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The Book of Romans

Series Summary

The famous series of Friday night sermons on the Letter to the Romans, split into 14 volumes to parallel the books, plus a small collection of 13 individual sermons preached at Westminster Chapel.



The Carnal Man (Part 1)

Volume 6 Romans 7:14-15

In this sermon on the carnal man from Romans chapter seven, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains that Paul gives every verse primarily to show that the law cannot sanctify us. The man described in this section, he argues, cannot be an unregenerate man, because he would not realize that he is “sold under sin”. Neither, he argues, can he be a regenerate man, because that would contradict chapters five, six, and earlier verses in chapter seven. Romans 5:21 says “as sin hath reigned, ... even so ... grace reign[s].” Romans 6:14 says “sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Whereas Romans 7:6 says “now we are delivered from the law ... [so] that we should serve in newness of spirit.” With that being said, Romans 7:14 is the biggest obstacle to interpreting this passage as a description of the regenerate man, because the man says “I,” not merely a part, “I am carnal, sold under sin” (Rom. 7:14). In the next verse, Paul goes on to describe the life of the “I” of verse 14, not merely his sinful part, because his sinful part would not say, “I don’t do what I want, and I do what I hate.” This man’s life, on balance, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones is one of frustration, defeat, and failure, as Romans 7:24 says, “O wretched man that I am!”. Dr Lloyd-Jones concludes his analysis by saying that Romans 7:15 describes a man who has come to see the spiritual nature of the Law, but finds he cannot keep it, and no more than that.

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