Chapter # 7 Paragraph # 3 Study # 3
Thesis: The various behaviors of people reveal their inner bondage to The Sin.
Introduction: As Paul moves more deeply into the issues involved in a life that is "Law"-directed, he takes pains to make sure that his readers have the opportunity to understand just how futile is such a life. The "Law" is "good", but the use of it by The Sin is unspeakably evil and given its occasion by humanity's condition as "sinners" ("sold under The Sin").
This evening we are going to see Paul's first explanation of how the believer has options that others do not have.
November 20, 2016
- I. Paul's "Carnality" Explained.
- A. His first description of his condition is the phrase "sold under The Sin".
- 1. This is a deliberate contrast between the "spiritual" nature of The Law and his "fleshly" nature.
- 2. The chief point in this contrast is that the two natures have almost completely different characteristics (John 3:6 compared with Romans 8:5 and Galatians 5:17) so that they cannot be in harmony.
- B. His second description of his condition involves three different words to describe "carnality".
- 1. The first word is used at the beginning of 7:15 (katergazomai).
- a. This word is used 23 times in the New Testament, 11 of which are in Romans, and six of those eleven are in Romans 7.
- b. It is an intensified form of a word that means "to expend energy in the pursuit of some objective".
- 1) The focus is upon the actual expenditure of energy to take action.
- 2) The emphasis is upon the diligence of that expenditure because the objective is of high value to the one taking the action.
- c. In respect to the use of this word, Paul claims to not "know" what is really driving him (akin to Jeremiah 17:9; a truth that modern psychology ignores completely).
- 2. His second word is used in respect to his "wishes" in 7:15 (prasso).
- a. This word is widely used in the New Testament as a term that indicates the repetition of the same activity over and over.
- b. Paul's claim is that his repeated actions are disconnected from his "wishes".
- 1) The term "wishes" is my translation of a "desire" that is not sufficiently empowered to accomplish the wish (as in 1 Timothy 2:4).
- 2) The "wishing" is genuine, but there are other over-riding concerns.
- 3. His third word is then used in respect to his "hatreds" in 7:15 (poieo).
- a. This term is used in over 500 contexts in the New Testament and typically points to an action taken.
- b. It simply points to some action taken without regard for whether it is "typical" or a single event.
- c. His claim here is that, in terms of his own "values", he actually takes actions that are in direct contradiction to his own "values".
- C. His third description of his condition establishes the relationship that exists between himself and the "good" "Law".
- 1. That he "does not wish" to do a thing, yet does it anyway simply means that there is a disconnect between what he values in harmony with the "spiritual" Law and what he actually does.
- 2. Thus, he agrees with "The Law" that it's precepts are "good".
- D. His fourth description of his condition draws the conclusion that he has an indwelling adversary.
- 1. Paul's argument is that this internal conflict between values and actions taken, once, over and over, or with significant diligence, is driven by an internal resident.
- 2. The Sin "indwells" him.