Paul says the good that he wanted to do he didn't and the evil he didn't want to do he did. Should Romans 7 be the normal state of a believer, or Romans 8?
Romans 7:15 - 20
NKJV - 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.
For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.
Absolutely. Satan has been tempting man since the beginning. He is a liar and the best con artist and he knows everyone's weakness. It doesn't matter when, where or how you lived, satan knows your weaknesses better than you do and knows what temptations you, as an individual, are susceptible to. Brett.
Romans 7 is absolutely not intended to be the norm for Christians. Romans 8 is.
Starting at the beginning of Romans 6, Paul says, 'Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.' (Romans 6:1 - 6:4 NLT)
Romans 7 is given as an example of what it looks like when we try to live a life that pleases God, according to the flesh. It can never work. In Christ, we have died to sin and have been raised to a new life, literally, His life in us. When His life (Spirit) is in us, while we take responsibility for our decisions, He takes the responsibility for being the power to live this new life. Our focus is no longer to be on producing fruit, (John 15), because we are powerless to produce fruit, (nothing good lives in our flesh), but rather simply on the vine, who then sees to it that the sap, or lifeblood, flows from the vine through the branch, resulting in fruit.
The Christian life isn't something that we do, it's something that we receive, and the fruit (works) come as a result of what we have received: Christ himself.
Steve Friesen, what a breath of fresh air! So many use Romans 7 as an excuse to continue in favorite sins, not realizing that those things continued lead to wretchedness and death. I am so thankful for Romans 8 and John 15 (plus the many other texts that speak of freedom)!