Scripture Reading: Romans 7:7-25
Paul talks about a real dichotomy in life from which we all suffer as Christians. We are tempted almost daily by things that we know are not right, but we don’t always make the right decisions. We know that we don’t need that extra piece of pie, but nevertheless, we may have it anyway. We may watch a movie that is overall very good but has parts in it that may be immoral, contain bad language or imply behavior that is totally inappropriate. We all know what is right from wrong but tend to see some things as gray areas that we can live with. We struggle with the new lifestyle, still living in the past of certain things we just don’t think are that bad that we have to give them up. Paul sees things for what they are but still struggles with doing the right thing. Our inner conflict with sin oftentimes is not because we don’t recognize the sin for what it is, but because we don’t see the harm in eating that piece of pie (it is just a minor temptation). Paul is a wretched man because of the carnal body in which he lives, having to fight temptation each day and not always winning those battles.
- Why is it often such a struggle to do the things that we know we should do and not do the things that we know we shouldn’t do?
- Paul opens in Romans 7:7 by asking if the law is sin. What has he said previously that could possibly lead us to this conclusion?
- How did the law create in Paul a vivid awareness of sin? What did sin use as a point of attack in Paul’s own life (Romans 7:11)?
- Why would it be wrong to blame the law for Paul’s spiritual death (Romans 7:13-14)? What is the great benefit of the law for man?
- What is the inner struggle that Paul refers to in Romans 7:14-20?
- In Chapter 6 of Romans, Paul stated that Christians are no longer slaves to sin. Yet here he claims he is a slave to sin (Romans 7:14). How would you explain this apparent inconsistency?
- What reason does Paul give for his inability to perfectly fulfill the law (Romans 7:16-17)?
- What confession does Paul make about the corruption of his flesh (Romans 7:18-19)? Can sin that we struggle with internally, cause us to act against our own will (Romans 7:20)?
- How can a person’s anguish and frustration with sin be beneficial (Romans 7:24-25)?
- What two laws are within every redeemed believer (Romans 7:21-24)?
- What is our only hope for complete deliverance from sin (Romans 7:25)?