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Explore Sermons By Dr. Lloyd-Jones

Carnal Man: 2) Dual Personality

Book of Romans

A Sermon on Romans 7:16-20

Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. (ESV)

As Christians, we still battle against our flesh. It is a daily fight to do what is right. Yet, there are some who think that the Christian life is a life of perfection and to fall short is to not be saved. In this passage, Paul is talking about an internal struggle of wanting to do good but not being able to. Is he referring to Christians or someone who is not a Christian? As one of the most debated passages of Scripture. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones's sermon on Romans 7:16-20 takes the stance that Paul is explaining the internal quarrel of a believing Christian. Paul is acknowledging that there are two entities within himself: the whole man and the whole of his personality and then the man who is able to recognize the spiritual character of the law. This type of carnal duality is never found in an unregenerate person because an unsaved person is unaware and unashamed of the effect of sin on his life. It almost seems that Paul is having difficulty expressing his thoughts and the Doctor references it is because sin complicates everything. The moment that a man is enlightened by the law, he can see both parts of himself and draw these conclusions. It is important to note that Paul is not excusing his own actions he is confessing them. Paul is also showing the terrible power of sin and the complete inability of the law to deliver us.