Romans 7:7-13 The Company Bylaws
Paul begins this section, as he often does, with a question: "Is the law of God evil, since it seems to cause me to sin even more than I normally would?" In verse 12 he answers the question: "No Way! The law is holy and good." The rest of the passage unfold the battle which is occuring in the souls of believers on regular basis. It is a battle, literally, for our very souls. Here are the players:
- the flesh: intimately connected with my body, the flesh has served sin its whole life. It hasn't ever known another master. Even though my soul has undergone a complete change of management, the flesh is determined to serve the old agenda, the old master -sin. The flesh is like a computer virus or some bad code which is intimately connected with my body. There is no anti-virus program capable of removing it. I need to learn how to control it.
- Sin: Sin used to be in total charge of my soul. Sin was surprised by my sudden death which removed me from its jurisdiction. It was even more chagrined to learn that I rose again and was now serving Jesus Christ & co.
- Law: The law is God's standard outlining what he expects from those who want to serve him. As a company manual it is quite overwhelming. When I first read the company handbook I became really depressed. I tried to master it, but everytime I turned around I found that I was in violation of one bylaw or another. Things got so bad that I wanted to quit. I agree with everything in the company bylaws, but I just couldn't perform up to the standards. I soon came to hate the sight of that manual!
- Me: I'm the one who has been resurrected and now in the employ of the Lord Jesus. My inner man has been transformed, but I'm waiting for a hardware upgrade on my body.
- The Holy Spirit: The CEO, Jesus Christ, has told me not to worry about the company manual. He said that I misunderstood things when I tried to follow all of these guidelines. The key, he said, is to be led by the Spirit. The Spirit will show me how to live in the dominion of Jesus Christ. The Spirit will also empower me to fulfill my calling and live in a way pleasing to my new boss. I really want to learn more about the role of the Holy Spirit. I desparately feel the need to access all of the power and guidance which he is supposed to give me.
- Jesus: Jesus is my new boss. He is the one who led me safely through death into life. My life is tied up with his. He has promised me that I will receive a new body someday. He has also given me the Holy Spirit to enable me to fulfill my new calling.
- The Father: The Father set all of this in motion. He sent Jesus to take back management of the company from those who had usurped his authority. He has plans for expanding the scope of the company until it encompasses everything, literally everything.
The verses below highlight how I felt when I was trying to do everything outlined in the Jesus Christ & co. company bylaws.
"7Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is evil? Of course not! The law is not sinful, but it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, "Do not covet." 8But sin took advantage of this law and aroused all kinds of forbidden desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power.
9I felt fine when I did not understand what the law demanded. But when I learned the truth, I realized I had broken the law and was a sinner, doomed to die. 10So the good law, which was supposed to show me the way of life, instead gave me the death penalty. 11Sin took advantage of the law and fooled me; it took the good law and used it to make me guilty of death. 12But still, the law itself is holy and right and good.
13But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my doom? Of course not! Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation. So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God's good commandment for its own evil purposes."