The Berean Expositor
Volume 25 - Page 118 of 190
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Many expositors seem to lose sight of the fact that the primary object of the apostle is
to defend the law against the charge of any complicity with evil, and to show that, just as
the stirring up of dormant sin by the law could not by any means be made to prove that
the law itself was sin, so the law is still "good", even though the flesh is utterly unable to
get good from it. This necessitates a further exposition of the relation of indwelling sin to
the flesh, and leads to the conclusion that nothing can enable the believer to rise above its
dominion other than a complete abandonment of all efforts by the flesh or in the law, and
a complete standing in Christ and in the Spirit. The sequel, which contains this latter
truth, is reserved for Rom. 8:, and flows, legitimately, straight out of Rom. 5:,
without reference to the four parenthetical questions of 6: and 7:
The developments of the answer in Rom. 7: 13-25 is not by any means easy to
discover, but the following outline will be of some service by showing the salient features
and their inter-relation.
Romans 7: 13-25.
A | 13. Sin manifested, working in me death.
B | 14. | a | The law is spiritual.
b | I am carnal, sold under sin.
C | 15-20. Sin in the flesh.
c | What I do I allow not, I hate.
d | No more I, but sin that dwelleth in me.
c | What I would I do not; I find not.
d | No more I, but sin that dwelleth in me.
C | 21-23. The law of sin in the members.
e | I find then a law.
f | I delight in the law of God after the inward man.
e | I see another law.
f | Bringing me captive to the law of sin in my members.
B | 24, 25. |
b | Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
a | I myself serve the law of God with the mind.
A | 25. Law of sin served by the flesh.
Let us not lose sight of the main proposition, for if we do, we shall become involved
in a never-ending debate as to the nature of the man whose conflict is here described,
which is subsidiary to the main theme. The main theme is the character of the law.
To the possible objection, "Is that which is good made death unto me?" the apostle
replies, "No, it is the abuse of the commandment that leads to death, and this but reveals
the exceeding sinfulness of sin that thus abuse it".
"Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might
appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment
might become exceeding sinful" (Rom. 7: 13).
This "exceeding sinfulness of sin" is now shown in its relation to the law: "For we
know that the law is spiritual" (Rom. 7: 14). This has already been demonstrated. The
law is not merely occupied with external acts, but with internal motives: "Thou shalt not