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Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
Using Strong’s Concordance:
Law <3551> νομος nomos - from a primary nemo (to parcel out, especially food or grazing to animals);
Translated consistently in the King James Version - law 197 times
Meaning (according to Thayer’s Greek definitions):
1) anything established, anything received by usage, a custom, a law, a command
1a) of any law whatsoever
1a1) a law or rule producing a state approved of God
1a1a) by the observance of which is approved of God
1a2) a precept or injunction
1a3) the rule of action prescribed by reason
1b) of the Mosaic law, and referring, acc. to the context. either to the volume of the law or to its contents
1c) the Christian religion: the law demanding faith, the moral instruction given by Christ, esp. the precept concerning love
1d) the name of the more important part (the Pentateuch), is put for the entire collection of the sacred books of the OT
In Romans 7:1-2 Paul is speaking of the Law given at Sinai.
Galatians 3:17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
In vv22-23 Paul uses the word law in a broader sense.
Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law <3551> of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law <3551> in my members, warring against the law <3551> of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law <3551> of sin which is in my members.
Paul explains that when he comes to make conscious decisions (the law of his mind) he has difficulty in choosing what he knows is God’s will (the Law of God) over his own will (his natural lusts – the law of sin).
He is explaining what we all experience: We know what is right (the law of God) – but we often fail to resist the temptation to do wrong. When we do wrong we become subject (are brought into captivity) to the desire to sin (the law of sin).
We have natural desires which when acted upon lead to sin.
God requires us to cease to do our own will and do his.
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
God’s will is understood by diligently reading the scriptures. His rules were laid out in the Law given at Sinai and the spiritual principles were extracted, explained and demonstrated by Jesus Christ; setting us a perfect standard to strive for.
The gospel teaches us that we are sinners condemned to death, but God has provided, through the sinless life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, a way of redemption for those who will believe and obey. To obey, we need to change the way that we live. This is called repentance. Baptism by immersion in water frees us from the burden of sin and allows us to begin a new life.
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins...
Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
We renew the way that we live by renewing the way that we think.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
The battle takes place in the mind in what we call the conscience.
Romans 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
1 Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
We cannot live a perfect life without sin, but if we have obeyed the gospel and are consciously striving to bring our own will into subjection to God’s will then we can have our sins forgiven by confession in prayer; as John explains:
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 ¶ If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
I hope you have found this helpful.
God bless you,