Explore Sermons By Dr. Lloyd-Jones

Carnal Man: 3) The Battle Within

Book of Romans

A Sermon on Romans 7:21-23

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. (ESV)

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Paul asks why is it that he cannot do what he really wants to do. As he deals with this inward struggle, he acknowledges once more that the law is spiritual and that he is carnal and sold under sin. He does what he does not want to do and he fails to do what he wants to do. In this sermon from Romans 7:21–23 titled “Carnal Man: 3) The Battle Within,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that Paul is talking about two different types of law: the law of the mind, which is God’s law, and the law of the members of his body. The outward members of the body such as the eyes, feet, and hands have a persistent power and law that controls them. The inward part, such as the mind and spirit, are controlled by God’s law. This conflict wages war within his body. Paul has a desire to keep God’s law and this shows the struggle of a regenerate person, a believing Christian. Paul also laments that the law controlling the members of his body makes him a wretched man. However, there is hope. In death, Christ will deliver the inward person, the regenerate person, from their earthly body and sin will no longer have an effect on the Christian.

Additional Scripture Translations

Romans 7:21-23, New American Standard Bible

21I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22For I joyfully agree with the law of God in the inner person, 23but I see a different law in the parts of my body waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin, the law which is in my body’s parts.

Romans 7:21-23, King James Version

21I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23But 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.

About Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.