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Conflict -- Not Condemnation

It is very unfortunate that there is a chapter division separating Romans 7:25 and 8:1. C. H. Spurgeon observes correctly: “We once heard a friend say, ‘I have gone out of seventh of Romans into the eighth.’ Nonsense! There is no getting out of one into the other, for they are one. I thank God with all my heart that since my conversion I have never known what it is to be out of the seventh of Romans, nor out of the eighth of Romans either. The whole passage has been solid truth to my experience. I have struggled against inward sin, and rejoiced in complete justification at the same time” (Sermons Preached in 1886 by C. H. Spurgeon, vol. xvii, p. 274).

“Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 7:25-8:1, NASB 1995).

There is no break in what the apostle says to the mature believer in this passage. To force a division is artificial. 

“The fact is, that believers are in a state of conflict, but not in a state of condemnation, and that at the very time when the conflict is hottest the believer is still justified.” Our sin nature has not been eradicated. We are in a fierce battle which will not go away until we are presented complete in Christ at His coming.

Moreover, “The man who never strives against the sin which dwells in him, who indeed is not conscious of any sin to strive against that is the man who may begin to question whether he knows anything at all about the spiritual life. He who has no inward pain may well suspect that he is abiding in death, abiding therefore under constant condemnation; but that man who feels a daily striving after deliverance from evil, who is panting, and pining, and longing, and agonizing to become holy even as God is holy, he is the justified man. The man to whom every sin is a misery, to whom even the thought of iniquity is intolerable, he is the man who may with confidence declare, ‘There is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.’ Souls that sigh for holiness are not condemned to eternal death for their sighing proves that they are in Christ Jesus” (Spurgeon, p. 275).

There is now no condemnation for the believer in Christ who is experiencing the struggle in chapter seven of Romans. Every child of God knows this struggle. No one has arrived at sinless perfection if he is honest with himself. Paul is describing his own walk as a mature Christian. “Every child of God must know this conflict if he knows himself. . . . it is an accurate picture of the inner life of the struggling believer.” It is an accurate description of the soul struggling after purity.

This passage should cause the Christian to rejoice in the great salvation God has provided in His profound free grace. “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

The indwelling Holy Spirit is the source of divine power for sanctification and the secret for our spiritual victory in living a Christ-centered life. We have been justified, declared righteous, and stand in His free grace. We are no longer under the wrath of God. We have eternal life now.

Yes, it was humiliating for the apostle, just as it should be for us to confess we are weak, and we do faith to be all God wants us to be. “I find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me. . . O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Thank God!

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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(c) 2006  Message by Wil Pounds. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

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