Chapter # 7 Paragraph # 3 Study # 5
April 17, 2007
Lincolnton, N.C.

<304> Thesis: "I" do not sin. Introduction: Two weeks ago we looked into Paul's revelation that "behavior" is not a matter of "knowledge", "will", or "values". It is, rather, a matter of a "dominating spirit". According to Paul's teaching in 7:14-15 there is a fundamental mismatch between the "Law" and man's "fleshly" composition. The Law was designed to function in the realm of "spirit" and man's physical composition was designed to function in the realm of "material flesh". This mismatch sets up an inevitable failure of fallen flesh to fulfill the realities of the Law. And not only is there a mismatch, there is also the reality of verse fifteen which clearly states that what Paul "produces" by both "practice" and "simple action" is not the result of his "knowledge", his "will", or his "values". He flatly says, "I do not know", "I will but do not do", and "I do what I hate". This highlights the reason for Paul's absolute insistence that the Christian life is by the Spirit of God and not the resources of the flesh (knowledge, will, and values). Now, this evening we are going to press on into Paul's "hair splitting". Twice in this passage Paul claims to not be ultimately responsible for the sins which are thrust forth out of his body. There is both a good reason for these claims and a good reason for us to go on into his "hair splitting". People are often "put off" by technical hair splitting, but in this area of biblical instruction on how to gain and maintain victory over Sin, the information is critical, even if it is technical.