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CMF eZine


The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship.


Romans 7:09 - The Beast Crouches

He sets himself before us as an example, in whom all men may behold, first what they are by nature before they earnestly think upon the law of God: that is, stupid, and prone to sin and wickedness, without any true sense and feeling of sin, and second what manner of persons they become, when their conscience is reproved by the testimony of the Law, that is, stubborn and more inflamed with the desire for sin than they ever were before. (Geneva Bible Translation Notes)

I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; (NASB)

For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. (KJV)

At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life, (NLT)

And I was once alive apart from the law, but with the coming of the commandment sin became alive (NET)

I think Paul is trying to convey here that he lived for a season of his life, or at least I thought he was living, because he was at peace with his conscience.  But then the law provoked the sleeping beast to life and then his conscience became aware of the disease.  The beast that crouches at the door (Genesis 4:7)  We deem ourselves righteous according to our own standards until we meet the righteous standard of the law that then reveals to us this inner nature that rebels with ferocity.

Romans 7:08 - Covetous Desires

Though sin is in us, yet it is not known as sin, neither does it rage in the same way that it rages after the law is known. (Geneva Bible Translation Notes)

But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. (NASB)

But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. (KJV)

But sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of wrong desires. For apart from the law, sin is dead. (NET)

But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power. (NLT)

The challenge here is to accurately convey the length and breadth of our fallen estate.  We are reprobate in our reaction to a perfect and holy law!  It is because our vile affections have no other avenue but to express vile expressions.  A piteous place to be indeed.  The harder we kick against the goads the more the light of the law illuminates our true character.  The greater our rebellion the darker we become.

But sin - To illustrate the effect of the Law on the mind, the apostle in this verse depicts its influence in exciting to evil desires and purposes. Perhaps nowhere has he evinced more consummate knowledge of the human heart than here. He brings an illustration that might have escaped most persons, but which goes directly to establish his position that the Law is insufficient to promote the salvation of man. Sin here is personified. It means not a real entity; not a physical subsistence; not something independent of the mind, having a separate existence, and lodged in the soul, but it means the corrupt passions, inclinations, and desires of the mind itself. Thus, we say that lust burns, and ambition rages, and envy corrodes the mind, without meaning that lust, ambition, or envy are any independent physical subsistence, but meaning that the mind that is ambitious, or envious, is thus excited.  (Dr. Albert Barnes)

There is no way of coming to that knowledge of sin, which is necessary to repentance, and therefore to peace and pardon, but by trying our hearts and lives by the law. In his own case the apostle would not have known the sinfulness of his thoughts, motives, and actions, but by the law. That perfect standard showed how wrong his heart and life were, proving his sins to be more numerous than he had before thought, but it did not contain any provision of mercy or grace for his relief. He is ignorant of human nature and the perverseness of his own heart, who does not perceive in himself a readiness to fancy there is something desirable in what is out of reach. We may perceive this in our children, though self-love makes us blind to it in ourselves. The more humble and spiritual any Christian is, the more clearly will he perceive that the apostle describes the true believer, from his first convictions of sin to his greatest progress in grace, during this present imperfect state. St. Paul was once a Pharisee, ignorant of the spirituality of the law, having some correctness of character, without knowing his inward depravity. When the commandment came to his conscience by the convictions of the Holy Spirit, and he saw what it demanded, he found his sinful mind rise against it. He felt at the same time the evil of sin, his own sinful state, that he was unable to fulfil the law, and was like a criminal when condemned. (Matthew Henry)

Romans 7:07 - Is the Law Sin?

Paul’s point here is that the law reveals what sin is and must be distinguished from the sin itself. The law is not sin (5:20; 7:4–6), just as light is not that which it illuminates. (Tyndale concise Bible commentary)

By the word "lust" in this place he does not mean evil lusts themselves, but the fountain from which they come, for the heathen philosophers themselves condemned wicked lusts, though somewhat poorly. But as for the fountain of lust, they could not so much as determine it, and yet it is the very seat of the natural and unclean spot and filth. (Geneva Bible Translation Notes)

What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, "YOU SHALL NOT COVET." (NASB)

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.  (KJV)

Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, "You must not covet." (NLT)

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! Certainly, I would not have known sin except through the law. For indeed I would not have known what it means to desire something belonging to someone else if the law had not said, "Do not covet." (NET)

As we stand in the light of God's holy truth, we see the depth of our own sin!  The law then becomes the mirror whereby we see an accurate reflection of our fallenness.  We have nowhere to hid, the reality of our transgressions appear before us and we find ourselves helpless to live in obedience to this writ.  To the contrary, we like Paul, are transgressors always despite our best efforts.  Thankfully Christ's sacrifice on the Cross made a way for us to live our lives in victory in union with Him.  The more we see of our real selves, the more reasons we have to be thankful.  The "fountain of lust" that pulses in our veins is slaked upon the Savior's breast.

Romans 7:06 - Delivered and Free to be Righteous

But now we are delivered from the law - We, who have believed in Christ Jesus, are delivered from that yoke by which we were bound, which sentenced every transgressor to perdition, but provided no pardon even for the penitent, and no sanctification for those who are weary of their inbred corruptions. (Dr. Adam Clarke)

Our old man is crucified with Him, so that it is our deliverance to die to the law. It did but condemn us, but its authority ends with the life of him who was under that authority. And being dead in Christ, the law can no longer reach those who had been under it: we belong to the new husband, to Christ risen, in order that we should serve in newness of spirit, the goodwill of grace in our new life, and — as the apostle will afterwards explain, by the Holy Ghost [36] — not in the bondage of the letter. (Dr. John Darby)

But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. (NASB)

But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. (KJV)

But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit. (NLT)

But now we have been released from the law, because we have died to what controlled us, so that we may serve in the new life of the Spirit and not under the old written code. (NET)

We can live and still be free from the demands of the law!  The God's law still exists and rules over men. But we ourselves, in Christ, died to its control.  We are not lawless, but instead are joined to Him whose name is above all names that we might walk in the newness of life.  This life is now motivated to service of the King an not in an old worn out way of the written statutes.  So now we are dead unto sin, dean unto the law and free to serve in the Spirit!  The phrase "new life" just doesn't give wings to all that we have been given to enjoy in Christ Jesus our Lord.

the Ethiopic version renders it, "we are loosed from the law, and are delivered from the former doctrine"; the doctrine of the legal dispensation. (Dr. John Gill)

Romans 7:05 - Flesh and the Law

The illustration in this verse and the following is designed to show more at length the effect of the Law, whenever and wherever applied; whether in a state of nature or of grace. It was always the same. It was the occasion of agitation and conflict in a man’s own mind. This was true when a sinner was under conviction; and it was true when a man was a Christian. In all circumstances where the Law was applied to the corrupt mind of man, it produced this agitation and conflict. (Dr. Albert Barnes)

So long as a man continues under the law as a covenant, and seeks justification by his own obedience, he continues the slave of sin in some form. (Mathew Henry)

For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. (NASB)

For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. (KJV)

When we were controlled by our old nature, sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death. (NLT)

 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful desires, aroused by the law, were active in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. (NET)

Gal 5:24  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there. (NLT)

Tit 3:3  Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures.  Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. (NLT)

Gal 5:16-17  So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives.  Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves.  The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants.  And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires.  These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. (NLT)

It is our inner nature, lustful passions, that are exercised, because the law prohibits, to seek gratification.  This is the very mechanism that the enemy of our soul will continue to use to deceive us even as we endeavor to walk in the Spirit!  It is this desire for gratification that can lead us into thinking we are following the Lord when we are merely deceiving ourselves.  Should we believe that we are caught up in "holy affections" when we bark like a dog or shake uncontrollably?  These are the "fair shows and glistering appearances" of which Jonathan Edwards spoke during the great awakening.  "War on the Saints" likewise condemns such things as of the devil.  Our inner nature seeks an "experience" and while true religion will bring with it great affections, having such experiences does not necessarily mean they are holy!  The human psyche is capable of great things in its own right, including leading a morally upright life.  The problem is still the man within that wants to have his own way ("justification by obedience")!  However, we know that Jesus is the only way!

"the motions of sin" are meant, the evil passions and affections of the mind, the lusts of the heart, sinful desires, evil thoughts, the imaginations of the thoughts of the heart, the first motions of the mind to sin: these "were by the law"; not as the efficient cause of them, that neither produces nor encourages them;  (Dr. John Gill)

When ye were in the flesh - Carnally minded, in a state of nature; before we believed in Christ. Our sins which were by the law - Accidentally occasioned, or irritated thereby. Wrought in our members - Spread themselves all over the whole man. (John Wesley)

Romans 7:04 - Dead to the Law

An application of the similitude of marriage. "So", he says, "it is the same with us: for now we are joined to the Spirit, as it were to the second husband, by whom we must bring forth new children: we are dead with regard to the first husband, but with regard to the latter, we are as it were raised from the dead."  (Geneva Bible Translation Notes)

Wherefore, my brethren - This is a parallel case. You were once under the law of Moses, and were bound by its injunctions; but now ye are become dead to that law - a modest, inoffensive mode of speech, for, The law, which was once your husband, is dead; God has determined that it shall be no longer in force; so that now, as a woman whose husband is dead is freed from the law of that husband, or from her conjugal vow, and may legally be married to another, so God, who gave the law under which ye have hitherto lived, designed that it should be in force only till the advent of the Messiah; that advent has taken place, the law has consequently ceased, and now ye are called to take on you the yoke of the Gospel, and lay down the yoke of the law; and it is the design of God that you should do so. (Dr. Adam Clarke)

Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. (NASB)

Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. (KJV)

So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the One who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God. (NLT)

So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you could be joined to another, to the one who was raised from the dead, to bear fruit to God. (NET)

Are become dead (ἐθανατώθητε). more accurately, ye were made dead, put to death; because this ethical death is fellowship with Christ’s death, which was by violence. (Vincent Word studies in the New Testament)

Once again we see the identification with Christ's death brought forth.  We now see our marriage to Him in the resurrection so that we may bear fruit. In this illustration Paul shows us two husbands who are both perfect and holy.  However, the first is not very helpful to our fallen estate but to the contrary displays our true character.  The second husband, who is Christ, delivers us from our fallen estate so that now we are no longer under the law but under His Grace.  We are no long subject to the law but rather, because of the indwelling Holy Spirit, a fulfillment of the law allowing us to be fruitful.

that we should bring forth fruit unto God — It has been thought that the apostle should here have said that “the law died to us,” not “we to the law,” but that purposely inverted the figure, to avoid the harshness to Jewish ears of the death of the law [Chrysostom, Calvin, Hodge, Philippi, etc.]. But this is to mistake the apostle’s design in employing this figure, which was merely to illustrate the general principle that “death dissolves legal obligation.” It was essential to his argument that we, not the law, should be the dying party, since it is we that are “crucified with Christ,” and not the law. This death dissolves our marriage obligation to the law, leaving us at liberty to contract a new relation - to be joined to the Risen One, in order to spiritual fruitfulness, to the glory of God [Beza, Olshausen, Meyer, Alford, etc.]. The confusion, then, is in the expositors, not the text; and it has arisen from not observing that, like Jesus Himself, believers are here viewed as having a double life - the old sin-condemned life, which they lay down with Christ, and the new life of acceptance and holiness to which they rise with their Surety and Head; and all the issues of this new life, in Christian obedience, are regarded as the “fruit” of this blessed union to the Risen One. How such holy fruitfulness was impossible before our union to Christ, is next declared.  (A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown)

Romans 7:03 - A New Husband

The second marriage is to Christ.  By death we are freed from obligation to the law as a covenant, as the wife is from her vows to her husband. (Matthew Henry)
So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man. (NASB)
So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. (KJV)
So while her husband is alive, she would be committing adultery if she married another man. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law and does not commit adultery when she remarries. (NLT)
So then, if she is joined to another man while her husband is alive, she will be called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she is joined to another man, she is not an adulteress. (NET)

Since a death has separated us from the obligations of the law we are free to be joined to another.  In this case the risen Lord Jesus Christ.  This is of paramount importance lest we be severed from one oppression only to be saddled with a new and different burden.  The rules is, there is no rules in the sense of being separated from the law.  However, now we are joined to Christ and have a new heart and a new motivation and so following Christ allows us to become the fulfillment of the law.  Oh what joy my heart experiences with each beat.

It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. (John 3:29 NLT)
For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.  He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. (Ephesians 5:25-27 NLT)

Romans 7:02 - Death and Marriage

For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. (NASB)
For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. (KJV)
For example, when a woman marries, the law binds her to her husband as long as he is alive. But if he dies, the laws of marriage no longer apply to her. (NLT)
For a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of the marriage. (NET)

This is a simple illustration and one should not engage in puerile fantasy when gleaning its very upfront meaning—that death dissolves all those things that bind us to the law in life. Remember that in verse 4, "You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ," we can consider that our death to the law is brought about in union with our benefactor, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Paul had to be precise here by not saying that the law died, but rather our obligation to the law.  We can look upon this from several aspects.  If we continue the contrast from chapter six where sin is the master and we are the slave, sin did not die but the slave did.  Here again we have the contrasts of two husbands represented by Christ the creator of the law and the benefactor of Grace.  In one sense the law remains and the wife (us) is dead brought about by our death in Christ yet we live on.

Rom 7:1-6
So long as a man continues under the law as a covenant, and seeks justification by his own obedience, he continues the slave of sin in some form.  Nothing but the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, can make any sinner free from the law of sin and death.  Believers are delivered from that power of the law, which condemns for the sins committed by them.  And they are delivered from that power of the law which stirs up and provokes the sin that dwells in them.  Understand this not of the law as a rule, but as a covenant of works.  In profession and privilege, we are under a covenant of grace, and not under a covenant of works; under the gospel of Christ, not under the law of Moses.  The difference is spoken of under the similitude or figure of being married to a new husband.  The second marriage is to Christ.  By death we are freed from obligation to the law as a covenant, as the wife is from her vows to her husband.  In our believing powerfully and effectually, we are dead to the law, and have no more to do with it than the dead servant, who is freed from his master, has to do with his master's yoke.  The day of our believing, is the day of being united to the Lord Jesus. We enter upon a life of dependence on him, and duty to him.  Good works are from union with Christ; as the fruitfulness of the vine is the product of its being united to its roots; there is no fruit to God, till we are united to Christ.  The law, and the greatest efforts of one under the law, still in the flesh, under the power of corrupt principles, cannot set the heart right with regard to the love of God, overcome worldly lusts, or give truth and sincerity in the inward parts, or any thing that comes by the special sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit.  Nothing more than a formal obedience to the outward letter of any precept, can be performed by us, without the renewing, new-creating grace of the new covenant. (Matthew Henry)
Robertson says; “The analogy calls for the death of the law, but Paul refuses to say that. He changes the structure and makes them dead to the law as the husband (6:3–6). The relation of marriage is killed ‘through the body of Christ’ as ‘the propitiation’ (3:25) for us.”
Translation. So that, my brethren, you also were put to death with reference to the law, through the intermediate agency of the body of Christ, resulting in your being married to another, to the One who was raised up out from among the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God.
(Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament : For the English reader)
In this passage he used the illustration of a husband and wife to show that the believer has a new relationship to the Law because of his union with Jesus Christ.…But in Paul’s illustration from marriage, it was the husband who died and the wife who married again.  If you and I are represented by the wife, and the Law is represented by the husband, then the application does not follow the illustration.  If the wife died in the illustration, the only way she could marry again would be to come back from the dead.  But that is exactly what Paul wants to teach!  When we trusted Christ, we died to the Law; but in Christ, we arose from the dead and now are “married” (united) to Christ to live a new kind of life! (The Bible exposition commentary)
How can we legally be free from the Law? (Rom. 7:1–3)  Paul turned to marriage for an illustration.  A married couple is bound to each other under the Law until one of them dies.  The death of a partner frees both, so that the living partner is free to remarry.  Our union with Jesus is a real union too, so when He died we were legally released from any obligation to the Law.  God considers us to have “died to the Law through the body of Christ” (v. 4), and so to be free from any past obligation to live “under” it (6:14).
(The teacher's commentary)
To match the Christian experience of dying to sin and living to God, Paul used an illustration in which someone is set free by death, but still lives.  Jesus Christ acted both as the husband in the believer’s bondage to the law and as the new and living husband in righteousness.  The human illustration requires two husbands to make its point.  But the great truth of Romans 7 is that Christ is at the same time the one husband who dies to the state of bondage and the one who brings his bride, the church, into a new state of freedom.  Romans 6 shows that believers are dead to sin; Romans 7 shows they are dead to their old relationship to law. (Tyndale concise Bible commentary)
When a woman is married to a man, she is bound to that man until he dies.  Then she is free to marry again. Before we met Christ, we were bound by the Law and condemned by it.  The Law, however, did not “die” when we were saved; instead, we died in Christ.  We are no longer “married” to a system of regulations; we are “married” to Jesus Christ, and the Law has no control over us. Read v. 4 again and again and absorb its wonderful message.  Our old “husband” has no control over us: we are in a wonderful new relationship through and in Christ.  When we were lost, the Law triggered the “arousings of sin” in our old nature, and this produced death (v. 5).  But now we are delivered from the Law and can serve Christ in newness of the Spirit, not in the oldness of the letter (v. 6). (Wiersbe's expository outlines on the New Testament).
7:1–6 Freed at last, from bondage to blessing.  In a further effort to illustrate our freedom in Christ, Paul compared the law, with its tendency to make us want to sin (7:5), to a demanding husband. As long as the husband lives, his wife is bound to him; when he dies, she is free to marry another.  Likewise, the law and the sinful desires it arouses have no more claim over the believer; he or she is now free to be united with Christ (7:4; compare John 3:29; Eph. 5:25–27; Rev. 21:2). (Willmington's Bible handbook)

Romans 7:01 - Ignorant and Bound

The Christian, or, to say better, the believer, has part in Christ as a Christ who has died, and lives to God, Christ being raised from the dead through Him.  What is the force of this truth with regard to the law (for the law has only power over a man so long as he lives)?  Being then dead, it has no longer any hold upon him.  This is our position with regard to the law.  Does that weaken its authority? No. For we say that Christ has died, and so have we therefore; but the law no longer applies to one that is dead. (Dr. John Darby)
The apostle shows how by death the Christian is freed from the law, which, good as it is in itself and in the divine intention, nevertheless, owing to the corruption of man’s nature, instead of helping to make him good, perpetually stimulates sin. (Denny as quoted in Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament : For the English reader)

Released (7:1–3).  A spouse is no longer bound by the law of marriage to a partner who has died.  Death freed him or her from that law.  Similarly the death of Christ, which we shared in our union with Him, frees us from all legal obligations to God’s Law.  (The Bible readers companion)
Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? (NASB)
Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? (KJV)
Now, dear brothers and sisters—you who are familiar with the law—don't you know that the law applies only while a person is living? (NLT)
Or do you not know, brothers and sisters (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law is lord over a person as long as he lives? (NET)

Coming to Christ is not the toughest part of the journey we face.  Following Christ is the road less travelled and most maligned.  The world is a graveyard of lost ships who have professed their faith only to crash upon the rocks.  If Jesus is the way the truth and the life, it would beg to question why the ditch at the side of the road remains so full.  Woefully, the saddest epitaph is that the Road in question is Christ Himself.  It is the deception of the flesh and its song sung well by the chief of deceivers that brings each one of us to this ditch at one time or another.  It is only the tenacious love of the Savior that brings us back to the road.  So complete is the deception that draws us into the ditch, that those with whom we travel are not always able to turn us from this plight.  In the Lord's economy, a believer may travel thousands of miles to encourage someone who is in the very midst of the saints.  I do not mean this to be a pejorative slight at those who are still traveling on the road but rather to illuminate the wiles of the enemy and how easily all of us are deceived.  It is not that I would give glory to the one who travelled far for it is the Lord who brought him as well.

For the past month we have looked at how were are by natures slaves to sin.  However, in union with Christ Jesus we have been transformed by this union into slave of Christ and His righteousness.  Today we begin a sojourn in the study of our relationship with the law.  Perhaps said with more literary penash, "the Tale of Two Husbands."  Both are perfect and holy however, the first is not very helpful ("gives me neither feet nor hands").  The second, though, is helpful in every way but I cannot be the wife of two husbands.  If it were me, I would have done away with the first husband.  However, Christ chose to do away with the wife.  Since I am dead in Christ, I am no longer obligated to the Law but to Christ!  The law's ability to show the true nature of my fallen estate is slaked in Jesus and this wondrous union He created for me to walk within.

The chapter starts out proclaiming our ignorance (?γνοε?τε - from G50 ?γνο?ω) a word equated with heathenism (Josephus, Antiquities) and in general the opposite of wisdom.  A more stark way of putting it would be "ignorant brothers I am speaking to you who have come to a complete understanding of the law."  We have ignorance because we ignore! We can begin to see our plight here in that we were ignorant to our complete deliverance from the law that kept us chained to our fallen nature while at the same time being cognizant of its just authority to do so but bound only so long as we live.  Did the law weaken to facilitate our escape? No! We died!

Rom 7:1 The apostle continues the comparison between the former and the present state of a believer, and at the same time endeavors to wean the Jewish believers from their fondness for the Mosaic law.  I speak to them that know the law - To the Jews chiefly here.  As long - So long, and no longer.  As it liveth - The law is here spoken of, by a common figure, as a person, to which, as to an husband, life and death are ascribed.  But he speaks indifferently of the law being dead to us, or we to it, the sense being the same. (John Wesley)
We are delivered from the law.  What is meant by this?  And how is it an argument why sin should not reign over us, and why we should walk in newness of life?  We are delivered from the power of the law which curses and condemns us for the sin committed by us.  The sentence of the law against us is vacated and reversed, by the death of Christ, to all true believers.  The law saith, The soul that sins shall die; but we are delivered from the law. The Lord has taken away thy sin, thou shalt not die.  We are redeemed from the curse of the law, Gal 3:13. (Mathew Henry)

Romans 6:23 - Wage or Gift

We usually apply Romans 6:23 to the lost, and certainly it does apply; but it also has a warning for the saved.  (After all, it was written to Christians.)  “There is a sin unto death” (1 John 5:17).  “For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep” (1 Cor. 11:30, NASB).  Samson, for example, would not yield himself to God, but preferred to yield to the lusts of the flesh, and the result was death (Jud. 16).  If the believer refuses to surrender his body to the Lord, but uses its members for sinful purposes, then he is in danger of being disciplined by the Father, and this could mean death. (Wiersbe, Warren W.: The Bible Exposition Commentary.)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NASB)
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (NLT)
For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NET)

The word used here for wages is ο?ψω?νια (opso??nia ).  It was used originally to describe those things that were purchased to be eaten with bread (vegetables, meat, fish, etc.) and was the way that Roman soldiers were paid their wages.  It is used here to convey that which is earned or deserved.  Death then is the proper dessert or just reward for sin!  Remembering back to chapter one where the wrath of God is being revealed against all unrighteousness and all ungodliness, it is then easy to see that not one pain is inflicted upon a sinner that is undeserved but rather ALL has been earned.

Eze 18:4 For all people are Mine to judge—both parents and children alike.  And this is My rule: The person who sins is the one who will die. (NLT)

To the contrast of wages we have a free gift given because of Christ's mercy.  Each gift is of the same length (eternal - everlasting).  One will be awful the other glorious.  There will be no innocent martyrs in hell.  Those blessed with eternal life with Christ Jesus will all enjoy this blessing without merit but rather because of Christ's rich and sovereign Grace (χαρισμα του Θεου - the gracious gift of God).

Thus we see this wonderful doctrine of the Gospel unfold.  But it is useless to those who refuse to die to sin and rise with Christ, in the likeness of his resurrection, and enter into the newness of life He provides.  Look around your home, your neighborhood, you nation and see the untold millions who believe the whole Gospel and yet are living in sin! Don’t forget to look in the mirror!


Christian Military Fellowship

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