Today's Bible Chapter

Romans Chapter 7

Romans 7:23 – Conflicting Laws

However, I realize another principle in my body members, 1 fighting against my mental principle 2 and leading me as a captive to the principle of the sin. 3
1 I realize another principle in my body members: Or, KJV: I see another law in my members; GDS: all through my body I see another principle. Despite this universal admiration for law the truth is there is a principle working against this – inherited sin, as though a virus got into the computer program.
2 Fighting against my mental principle: Or, KJV: warring against the law of my mind; MON: my will; GDS: the law of my reason; KNX: wages war against the disposition of my conscience. (James 4:1) This internal struggle has been described and debated by philosophers and theologians for thousands of years including Plato, Buddha, and Freud.
3 Leading me as a captive to the principle of the sin: Or, GDS: makes me a prisoner. Despite the most honest intentions the rule of sin dominates humankind. (John 8:34)

Dear Friends of the Nazarene,

We choose Romans 7:23 as the theme verse of chapter seven – Rescue From Misery. Paul will draw on the previous argument that the Christian disciple is now dead. He now addresses the place of the Law of Moses in these matters. He illustrates his main point in verse 4 with the example of a wife bound to her husband’s “law” as long as he lives. If her husband dies she is freed from his law. Paul’s main point: Christians are dead to the Law of Moses and so are free to “marry” the One raised from the dead. He again contrasts life in the past under the Law of Moses with its excitement passions to the new spiritual life.

Paul raises the question whether it is the Law that is sinful itself. His answer is that such would be impossible for he would not even know sin if it were not for the Law. His example is the commandment on not coveting. He begins to speak as a corporate member of the Hebrews: he existed once without the Law of Moses – as in the case of the patriarchs. But when the Law came into existence it killed him by identifying sin. Despite this he concludes that the Law itself is holy, right, and good.

Paul concludes by discovering what principles are at work in humankind. Bad is always present when one wishes to do good. The inner human being wants God’s law, or the rule of law; but the principle of sin dominates conduct. In behalf of humankind, Paul asks who will rescue us? The mind wants God’s law while the flesh is ruled by the principle of sin.