A Summary of Romans 7:14-25
A Sermon on Romans 7:14
The Conflict of Serving Two Masters
14For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am fleshly, sold into bondage to sin.
14For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
Faithful Christian interpreters have been puzzled by the identity of the man described by Paul in Romans 7:14-25. What is his spiritual condition? Is he regenerate or unregenerate? Can Paul be describing the spiritual condition of a mature believer? Or might the description be that of an immature believer? Although we must approach every passage of Scripture with care, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones earnestly calls his listeners to come to Romans 7:14-25 with the maximum amount of humility. In this introductory sermon, Dr. Lloyd-Jones provides a cogent overview of the various positions, reminding his listeners again and again that it is prudent to adopt an attitude of fear and trepidation since great Christian saints have held differing perspectives. Dr. Lloyd-Jones also provides his audience with a general outline of the entire passage and carefully links Romans 7:14-25 with the theme of the Law found in the previous verses. Finally, he unpacks how Scripture describes the carnal or fleshly man. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones introduces the main contours of the debate surrounding the peculiar identity of the man of Romans 7:14-25.
The sermon continues Paul's discussion of the law from Romans 7:1-13. The word "for" in verse 14 connects this passage to the previous discussion.
Verse 14 provides a general statement about the position and condition of the man being described. The law is spiritual but the man is carnal, sold under sin.
Verse 15 shows how the position and condition in verse 14 works out in practice and daily life. The man does what he hates and does not do what he wills.
Verses 16-17 provide two inferences about the man. First, he consents to the goodness of the law. Second, it is no longer him doing it but sin dwelling in him.
Verses 18-20 provide a fuller explanation of verse 17. There is nothing good in the man's flesh. He wills to do good but cannot perform it. He does evil even though he wills not to. It is sin dwelling in him, not him.
Verse 21 provides another general statement about the man at a deeper level. He finds that evil is present with him even when he wills to do good.
Verses 22-23 expound on verse 21. The man delights in God's law inwardly but sees another law in his members warring against his mind and captivating him to the law of sin.
Verse 24 expresses the man's cry of despair and desire for deliverance upon realizing his terrible condition.
Verse 25 provides an ejaculation of relief and sums up the man's condition described throughout the passage.
The Book of Romans
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.