Why Does Paul Thank God For Deliverance From The Flesh, Then Say He Still Serves The Law of Sin?

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Hi J____,

Thank you for this question,

Paul is not contradicting what he tells us in the previous chapter:

Rom 6:1  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2  God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

This entire 6th chapter repeats this message in various ways such as this:

Rom 6:14  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

And this:

Rom 6:22  But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

Notice the word ‘dominion’ in verse 14, as well as the word ‘being’, in verse 22. This is all being stated in the aorist tense because it is a process that is taking place and “through Jesus Christ our Lord” increasing within us day by day as “the first man Adam” within us is dying day by day.

Joh 3:30  He must increase, but I must decrease.

Paul is not saying that he has already been perfected “through Jesus Christ”. What he is saying is that he has been given the upper hand, for the first time ever, over his sinful flesh, and now has the dominion of his old “first man Adam”.

I always point out that in the baptism which we are told is signified by the flood of Noah, all the wild beasts were still on the ark, but they were there in a subdued position, under the dominion of Noah and his family.

That is simply another way of saying:

Joh 12:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

I was raised on a farm, and I know how a “corn of wheat… dies”. It slowly begins to rot, and as it rots it puts out a root downward and a shoot upward. The same is true of any seed or any eye of a potato. As the seed or the potato gradually dies, roots are sent downward, and a living shoot begins to reach for the light of the sun.

All of that is but another way of saying:

Rom 7:24  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? [This gradually rotting, dying, seed or potato]
Rom 7:25  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; put down roots and reach for the Sun] but with the flesh the law of sin. [The rotting, dying seed or potato]

These verses might serve to make all of this a little clearer:

Php 3:12  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Php 3:13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Php 3:14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Your brother who is in the process of being perfected “through Christ Jesus our Lord,


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