Useful Bible Studies > Romans Commentary > chapter 7

The law of God and the law of sin

Romans 7:22-23

Paul is discussing two different laws, or principles, that have power over his life. These two laws are opposites; they oppose each other. We need to understand what these laws are. Then we should be able to see how they affect our lives.

So, let us see how Paul describes these laws. He has several different names for each one. In verse 22, he calls the first law: ‘the law of God’. In the next verse, he calls the same law: ‘the law of my mind’. We can see from verse 25 that these are the same thing. By ‘mind’, Paul means his intelligent thought. In Paul’s spirit, he truly loves this law. In Romans 8:2, he will call it: ‘the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus’. By the power of the Holy Spirit, this law brings life to Paul’s own spirit.

In verse 23, Paul calls the second law ‘another law’. It is ‘the law of sin’. In Romans 8:2, Paul gives its full name: ‘the law of sin and death’. That reminds us of the principle in Romans 6:23. Sin means our wrong attitudes and actions. The Holy Spirit gives freedom and life (8:2); sin controls us like prisoners and it causes death. That is, until Christ frees us, to live in the power of the Holy Spirit (7:24-25; 8:1-4).

The reality is that God’s people are free from ‘the law of sin’. They love God’s law in their hearts, and their minds approve of it. However, the physical parts of their bodies often seem much weaker. That is, they become too aware of the things that their physical bodies need or desire. So, they become too weak to trust God in each situation (Matthew 6:25-33). They are only trying to look after themselves - but in reality, they have allowed sin to have power in their lives.

Next part: A wretched life – but God gives life to dying people (Romans 7:24)


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© 2018, Keith Simons.