STUDY #3 OF 3—ROMANS 7:23 COMPARED WITH ROMANS 8:1, 2

Where is truth?

“…me IN CAPTIVITY to the law of sin.” {Romans 7:23}

“…me FREE from the law of sin.” {Romans 8:2}

Once again, as when comparing Romans 6 with Romans 7, we find Paul’s testimony in Romans 8:2 the exact opposite of his testimony in Romans 7:23; with both passages using the same terminology. But what makes this comparison even more significant is the statement Paul makes in-between those two verses. Note closely his words:

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are…” {Romans 8:1}

He then goes on to describe, in the rest of verse one and verse two, the person who is now no longer condemned. The person is

#1—“in Christ Jesus”
#2—“walks not after the flesh, but after the Spirit”
#3—“made free from the law of sin”

His use of the word “now” in verse one would certainly seem to indicate that there was condemnation, or is condemnation, to the person who is in the opposite condition from that which he goes on to describe, part of which is being “made free from the law of sin.” So, if “there is therefore now no condemnation” to the person that is “free from the law of sin,” then it would seem to be equally true that there is condemnation to the person that is not “free from the law of sin,” which is how Paul describes his condition in Romans 7:23—”me in captivity to the law of sin.”

Here are two more thoughts to consider:

  • One of the fruits of being “in Christ Jesus,” is being made “free from the law of sin.” Conversely, if one has not been “made free from the law of sin,” but instead is in “captivity to the law of sin,” then the opposite would seem to be true: he is not “in Christ Jesus.”

  • Similarly, Romans 8:2 says, “the Spirit…hath made free from the law of sin.” Conversely, the person who is not “free from the law of sin,” but instead is in “captivity to the law of sin,” must not have “the Spirit.” (Paul goes on to say, “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Romans 8:9)

  • Once again, no matter which of Paul’s writing you compare with Romans 7, whether it’s Romans 8, or Romans 6, or any of his other letters, the conclusion seems unavoidable, the Paul of Romans 7 has a completely different testimony than the Paul of any other part of the Bible.

STUDY #2 OF 3—ROMANS 7 COMPARED WITH PAUL’S OTHER WRITINGS

Where is truth?

Comparing what Paul says in Romans 7 on COVETOUSNESS
with what he says elsewhere on COVETOUSNESS

“I would not have known what it was to covet if the law had not said, “Do not covet.”   But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire.” {Romans 7: 7 & 8 NIV}

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“I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous…with such an one no not to eat.” {1 Corinthians 5:9-11}

So, according to the belief that Paul in Romans 7 is describing his christian experience, Paul is telling the Corinthian believers that they shouldn’t even eat with a brother who is covetous, while he himself is having “every kind of covetous desire.” For me, I can only see two options: Paul was either a huge hypocrite, or the belief that Romans 7 describes Paul’s christian experience is incorrect. I don’t know about you, but I’m forced to believe the second of those two options.

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“I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel.”  {Acts 20:33}

So, if Paul the apostle had “coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel,” who was doing all that coveting in Romans 7?

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“The covetous shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” {1 Corinthians 6:9, 10 & Ephesians 5:5}

#1–The Paul of Romans 7 was coveting.
#2–The covetous shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
#1 + #2 = The Paul of Romans 7 shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Comparing what Paul says about being SPIRITUAL

“The law is spiritual; but I AM UNSPIRITUAL.”  {Romans 7:14 NIV}
“If a man be overtaken…YE WHICH ARE SPIRITUAL, restore such an one.”  {Galatians 6:1}

I can’t understand how anyone could possibly believe that while there were “spiritual” people in the church of Galatia, Paul the great apostle was “unspiritual.”

Comparing what Paul says about SIN being the MASTER

“I am sold into slavery, with SIN as MY MASTER.” {Romans 7:14 NLT}
SIN is NO LONGER YOUR MASTER.” {Romans 6:14 NLT}
“Now you are free from SIN, YOUR OLD MASTER.” {Romans 6:18 NLT}

Again, I just can’t see how someone could believe that sin was no longer the master of the Roman christians, but sin was still the master of the great apostle Paul.

Comparing what Paul says about being “slaves to sin”

I AM unspiritual, sold as A SLAVE TO SIN.” {Romans 7:14 NIV}
“YOU USED TO BE SLAVES TO SIN.” {Romans 6:17 NIV}

“IN THE PAST YOU WERE SLAVE TO SIN.” {Romans 6:20 NCV}

This is just the last point repeated–only stated in a different manner. And just reinforces what I said after the last point.

Comparing what Paul says about DOING EVIL

“The evil which I would not, that I do.” {Romans 7:19}
“Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil.” {Romans 2:9}

#1–The Paul of Romans 7 was doing evil.
#2–Tribulation and anguish upon every man that does evil.
#1 + #2 = Tribulation and anguish upon the Paul of Romans 7

STUDY #1 OF 3—ROMANS SEVEN FROM VARIOUS TRANSLATIONS

Where is truth?

Romans 7:14 from three different translations:

“I am sold into slavery with SIN as MY MASTER.”   {Romans 7:14 NLT}
I AM unspiritual, sold as A SLAVE TO SIN.”     {Romans 7:14 NIV}
“I am not spiritual. SIN RULES ME AS IF I WERE ITS SLAVE.”    {Romans 7:14 NCV}

Romans 7:17 from three different translations:

“I can’t help myself.”  {Romans 7:17 NLT}
“It is no longer I myself who do it.”  {Romans 7:17 NIV}
“I am not really the one doing these hated things.”  {Romans 7:17 NCV}

(To me, that sounds like someone who’s possessed.)

Romans 7:24 from three different translations:

“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me..?”   {Romans 7:24 NIV}
“What a miserable man I am! Who will save me…?”     {Romans 7:24 NCV}
“Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin?”  {Romans 7:24 NLT}

Is this what Christianity has to offer a lost, dying world?
Thank God, we have something better to offer the world than this.