Bible teachers have different opinions about the meaning of Romans chapter 7. One of the problems is what Paul means by Ďdeathí in verses 9-13.
In addition to the death of the body, the Bible speaks about the death of the spirit (Colossians 2:13). That is the true state of a person who, although alive, does not have a real relationship with God. On the other hand, Godís people have life in their spirits that continues even after the death of their bodies (John 6:53-54; John 11:25-26).
So, there are two ways to live: a wise way, and a foolish way (Psalm 1; Proverbs chapter 9; Matthew 7:24-27). The wise way is to trust in Christ, and to allow his Holy Spirit to guide us. Then we will receive, from the Holy Spirit, Godís gift of life that never ends (6:23; 8:11).
The foolish way to live, is to live for our own desires, pleasures and feelings (1 Timothy 5:6). We care about the desires of our own bodies; but we refuse the life that comes from the Holy Spirit. So, in Godís opinion, our spirits are dead even while we are still alive. That kind of death is simply the natural result of how we are living (6:23). Godís law is good (7:12), but its judgement is against us. We cannot blame Godís law for that. Instead, we ourselves are responsible because of our own wrong, evil and selfish attitudes and actions.
Of course Christians should not live in that foolish manner. However, sometimes we give too much attention to the feelings and desires that come from our bodies. The result is that we do wrong things (James 1:15). God has given life to our spirits; but we act like someone whose spirit is dying. We must stop our wrong behaviour and confess our evil deeds to God (1 John 1:9). He very much wants to forgive us. Christians should always desire to live in the way that pleases God.
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© 2018, Keith Simons.