The Epistle of ROMANS

Chapter Seven


IMPORTANT NOTE:  Chapter six (6) and chapter seven (7) are a PARENTHESIS which is a figure of speech (i.e. an explanation). 

 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?

Literal: Are you ignorant or unaware, my brethren (for to those who know the law), I speak, that the law rules over the person as long as he is alive.

When something is stated in the Old Testament and not is altered or changed  in the New Testament, that principle from God's Word still stands in this administration. If God states a principle in the Old Testament that was not changed in the New Testament, then it still applies today.

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.

Literal: For example, a married woman is, by law, bound to her husband while he lives; but if her husband dies, she is discharged from the obligations of the marriage-law.

3. So then if, while her  husband liveth, she shall be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

Literal: If, therefore, in her husband's lifetime, she consorts (associates, joins) with another man, she will incur (bring upon one's self) the charge of adultery; but if her husband dies, she is free of that law, and she does not commit adultery by consorting (marrying) another man.

A center reference on this subject is mentioned in the book of Matthew:

Matthew 5: 32 -- But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

New English Bible -- But what I tell you is this: If a man divorces his wife for any cause other than unchastity he involves her in adultery; and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Basically, the same thing is also said in the gospel of Matthew in the following verse:

Matthew 19: 9 -- And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be  for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

However, in Mark 10: 11, 12, the part about "saving for the cause of fornication" is left out.

Mark 10: 11, 12 -- And he (Jesus) saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

Remember, that a more difficult verse must be understood in light of the more clearer verses. So far, you have two verses that mention the exception, being unchastity or adultery as appearing to be valid reasons for a man or woman to divorce their spouse (put away). Otherwise, it states that a man or woman causes another to commit adultery by divorcing them. And it states that whosoever marries that person also commits adultery. The first three verses are an example to prepare for what is taught in verse four.

4. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even  to him that is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

Literal: So that you also, my brethren, are become dead to the law by becoming identified with the body of Christ, and accordingly you have found another husband in him who rose from the dead so that we may bear fruit for God.

The law died with Jesus Christ so we are no longer bound to it. We are able to be married to another -- that union being our relationship with Jesus Christ which enables us to bring forth fruit unto God. This section is a good example of how Scripture interprets itself in the context. Now the first three verses are more understandable.

5. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

Literal: For when we were in the flesh (signifying the sinful condition of human nature), the sinful passions evoked by the law worked or wrought in our members to bring forth fruit for death.

Everything you did before you were born again was useless and the results brought forth death. That is why you should forget your old man completely. You should be able to put him out of your mind because you are dead to that old way of living and now all things are become new.

He is dead and gone. Don't let him come back by not renewing the mind.

6. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in  the oldness of the letter.

Literal: But now we are delivered or cleared from the law being dead to that which held us bound, so that we should serve God in newness of spirit or in a new way, and not in the oldness of the letter which is the law.

New English Bible -- But now, having died to that which held us bound, we are discharged from the law, to serve God in a new way, the way of the spirit, in contrast to the old way, the way of a written code.

In reference to the term 'delivered from the law', the word 'delivered' means to leave unemployed or idle; to make useless, void. A good explanatory scripture is in Corinthians:

II Corinthians 3: 6 -- Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter (law), but of the spirit: for the letter (law) killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

You had better learn by now that the law does not apply to you. You live under grace and not under the law. Do the Word and you are free from the law.

7. What shall we say then? Is  the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust [to be sin], except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

Literal: What then shall we say? Is the law identical with sin? Of course not. Except for the law, I should never have become acquainted with sin.

For example, I should never have known or been conscious of lust (sinful over-desire) if the law had not said, "Thou shall not covet" (desire earnestly). Keep in mind that "USED BEFORE" is one of the three (3) ways that the Bible interprets itself. This is an excellent example of this very important Biblical principle.

Exodus 20: 17 --- Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is  thy neighbors.

8. But [I say that] sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was [is] dead.

Literal: Through that commandment sin found its opportunity and produced in me all kinds of evil over-desires. In the absence of law, sin is a dead thing.

Galatians 5: 13, 14 -- For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use  not liberty for an occasion (opportunity) to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even  in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

9. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

Literal: There was a time, when, in the absence of law, I was fully alive (meaning to live in the highest sense, to possess spiritual and eternal life), but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life, and I died or became quite dead.

10. And the commandment, which was ordained  to life, I found to be  unto death.

Literal: And the commandment which should have led to life, proved in my experience to lead to death.

11. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.

Literal: Because sin found its opportunity in the commandment, seduced me, and through the commandment, killed me.

12. Wherefore the law [that God gave] is  holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

Literal: Therefore, the law that God gave is in itself holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good.

Psalms 19: 8 -- The statutes of the Lord are  right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment (should be commandmentS) of the Lord is  (are)  pure, enlightening the eyes.

'Enlightening' means giving light as the sun.

Psalms 119: 137 -- Righteous art  thou, O Lord, and upright are  thy  judgements.

13. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

Literal: Are we to say then that this good thing was the death of me? By no means. It was sin that killed me, and thereby sin exposed its true character: it used a good thing to bring about my death, and so, through the commandment, became more sinful than ever (or exceedingly sinful).

14. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

Literal: For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am fleshly or carnal, a sold out slave of sin.

Three Scripture references help with the understanding of this verse:

I Corinthians 3: 1 -- And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even  as unto babes in Christ.

I Kings 21: 20 -- And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee:  because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord.

I Kings 21: 25 -- But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up (incited).

15. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

Literal: I do not even acknowledge my own actions as mine, for what I do is not what I want to do, but what I detest or hate, this I practice.

Before moving on to verse 16, lets examine Galatians 5: 17.

Galatians 5: 17 -- For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

When you are serving sin, you cannot think straight and you walk in confusion. Instead of doing what you really want to do with your life, your life is controlled by the sin that dwells within you and rules over your life. As you continue to renew your mind, which is your key to a powerful walk with God, any bad habits in your life will eventually disappear. You are free in Christ but you must study by your own free will. And this is not a bummer -- it is a blessing. Just don't let your guard down. Keep moving and keep working the Word.

16. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is  good.

Literal: But if what I do is against my will, it means that I agree with the law and hold it to be right or admirable. It appears that even though a person is not doing what they really want to do, they are not blaming the law for that problem in their own lives.

17. Now then it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Literal: Now then, it is no longer I who performs the action, but sin that dwells or lodges in me.

18. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how  to perform that which is good I find not.

Literal: For I know that nothing good dwells in me (that is, in my flesh), for though the will to do good is there, I do not know the necessary action needed to perform or produce the good which I want to do.

This is most interesting and you may be able to identify with this yourself. You may want to do what is right, however, you simply cannot take the necessary action until you start to renew your mind to the Word of God. This freedom of thought and the production of whole thoughts allows you to be able to see what it is that you need to do to finally accomplish what you really want to do. Your mind cannot clear up without putting on the Word of God --- the Holy Scriptures, which will teach you about the life and walk of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who you are to mirror in your own life.

19. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

Literal: The good which I want to do, I fail to do, but what I do is the wrong which is against my will.

Even though you do not want to do evil, that is what you do. This, again, is really an amazing point. You may be able to see what you want to do, but you can't accomplish it because you are too distracted to think clearly and, in turn, act accordingly. Only the Word of God and the power of Jesus Christ heals your mind.


20. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Literal: And if I practice what is against my will, clearly it is no longer I who am the agent, but sin that dwells or lodges in me.

When you continue to do what you dislike, you are no longer under control -- the control is a result of sin that lodges in your mind and, in turn, controls your thinking and actions.

Remember, an agent is "a person or thing that performs an action or brings about a certain result -- an active force producing a result." The active force in this case is the adversary. Until you renew your mind to God's Word, you will always be under some type of influence from the adversary and you will never accomplish what you really want to accomplish in this life.

21. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

Literal a: I discover this principle, then: that when I want to do the right, only the wrong is within my reach. -- New English Bible

These are fantastic diamonds and treasures of learning. You want to do good but you don't know how to go about it. And then, to make it even more difficult, only wrong or evil is readily at hand or within your reach.

22. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

Literal: In the innermost part of my being (the heart), I delight in the law of God.

23. 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.

Literal: But I perceive that there is in my bodily members a different law, fighting against the law of my mind (nous) and making me a prisoner to the law of sin which is in my members.

Remember that 'nous' is the mind, a part of the soul. It is the organ of mental perception, fed and influenced by the five senses, or by the spirit. The mind is that part of the soul which collects data, and through reasoning processes, makes decisions. Now think about this. That different law fighting the decision-making processes of the mind is your old man. He gets put to sleep only with the renewing of the mind to God's Word. This is how you reckon the old man dead.

Psalms 119: 35 -- Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.

II Corinthians 4: 16 -- For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish (is dying), yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

There is only one way to strengthen or renew the inward man and that is by speaking in tongues.

24. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Literal: Oh wretched and miserable creature that I am! Who shall rescue or deliver me out of this body doomed to death?

In Eastern culture and in Biblical times, they used to tie a dead body to a living person as a means of torture. This body of death is in reference to our old man. The old man wants to come back and the only way it can come back is when we walk away from the Word of God and stop renewing the mind. Since renewing your mind gives you life and peace and the very best way of life, you would have to be playing with half a deck to stop studying!! It makes no sense. But you should always be aware of the distractions that will try to make you stop renewing your mind. Always be aware and never ever let your guard down. Remember, be spiritually sharp.

Romans 6: 6 -- Knowing this, that our old man is (was) crucified with him,  that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

25. I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Literal: I thank God, alone, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Thanks be to God. So then I myself, with the mind (nous) as a rational being am subject to God's law; but with the flesh, my old man, my unspiritual nature, I serve or am subject to the law of sin.

GALATIANS 5: 16, 17 NOW SPEAKS EVEN MORE CLEARLY. We are to walk by the spirit of God within us as opposed to the five senses. Why? Because they, the five senses, are contrary the one to the other. If you do not learn to walk by the spirit of God, you will serve the law of sin and always spin your wheels and never do what you really want to do with your life. However, when you learn to walk by the spirit, there is a surprise around every corner. You have got to learn to finally put God first IN YOUR ACTIONS and THEN you will see results.

To close out this great chapter in Romans, I believe that God would want us to know and to remember by heart the following verse:

I Corinthians 15: 57 -- But thanks be  to God, which [who] giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.