Christ the Deliverer (Romans 7)

Knowing Christ.

The conversion process.

Christ the Deliverer.


Context (Ro 6:14)

Under the law - A false idea that the law can justify/save us. (Gal 2:16, Gal 3:11)

Salvation is by grace alone. (Eph 2:8,9)

Context (Ro 6:18,22)

Free from sin.


1. Addressed specifically to those who know the law.

Note: "to know" has a marriage connotation. (compare Ge 4:25)

Which law? The ten commandments (see verses 3 and 7).

The law is depicted here as having dominion over a man.

The law's dominion over all people is a positive blessing. (Jn 14:15,21, Ro 3:19,20, Ro 7:7, Ro 13:8-10, 1Co 9:19-21 verse 21, Gal 4:4, Jas 1:25, 1Jn 2:3,4, 1Jn 5:2,3)

Satan introduced a counterfeit, negative dominion for the law that is a legalistic curse. (Ro 6:14,15, 1Co 9:19,20, Gal 3:23 compare Hab 2:2-4 and Gal 3:6,7, Gal 4:5, Gal 5:18, Gal 4:21-31, Gal 3:10-13, Gal 5:4)

2. Where is this analogy headed?

Through the death of her husband, the woman is loosed from under his rule.

The woman will be seen to represent the legalistic church--the church that seeks salvation through works.

3. She can only enter the second marriage, when the first husband is dead.

The second marriage will be seen to be the marriage to Christ through faith.

4. Dead to the law - As a means of salvation.

No life in the law. (Gal 2:16, Gal 3:11)

By the body of Christ (Heb 10:19,20)

The cross has always been the only means of salvation. (Ge 4:3-5, Heb 10:3-5)

We are to be married to Christ. (Isa 61:10, Mt 9:14,15, Mt 25:1-13, Jn 3:26-30, Eph 5:31,32, Rev 19:7,8, Rev 21:9-11)

Like a bride, we are to know Christ as our spiritual husband. (Mt 7:23 note "knew you", Jn 17:3 note "know thee", 1Jn 3:6 note "known him")

Like a bride, we are to bring forth fruit (works/obedience) as a consequence of our marriage. (Jn 14:15, Gal 5:6, Gal 5:22-24, Eph 2:8,9)

5. When we were in the flesh - Past tense.

Describes the former state, prior to salvation.

Sin brought forth fruit unto death. (Ro 6:23)

Motions of sin, which were by the law (revealed by the law) (see verse 7).

6. Delivered from the law.

Delivered from the legalistic mindset.

Delivered from the eternal consequences of breaking the law.

Being dead wherein we were held.

Without Christ, there is no life. (1Jn 5:12)

Contrasting the old self with the new self. (2Co 5:17).

Newness of spirit - Internal, from the heart. (Heb 8:10).

Oldness of the letter - External, appearance, form. (Ro 2:28,29, 2Co 3:5-9, 2Ti 3:4,5).

Note on 2Co 5:8: "the ministration of the spirit" (internal focus) (compare Heb 10:15-17)

Note on 2Co 5:9: "the ministration of condemnation" (external focus) (compare Ro 8:1,2 for "the law of sin and death" compare Ro 6:23)

Ministration - "The act of performing service as a subordinate agent." (Webster's Dictionary 1828)

7. Is the law sin?

Answer: No--God forbid. (compare Ro 3:31)

Why was this question asked?

Explanation: The law reveals/exposes sin. (compare 1Jn 3:4)

The law is a mirror that allows us to see sin. (Ro 3:20)

Is the mirror the scene it reflects? No.

In order to convict of sin, the Holy Spirit must magnify the law. (Jn 16:8, Isa 42:21)

We must not confuse the law with sin.

Neither are we to confuse the law with legalism.

8. Without the law.

This does not mean "before the law", since God's law has always existed. (Ge 26:5, Ps 111:7,8, Ps 103:20)

It means "when the law is forgotten, passively ignored, or actively pushed aside".

Sin was dead.

This does not mean there was no sin. (Adam sinned Ro 5:12, Israel sinned Da 9:5, all people sin Ro 3:23)

Without a mirror, there is no personal awareness or conviction of sin.

Without awareness and conviction, people do not feel any need for a Saviour.

A fundamental purpose of the law is to awaken in us our need for Jesus. (Gal 3:24)

Note: Concupiscence - "the coveting of carnal things, ..., inclination for unlawful enjoyments" (Webster's Dictionary 1828)

9. Past tense (was alive, once) - Paul's life before conversion.

Without the law.

Paul certainly had a surface knowledge of the law (the letter of the law). (Php 3:4-7)

It was God's true, heart-changing character that he must have been without.

When the commandment came.

Paul came to see God's character in His law. (Ro 13:9,10 compare Mt 22:37-40, Gal 5:14, and 1Jn 4:8)

Sin revived.

The mirror showed Paul his true condition. (1Ti 1:15)

I died.

Paul realized he was dead in his sins. (Ro 6:23)

Paul accepted Jesus Christ into his heart, thus dying to his old, sinful nature. (Ro 6:11, Gal 5:24, 1Jn 3:6)

10. Embodying His loving character, God's commandments are intended to promote life. (Dt 6:24, Pr 3:1,2, Ex 20:12,13)

Apart from Christ, we cannot keep the law and find in it only condemnation to death. (Jn 15:5, 1Jn 5:12)

11. Sin deceived Paul because he had not seen past the letter/surface of the law.

Paul was dead in his sins - And without being able to see his true condition at that time.

12. Wherefore - "For which reason" (Webster's Dictionary 1828)

The law is holy, just, and good.

Because the law is a mirror that reveals sin.

Because the law is a reflection of God's holy, loving character.

Because the law leads us to Christ.

13. Does the law lead to death?

Answer: No--God forbid. (compare Gal 2:17)

It is sin that leads to death.

As a mirror, the law makes sin "exceedingly sinful".

We must not confuse the law with death.

Neither are we to confuse the law with legalism.

14. The law is spiritual.

Paul states that he is carnal and sold under sin.

This remark clearly identifies this as a reference to Paul's life prior to conversion.

Note: Carnal - "Pertaining to flesh; sensual; opposed to spiritual; being in the natural state; unregenerate" (Webster's Dictionary 1828) (compare Ro 8:6-8)

Note: Redeem - "To purchase back" (Webster's Dictionary 1828)

After conversion, we must still battle sin. (1Jn 1:7-10)

But after conversion, we have Christ, Who makes everything different. (2Co 5:17)


Paul now begins a personal testimony of the conversion process.

Some, who deny the transforming power of the cross, confuse the conversion process with the sanctification process. (compare 2Pe 3:15,16)

They minimize and down-play the expected difference in the lifestyle of a believer before and after conversion. (1Jn 3:5,6)

In this life, through Christ, we are to be ever ascending towards His perfection. (Pr 4:18, Mt 5:48, 2Co 3:18)

The world should be able to observe a striking difference between genuine Christians and unbelievers. (Mt 5:16, Php 2:15)

With this in mind, let's explore the following turbulent verses.


15. For the unconverted, a battle wages between their sinful nature and the Holy Spirit working through their conscience.

16. The very guilt from conviction of wrong is a recognition of the holiness of God's law.

17. The will, the mind, and the heart are being drawn apart from the flesh towards Christ. (Jn 12:32,33)

18. The sinful nature is referred to as the "flesh".

"in me dwelleth no good thing" - Christ and His Spirit are not dwelling within the heart.

"to will is present with me" - Every sinner has a choice.

"how to perform that which is good I find not" - Christ, the source of goodness, has not been invited to reign in the heart. (Php 2:13, 2Ti 3:16,17)

19. The Holy Spirit convicts the sinner of their sinful deeds. (Jn 16:8)

20. The will, the mind, and the heart are being drawn apart from the flesh towards Christ. (Heb 4:12)

21. Under conviction, the sinner wants to do good.

But all attempts at good works, without submission to Christ, are doomed to failure. (Jn 15:4,5, Jas 4:7)

22. Under the light of the Spirit, God's law is seen as a delight.

23. The law of sin wars against the law of God.

"law of my mind" - The law of God (compare Heb 8:10)

24. The sinner fully realizes his wretched and doomed condition.

"who shall deliver me" - In brokedness, the sinner crys out for a deliverer.

25. Jesus is our Deliverer.

Without Jesus, we serve the law of sin.

With Jesus, we serve the law of God. (Jn 14:15, Rev 12:17, Rev 14:12)