“But sin, taking occasion BY THE COMMANDMENT, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For WITHOUT THE LAW sin was dead.” (ROMANS 7:8 KJV)
There is something very special in this verse. Something much too overlooked by believers in Christ. The word CONCUPISCENCE is our tendency to sin, our inclination to sin when tempted. It is the very essence of our Sin Nature which the Bible calls ‘The Flesh’. Too many believe the Ten Commandments and even the full 613 commandments in the Law of Moses is to be followed to somehow make us right with God. To appease God into allowing us to please God and be saved by God. Some of you reading this as believers in Christ may be shocked with what I am about to state but it is very Biblical. It is in fact, the main thrust of the writings of Apostle Paul, who was an expert in the Law of Moses. Paul was once Saul, a persecutor and killer of Christians, until one day he had a supernatural meeting with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus that changed his life forever. Saul became Paul, who gave us The Gospel of Grace Through Jesus Christ in the New Testament. In fact, two thirds of the New Testament exists because of the writings of Apostle Paul.
Romans 7 is a really pivotal writing in the Gospel of Grace that is so under taught, yet is central to the truth of the good news of the Gospel of God’s Grace. Verse 8 above may not be what some have considered as the real truth of the freedom and liberty we have been given by belief in Christ for our Salvation. They instead may be pushing the Ten Commandments and preaching condemnation instead of the freedom and liberty that Jesus Christ has provided for us.
This verse is clearly stating that following the Law of Moses causes people to sin more! Oh yes, this is very true indeed. Apostle Paul also stated this,
“Moreover the law entered, that the offence MIGHT ABOUND. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:” (Romans 5:20)
“The sting of death is sin; and the STRENGTH OF SIN IS THE LAW.” (1 Corinthians 15:56 KJV)
That is really not what most pulpits are teaching these days now is it? I mean all I hear is to ‘live by the Ten Commandments’ as if by doing so we will please God. Yet, the Bible teaches us that by trying to keep all the commandments as a means of having a good standing with God will result in our FAILING MISERABLY. In fact, the Bible tells us that it will cause us to SIN MORE!
Romans 7:8 is saying this exact same thing. Without trying to follow the Ten Commandments we will likely sin less. There is something about reading something that tells us not to do something. Let me give you an example right now as you read this. For the next few minutes I want you to stop thinking about the color red. Red… do not think about the color red………………
……….okay how is that going for you? What?! You cannot stop thinking about red right? Even when you try to stop, by thinking about the color blue, you will still get a thought of red pop in your mind right?
You see, we all have this Flesh Sin Nature. A bent toward sinning. Try to tell a dog to act like a cat. GOOD LUCK! Why? Because the dog’s nature is to be…a dog! It is the same with us since the fall of mankind in Eden. We all have this diseased sin nature. All The Flesh wants to do, is sin. The Law of Moses is all about “THOU SHALT NOT…”. And all that does is make our sin nature want to sin more.
Now when we are saved, we become a NEW CREATURE called The Spirit. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit from the very moment of belief that Jesus is the Christ who dies for our sins on that cross, paying the penalty for our sins, and rose from the dead. Apostle Paul tells us this in Ephesians:
“In whom ye also trusted, AFTER THAT YE HEARD the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also AFTER THAT YE BELIEVED, YE WERE SEALED with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the EARNEST of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14 KJV)
So after our Salvation what is different? Do we still have a Flesh sin nature? Yes, we do. Our bodies will not be glorified to be without the sin nature until our bodily resurrection in the future. So we still have a sin nature wanting to sin. Yet, a believer in Christ is now a NEW SPIRIT nature inside our Flesh. This new spirit never sins as it is the seed of God within us.
“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1 John 3:9 KJV)
This verse is describing the NEW US that believers became when they believed on Christ for Salvation. This new us is called THE SPIRIT. It is at war with our Flesh nature. Apostle Paul tells us to walk in the spirit to avoid the lust of the Flesh. To walk in the spirit, a believer needs to understand what the spirit is because the SPIRIT is now the NEW US as believers. We have that small voice telling us, do not sin. Yet our flesh strongly wants you to sin. We strive to not sin but as believers we do fail and sin as well. Paul described this situation like this,
“For I delight in the law of God after the INWARD MAN: But I see ANOTHER LAW in my members, WARRING AGAINST the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the BODY OF this death?” (Romans 7:22-24 KJV)
The ‘inward man’ Paul is talking about here is the SPIRIT of a believer. The REAL US as believers is The Spirit and The Spirit always wants to do good and what is right because it is Holy and without a sin nature. It is Holy, and in fact the very righteousness of God, in Christ!
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might BE MADE the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV)
If we were only in The Spirit, we would be freed from this internal war between our sinful flesh nature and the real us in the Spirit. That is why upon physical death a believer goes directly to Heaven where there is no sin. Why? Because our Spirit has NO SIN. All our sins were paid for by Christ on that cross. One day we will become whole as Jesus resurrects our physical body into a glorified body without this disease of a sin nature. Until then we strive to walk in The Spirit because the Spirit is the new us now. And to be honest, that takes a while for a person to realize after their moment of Salvation. A process starts at our Salvation called our sanctification and it lasts until our physical death, or Rapture.
“O wretched man that I am!”, Paul exclaims. He is so right isn’t he? It is so frustrating when we fail and sin. We know it is wrong and after we sin we just feel awful about it. It can really affect our fellowship with God because we are so ashamed to have sinned and so we shy away from God. My friends, do not do that! Instead, understand about this war going on inside you as a believer. Look what Apostle Paul, who had this struggle we believers all face, had to say in Romans 7:
“If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is NO MORE I THAT DO IT, but sin that dwelleth in me.” (Romans 7:16-17 KJV)
“For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, IT IS NO MORE I THAT DO IT, but sin that dwelleth in me.” (Romans 7:19-20 KJV)
The Flesh, this tabernacle we live within called the physical body, is corrupted. It has a disease called sin and we sin because we have a sin nature. We do not have a sin nature because we sin! And once a person is redeemed by belief on Christ (John 3:14-18, 36) we become a new creation called The Spirit that dwells within this sinful body. At first, after Salvation it may seem like not much has changed. We do not ‘feel’ much different actually because we are still here in this body. And it still wants to sin. But slowly you start to realize that you care about not sinning. The Holy Spirit begins to renew your mind by the Word of God and you start to see things by God’s worldview and not the world’s view. You start changing on the inside and it moves outward into your life in good works. This is The Spirit growing and the inward man becoming stronger while The Flesh becomes weaker. It does not happen over night and THAT IS OKAY! You are completely redeemed and saved by the blood of Christ. You are Heaven bound because ALL your life of sins have been penalty paid by Jesus and placed on your account.
Keep on striving to not sin. Yes. But realize we are not to follow the Ten Commandments to keep us saved. They just show us God’s moral high standard. They are the absolute truth … ABSOLUTELY! They show the Holy standard of God for us. Absolutely. Yet they can never make you Holy! But we no longer use the Ten Commandments as our source. Our source now is the Holy Spirit indwelling us as believers. He will teach you and guide you in life into all the truth. This process cannot be rushed and the Holy Spirit works with believers individually and at different paces as well.
Since we are now, as believers The Spirit, then we should strive to Walk in The Spirit which is the real us now! Study the Word of God. Pray for the Holy Spirit to teach you. Be patient. Jesus is the only begotten Son of God who is God in the flesh. He did not start His Earthly ministry until the age of 30. It will take time for us to! Take courage in this. God is not against you, He is for you!
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” (John 16:13 KJV)