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Sermon #3129

The Wretched Man Identity (2)

A Sermon on Romans 7:13-25

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Romans 7:13-25 ESV NASB KJV
Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 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. 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. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. (ESV)


Who is the wretched man that Paul mentions in this passage? In this sermon on Romans 7:13–25 titled “The Wretched Man Identity,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones concludes his study of this question. He says the person Paul speaks of in this passage is a servant of sin and therefore cannot be regenerate. For all throughout the rest of Scripture, Christians are said to be free from the law and no longer slaves to sin. There is truly freedom in Christ. This cannot be an immature Christian either because all Christians, regardless of maturity, are still in Christ and sanctified in His blood. According to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, this passage can only be understood as speaking of the unregenerate person that is still in sin and a slave under the law. What does this mean for the Christian life? Dr. Lloyd-Jones says this means Christians are free from the dominion of sin and the law. They are no longer slaves, but children and inheritors. All Christians can live in the power of the Spirit and can know the freedom from sin.


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.