the servants of righteousness overcome, and His name is Jesus Christ. He is the Savior who, whenever those under His command fall and ask for His help, comes to their rescue with the sword of the gospel of the righteousness of God; with one swing of the sword He removes death, which is the wages of sin, curses, shame, and contempt; clothes them with the garment of salvation; gives them new strength; raises them up, and enables them to live forcefully for the righteousness of God.
Whenever the saints and servants of God who believe in His righteousness fall from their battle against sin, Jesus Christ always makes them overcome. However, before such a victory is attained, whenever they lose the battle against themselves and fall, it is Jesus Christ the King of righteousness who comes to their rescue. This is why the saints thank God and give glory to Him.
Although the believers in the righteousness of God are put under such circumstances, they come to experience for themselves the power of the righteousness of the Lord that helps them overcome, receive new strength and stand on their ground again. Such experiences can be had only by the righteous.
 
 
With the Mind, I Serve the Law of God
 
(Romans 7:25) “I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”
The saints and the servants of righteousness who know and believe in the righteousness of God overcome all sins by always believing in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit given by Jesus Christ. So by believing in God’s righteousness they fight against and overcome sin, thus thanking Him. This is the victory and blessing for those who have become God’s servants by believing in His righteousness.
Do you have such blessed faith of victory? Such faith and victory are attained by faith in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit that God has given us through Jesus Christ. Each and every one who knows and believes in this Truth will secure the final victory in their struggle against self, and all will come to give glory and thanks to God.
This kind of victorious faith is not attained from legalistic beliefs. Nor is it attained by believing in Christian doctrines. Such faith is attained only by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that makes us triumph over all sins.
All the righteous people and all the servants of God who believe in His righteousness are also those who, with their minds, serve the Law of God themselves, but with the flesh serve the law of sin. However, He who enables them to overcome all these things is Jesus Christ. It is because of Jesus Christ that everyone who believes in God’s righteousness comes to be forever thankful.
Hallelujah! I thank God for giving us victory over all these sins.