October 14 - Our Common Struggle (Romans 7:13-25)
Prepare for Sunday morning worship by using the guide below.
Miguel Echevarria will begin teaching "Living as Exiles" in the youth room. This study considers instruction from Paul and Peter on living between the times.
Josh Herring will continue teaching on Old Testament Wisdom Literature in the Adult 1 classroom.
13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
How many of you have wondered if I continue to struggle with sin, does this mean I am not a Christian? If I continue in my struggle with lust, jealousy, anger, does this mean the cross is not powerful? If I can hate someone today and love him or her tomorrow, does this mean I am not saved? So far in this chapter we have seen that we are freed from the law, the law has no rights over us. And while the law cannot save, it is indispensable in that it exposes sins leading us like a tutor to find Jesus a worthy Savior. What then do we do with our sins in this life? Should we expect to overcome all sin? How do we contend with this life while continuing to struggle with sin? Paul, I think, is painting a picture of the life of a Christian as one that struggles in sin and he uses himself as an example. While others have seen this as speaking to the life of a person before conversion, I think seeing this as normal offers help in our struggle with the challenging nature of the Christian life.
Review and Apply
What evidence is there that Paul is referring to his present experience as a Christian?
Why has verse 14 caused so much trouble for Christians over the years? How does the Christian reconcile it?
How does this text explain your Christian experience?
What explains the struggle over sin in the life of the Christian in 21-23?
Is the cry of Paul in 24 hopeless? Why or why not?
How would you help a young Christian who confesses that over the weekend with some old friends, he fell back to some sinful habits in his life?
Where do we turn for help in fighting sin?