Paul has just told us about a difficult experience. He desperately wanted to free himself from the wrong attitudes and behaviour that seemed so powerful in his life. However, even with his best efforts, he was much too weak to succeed.
Now, at last, Paul expresses his joy and thanks to God. God does those things that we consider impossible (Luke 1:37; Romans 4:17). Death is the result of our evil deeds; but life is the result of Christ’s death for us (6:23). We cannot save (rescue) ourselves, but God has the power to save us, because of Christ (1:16).
Then, Paul finishes chapter 7 with an explanation of the experience that he has just described. People do wrong and evil things because they care too much about their lives in this world. Their natural desires, feelings, ambitions and fears control their behaviour. That is a weak way to behave, so Paul calls it the ‘flesh’ (the soft parts of the human body). As the body with its flesh is certain to die, so death is the result of our evil deeds (6:23).
When we think intelligently about these things, we can see a better way to live. It would be much better for us to obey God’s law. However, we are not obeying God’s law when our natural desires, the desires of the ‘flesh’, rule our lives.
God can rescue us from this problem because of Christ’s death (8:3-4). He places his Holy Spirit in the lives of his people (8:2; 8:9), and the Holy Spirit guides us how to live (John 16:13; Galatians 5:16).
Next part: No condemnation (Romans 8:1)
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© 2017, Keith Simons.