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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Paul's letter to the Romans

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Frameworks: Romans 7


(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic a description of what is happening)




v.1-6 Freed From the Law, serve in the Spirit
v.7-12 The Law and Sin
v.13-25 How it works in us


[Context: We continue to provide a brief summary of each previous chapter to provide present context: 

Ch.1 The sinfulness of the world Ch.2 All – Jew & Gentile – are under God's judgment

Ch.3 Jews are the same as Gentiles in that salvation only comes through faith in Christ

Ch.4 Abraham illustrates how justification only comes through faith

Ch.5 Peace with God is a natural outworking of justification. Adam sinned – Christ saves

Ch.6 Sin now longer has a place in our lives as we consider our old sinful lives dead and we've been raised to a new life

NOW he faces the truth that as his old life has died he has been freed from the Law. He wrestles with the fact that there is a drive within himself that knows about the goodness of the Law but can't keep it, a drive called sin]



v.1-6 Freed From the Law, serve in the Spirit


v.1 (do you who understand the Law realise it only operates when someone is alive) Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives?

v.2 (so if a woman loses her husband the law no longer operates that ties her to him) For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him.

v.3 (inside marriage she can commit adultery but once he dies she is free to marry another) So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.

v.4 (so when you died to your old life [and Law-keeping] and became one with Christ you were free to bear his fruit ) So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.

v.5 (previously, being desire orientated, the Law stimulated rebellion in our desires which brought spiritual death) For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death.

v.6 (but having died to that old way we have been freed to be led by the Spirit not rules) But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.


(Bible Footnote: In v.5 in contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit.)



v.7-12 The Law and Sin


v.7 (the reality was the Law made me realise what was sin, such as in coveting which the Law forbids) What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” [Exo 20:17; Deut. 5:21]

v.8 (but when the Law said don't do it, it made me want to do it all the more. Without the law sin had no power over me) But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead.

v.9 (I was fine before the Law but once I knew what it said it provoked rebellion and that leads to spiritual death) Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died .

v.10 (thus the apparently life-bringing commands actually brought death) I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.

v.11 (so this inner propensity to do wrong, that we call sin, was exacerbated by the rules) For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.

v.12 (in itself, the Law - God's rules – were right and proper) So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.



v.13-25 How it works in us


v.13 (did the good bring death then? No way. It simply revealed sin for what it was – a death bringer) Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful .

v.14 (the law is spiritual [from God] but I am unspiritual bound to sin) We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.

v.15 (I don't understand it [naturally] for I want to be good but am not ) I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

v.16 (I have to agree that the Law is right) And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.

v.17 (it's not just my will that does wrong, it's this inner propensity or drive that pushes me to it) As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.

v.18 (good doesn't dwell in that inner propensity because my will wants to do good but I can't do it) For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

v.19 (I can't do the good only the not good) For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.

v.20 ( if this is true then it's the power of sin living in me that does it) Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

v.21 (so there is evil in me that stops me doing good) So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.

v.22,23 (although I delight in the Law there's something else in me that stops me obeying it) For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.

v.24 (I need help!) What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?

v.25 (Thank you God, you have provided Jesus to overcome the fight between my God-desires and my selfish sin desires) Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.