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Romans 7

Jerry Zhang
Jerry Zhang

2 min read

This chapter is pretty difficult to understand that I had to re-read it several times. Paul uses a lot of logic to explain sin, death, and the law. I will attempt to paraphrase what I've learned.

Death Releases Us From The Law

Paul first states a truth: that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives (Romans 7:1). If I take another partner while my spouse is alive, then I am committing adultery. But if my spouse dies and I re-marry, then that's not adultery.

Our Faith In Jesus Makes Us Reborn

Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. – Romans 7:4

When we believe in Jesus, our flesh that is bound to the law dies trhough the body of Christ, and we now belong to Christ instead of the law. We now serve the way of the Spirit and not the written code.

The Law Reveals Sin

Paul addresses the following counterargument: if there is no sin without the law and the law causes us to sin, isn't the law sin?

That's not the case at all. Without the law, we would not know about sin. And this part is a bit confusing–sin seizes an opportunity through the law that causes me to want to violate the law. And when I do violate the law (which we all have done), I died.

The law itself is good because it was made by God.

Doing What We Want vs What We Don't Want

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. – Romans 7:15

Confused? So was I. Let's break it down.

"What I want" refers to obeying the law.

  • For I have the desire to do what is right (Romans 7:18)
  • For I delight in the law of God in my inner being (Romans 7:22)
  • I myself serve the law of God with my mind (Romans 7:25)

"The very thing I hate" or "What I don't want" refers to disobeying the law.

  • But [I do] not [have] the ability to [do what is right] (Romans 7:18)
  • 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 (Romans 7:23)
  • With my flesh I serve the law of sin (Romans 7:25)

Another fascinating point: if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good (Romans 7:16). If I don't want to sin, I am agreeing with the commandment of the law.


Jerry Zhang

Programmer, YouTuber, and amateur musician. I like to write too!