Romans 7 Verses 14-25
The Controversy of Romans 7 Verses 14-25 is Resolved.
The Apostle Paul had neither a sin nature, Adamic nature, nor was he a wretched sinner.

The Apostle Paul did not have two natures or a sin nature. As a senior bondservant of Jesus Christ he did not struggle with an "Adamic" nature nor was he a wretched sinner. That was not what he was telling the church in Rome. Pastors and Bible teachers who interpret Romans 7 in this way are blaspheming God.

The Historical Background for the Book of Romans

The Apostle Paul was in about his 20th year of ministry when the letter to the Church in Rome (Book of Romans) was written. He was on his third crusade intending to return to Jerusalem before setting out to visit Rome and continuing on to Spain. We know that his fear of unbelievers in Judea was well founded, for he was soon taken to Rome in chains and thrown into a dungeon.

Romans 15:23 But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you, 24 whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your [company] for a while. 25 But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 26 For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. 27 It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things. 28 Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain. 29 But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. 30 Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me, 31 that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you. 33 Now the God of peace [be] with you all. Amen.

Acts 28:16 Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him. 17 And it came to pass after three days that Paul called the leaders of the Jews together. So when they had come together, he said to them: "Men [and] brethren, though I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Roman.

Paul wrote the letter because the church in Rome was in the midst of a serious dispute. Gentile believers, who comprised the majority of the church, held to sound doctrine, believed the gospel of grace, and had faith in Jesus' death and resurrection apart from the law (Ten Commandments) and circumcision. The Gentile believers were at odds with the Jewish "believers" who insisted on keeping the law and customs of their forefathers. The salvation of the Jews was in serious doubt because they were attempting to be justified by the works of the law. This is a serious error which still exists in many modern-day churches. Paul had warned the church in Galatia (Book of Galatians) that they had been "bewitched" by Judaizers in their turning from faith to the law for justification before God. The Book of Galatians was perhaps the first written in the New Testament. This shows how people in the church were continually drifting back into legalism because of the teaching of the opposition from Judaism (Jews).

Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?

Galatians 6:12 As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these [would] compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. 13 For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. 14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.

Chapter 1 - The Apostle Paul explains that Jesus Christ was the son of God and was resurrected from the dead. The whole world is guilty before God.

Chapter 2 - Paul explains that the Gentile pagans who hold to a high moral standard are no better before God than other pagans. The Jews were given the law, but the law did not make the Jews righteous. It simply exposed their sinfulness.

Chapter 3 - Paul explains that the Jews thought they had an advantage because God gave them the law and circumcision. The pride of the Jews caused the law to be turned against them because the law made their condemnation greater. Paul's verdict is that the whole world, both Jew and Gentile, is guilty before God. Mankind can be justified before God only by faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Faith fulfills the law.

Chapter 4 - Paul explains that Abraham was justified by faith apart from the law and ordinances.

Chapter 5 - "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 5:1. Paul compares the opposite effects of Adam's sin versus Jesus' righteousness. Adam's offence brought God's judgment against all mankind, but Jesus' righteousness brought the power to become righteous before God by grace through faith apart from works of the law.

Chapter 6 - Paul warns against using grace through faith as a license to sin. The believer should count himself dead to sin and alive to God. The believer has been made free from sin and becomes a servant to God.

Chapter 7 verses 1-13 - Paul explains how the believer has become united with Christ. The old husband, the law, no longer has dominion over the believer who now has a new husband, Jesus Christ. The believer is not made holy by attempting to keep the law. Paul was married to the law as a Pharisee, but now he is married to Christ, and is dead to the law. Therefore, the law has no power over him. Paul tells how the law aroused sin in his members. Trying to keep the law actually made Paul, the Pharisee, more sinful. He described his frustration and failure to become righteous as a Pharisee under the law in his question, "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" Romans 7:24. Paul had no hope as a Pharisee under the law, and the Jewish "believers" in Rome had no hope under the law either.

Nature of Mankind - Before continuing with this study it is important to learn the correct nature of mankind as described in the Bible. A person does not have two natures. He either has a new nature which Paul called the "new man," or he has the old nature which Paul calls the "old man." Some Bible teachers refer to the "old man" as a sin nature, old Adam, or Adamic nature, but these phrases are not in the Bible. The Apostle Paul also refers to the lost person as being "carnal." We know that a carnal person is not saved because Paul says that being "carnally minded is death." The description of "death" means eternal damnation for the unregenerate person, but for the regenerated, saved person to be "spiritually minded is life and peace. This certainly is talking about the difference between the lost and saved person. It could mean anything else. The lost or carnal person is an enemy of God.

Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded [is] death, but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace.

Ephesians 2:14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, [that] [is], the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man [from] the two, [thus] making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.

Ephesians 4:20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

Paul is not talking about a saved person sinning. Certainly a saved person can sin, but not like when they were carnal. Paul talks about "carnal" people. These are unsaved without any chance of walking in the Spirit. They have no Holy Spirit. Paul also talked about saved people still acting as carnal because they are still "babes in Christ."

1 Corinthians 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, [even] as unto babes in Christ. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able [to bear it], neither yet now are ye able. 3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas [there is] among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

Paul encourages the believers to "walk in the Spirit" and they would not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. In other words, a believer can be controlled by the flesh, and most are.

Galatians 5:16 [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. {ye...: or, fulfil not} 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Galatians 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Please read the following web page carefully to learn the true Biblical nature of mankind.

The Nature of Adam, Eve, and all Modern Humans.
One or Two Natures? Adamic or Sin Nature? Human Personality Traits?

False Teachers Stumble Over the Tense of a Verb

The Apostle Paul was speaking in past tense in verses 1 through 13, but he appears to have switched to the present tense in verses 14 through 25. The superficial assumption that the Apostle Paul was speaking about his present condition is an error that can occur when reading the verses out of context and by a lack of in-depth Bible knowledge.

Romans 7:9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. 10 And the commandment, which [was] to [bring] life, I found to [bring] death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed [me]. 

Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that [it] [is] good. 17 But now, [it] [is] no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but [how] to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will [to] [do], I do not do; but the evil I will not [to] [do], that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not [to] [do], it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But 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. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

False teachers are quick to launch onto the present tense statements of Paul where he said, "I am carnal, sold under sin." Paul continued to say he did the things that he knew he should not do and did not do the things that he knew he should do. His climatic question is most often quoted, "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?"

The Apostle Paul was writing like a movie director. He was simply doing a "flashback" as is commonly seen in the movies. A movie scene may show an 80-year old woman who is reliving her younger years when she says, "I am 16-years old, unmarried, pregnant, and my boyfriend has fled." This scene is instantly understood by the viewer as being a flashback to her younger years because it is obvious she is an old woman, not a 16-year old girl.

False teachers who stumble over the tense of a verb blaspheme God. Their incorrect interpretation concludes that the Apostle Paul was suffering greatly in the senior years of his ministry as a wretched, sinful, carnal man. These false teachers are implying that:

The chief false teachers throughout history who have absolutely trashed the gospel by their analysis of Romans 7 are Saint Augustine, John Calvin, and Charles Spurgeon. Saint Augustine was the first to blaspheme God by his analysis. His false doctrines were largely discarded for one thousand years until John Calvin began forcing Augustine's false doctrines on the people of Geneva. These doctrines have come to be known as Calvinism even though they originated with Augustine. Charles Spurgeon bought into the false doctrines and the misunderstanding of Romans 7. Like his two predecessors, Charles Spurgeon was a liar, false teacher, and a heretic.

Calvinism - The False Doctrines of the "Pope" of Geneva.

People use Romans 7 to justify their sin by saying, "Yes, I sin, but look at how sinful Paul was, and yet he was Spirit filled." This logic violates a basic rule of Scriptural interpretation. You cannot use Scripture to justify sin.

People often like to brag about their sinfulness, but it is only pride. What they really mean is, "I am so righteous that I consider those little sins you see me do to be wretched." This is like the beauty queen who says, "I can't do a thing with my hair," or "I must lose 10 more pounds," even though her hair is perfect and her stomach flat as a board.

Paul did not consider himself to be wretched when he was a Pharisee persecuting the disciples of Jesus. He thought he was doing the righteous work of God. Paul is presenting a flashback of his life as a Pharisee with a new perspective and the full knowledge and inspiration as a senior bondservant of the Lord Jesus Christ. The senior Apostle is looking back to describe the law-keeping Pharisee as "carnal, sold under sin." He is trying to show the Jews in Rome that keeping the law does not lead to righteousness. It leads to pride and denial of one's wretched condition.

The false teachers cannot accept the fact that Paul described himself (Saul, the Pharisee) as trying to do good, "For the good that I will [to] [do], I do not do; but the evil I will not [to] [do], that I practice." Romans 7:19. Of course, Saul the Pharisee was trying to keep the law perfectly. He considered himself to be "blameless." He willed to do good. He thought everything he did was good.

Philippians 3:2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, 4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, [of] the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

According to the Calvinistic false doctrine of Total Depravity this would be impossible. Therefore, the false teachers have a serious dilemma and many conflicts between Scriptures. They must falsely interpret Roman 7:14-25 as Paul being a senior minister who was deep in sin and failing in his struggle to be righteous. The interpretation that Paul is presenting a flashback of his life as a Pharisee would destroy John Calvin's false doctrine of Total Depravity. The proper interpretation of Romans 7:14-25 given here has no conflicts with any Scripture in any way, and it does not slander this great servant of God as do the false teachers. Calvinists always support John Calvin's false doctrines in lieu of the correct interpretation of Scripture. The Calvinists slander the senior Apostle Paul claiming he was wretched, struggling with sin, and a carnal Apostle, while they worship John Calvin who, according to his own pen, died as an unrepentant mass murderer.

False teachers are quick to say the translation from Greek to the English King James Version and New King James Version is often erroneous. They are wrong in those cases also. Yet, in Romans 7:14 they insist Paul is speaking in the present tense even though in Luke 19:22 the Greek word "eimi" is translated as the past tense verb "was." In John 14:9 the word "eimi" has been translated in the past tense as "Have I been." In Acts 11:28, 24:15, and 24:25 the word "eimi" has been translated in the future tense as "should be," "shall be," and "to come." Compare these verses with the Strong's Numbers.

Romans 7:14 For <1063> we know <1492> (5758) that <3754> the law <3551> is <2076> (5748) spiritual <4152>: but <1161> I <1473> am <1510> (5748) carnal <4559>, sold <4097> (5772) under <5259> sin <266>.

Luke 19:22 And <1161> he saith <3004> (5719) unto him <846>, Out of <1537> thine own <4675> mouth <4750> will I judge <2919> (5692) thee <4571>, [thou] wicked <4190> servant <1401>. Thou knewest <1492> (5715) that <3754> I <1473> was <1510> (5748) an austere <840> man <444>, taking up <142> (5723) that <3739> I laid <5087> <0> not <3756> down <5087> (5656), and <2532> reaping <2325> (5723) that <3739> I did <4687> <0> not <3756> sow <4687> (5656):

John 14:9 Jesus <2424> saith <3004> (5719) unto him <846>, Have I been <1510> (5748) so long <5118> time <5550> with <3326> you <5216>, and yet <2532> hast thou <1097> <0> not <3756> known <1097> (5758) me <3165>, Philip <5376>?

Acts 11:28 And <1161> there stood up <450> (5631) one <1520> of <1537> them <846> named <3686> Agabus <13>, and signified <4591> (5656) by <1223> the Spirit <4151> that there should be <3195> (5721) <1510> (5705) great <3173> dearth <3042> throughout <1909> all <3650> the world <3625>: which <3748> <2532> came to pass <1096> (5633) in the days of <1909> Claudius <2804> Caesar <2541>.

Acts 24:15 And have <2192> (5723) hope <1680> toward <1519> God <2316>, which <3739> they <3778> themselves <846> also <2532> allow <4327> (5736), that there shall be <3195> (5721) <1510> (5705) a resurrection <386> of the dead <3498>, both <5037> of the just <1342> and <2532> unjust <94>.

Acts 24:25 And <1161> as he reasoned <1256> (5740) of <4012> righteousness <1343>, temperance <2532> <1466>, and <2532> judgment <2917> to come <3195> (5723) <1510> (5705), Felix <5344> trembled <1096> (5637) <1719>, and answered <611> (5662), Go thy way <4198> (5737) for this time <3568>; when <1161> I have <2192> (5723) <3335> (5631) a convenient season <2540>, I will call for <3333> (5698) thee <4571>.

Strong's Numbers - BRB/Thayer #1510
1510 eimi {i-mee'}
the first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of
a primary and defective verb; TDNT - 2:398,206; v
AV - I am + 1473 74, am 55, it is I + 1473 6, be 2, I was + 1473 1,
have been 1, not tr 7; 146
1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present.

It appears that the Greek word "eimi" <1510> in Romans 7:14 should have been translated as the past tense verb "was" as in Luke 19:22. Making this change is consistent with the usage in Luke 19:22 and makes the interpretation of Romans 7 consistent with all other Scriptures.

Paul could not have meant that he was "carnal, sold under sin" as a senior servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. He explains in Romans 8:6-7 that being carnally minded is death, and the carnal mind is an enemy of God. Paul has clearly explained that a carnal person is an unregenerate (lost) person who is a slave to sin. Paul was not making a confession that he was a lost person as does the interpretation presented by the heretics.

Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded [is] death, but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.

The false teachers throw away the gospel, blaspheme God, reject the work of the cross, deny the power of the resurrection, trash the Holy Spirit, and slander Paul, the awesome Apostle and bondservant of our Lord Jesus Christ, simply because they want a present tense verb for justifying their own sin while they protect the false doctrines of John Calvin. Surely, they will not escape the judgment.

Paul's True Message in Romans 7:14-25

With a full understanding of the situation in Rome, and taking into account all of Paul's letters, we can arrive at the correct understanding of Paul's words in Romans 7:14:25. The first verse (14) sets the stage for his flashback confession of his previous life as a Pharisee. He says, "For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin." He knew as a Pharisee that the law was from God. Looking back he now knows that he was unsaved (carnal), and he was doing many sinful things against the followers of Jesus (sold under sin). With this setting we can easily paraphrase Romans 7:14-25 to read precisely the way the Romans would have understood it.

Romans 7:14 (paraphrased) When I was lost, I knew the law was from God, but I did many sinful acts anyway. 15 I could not understand why I was doing them. For what I knew the law said to do, that I did not do, and what I knew the law said not to do, that I did. 16 I knew what the law said not to do, and I should not have done them. I agree with the law that it is good, 17 but now that I am saved, I know it was not my mind that wanted to do evil, it was the evil spirit of Satan within me. 18 I know that my body and soul, could not by themselves, become righteous. My body and soul wanted to do good, but I could not find how to do it. 19 The good that I wanted to do, I could not do, and the evil that I knew I should not do, that is what I practiced. 20 Now if I did what I knew I should not do, it was no longer I that did it, but the evil spirit of Satan that indwelt me. 21 I find now that the law was revealing the evil that was present in me, the one who desired to do good. 22 For I delighted in the law of God according to my inward man, 23 but I now see that another law was in my body warring against the law of God in my mind and bringing me into captivity to the law that was in my body. 24 Oh, what a wretched predicament I was in. Who could deliver me from that body of death? 25 I thank God who sent Jesus Christ our Lord who came to save me. Before in my mind I tried to serve the law of God, but with my flesh I served the law of sin. The law could not make me righteous because of the indwelling spirit of Satan, but Jesus has made me righteous by crucifying the spirit of Satan and giving me the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:1 [There] [is] therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God [did] by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those [who] [live] according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded [is] death, but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ [is] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin, but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Apostle Paul's Closing Arguments Against the Law

The Apostle Paul presented his case against mixing law and grace like a world-class defense lawyer. He used past tense to show that the law did not make the Jews righteous before God. The Gentiles did no better even when attempting to live a moral life.

Romans 3:10 As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one." 13 "Their throat [is] an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit"; "The poison of asps [is] under their lips"; 14 "Whose mouth [is] full of cursing and bitterness." 15 "Their feet [are] swift to shed blood; 16 Destruction and misery [are] in their ways; 17 And the way of peace they have not known." 18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."

The Apostle Paul wrote the letter of Romans to the church in Rome with a plea and arguments against trying to keep the law (Ten Commandments) as the Jewish believers were attempting to do. He was teaching that no one is without sin. No one is perfect. None are righteous. Trying to keep the law does not justify one before God. Paul was not telling the Romans that people are "Totally Depraved," as falsely taught by Saint Augustine, John Calvin, and Charles Spurgeon.

As a Pharisee, Paul thought he was absolutely righteous before God even though he was torturing the followers of Jesus and dragging them to prison to be put to death.

Acts 26:10 "This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against [them]. 11 "And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled [them] to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted [them] even to foreign cities.

Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, 4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, [of] the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

He considered this to be in the will of God, but after his conversion his eyes were opened to see that his past life as a Pharisee was extremely evil, wretched, and in slavery to sin.

1 Timothy 1:15 This [is] a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

1 Corinthians 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God [which] [was] with me. 11 Therefore, whether [it] [was] I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

In verse 14, Paul launched into his flashback, painting a picture of his dismal, sinful life as a Pharisee under the law. His readers certainly knew his background, and they clearly knew that he lived a righteous lifestyle as the Apostle to the Gentiles. Therefore, his use of the verb in the present tense was instantly understood as a flashback explanation of his experience as a Pharisee completely devoted to the law. Using himself as the subject of his example was climactic. He was telling the Jewish believers that he had been there and done that. The law would not bring them into righteous obedience to God as they were attempting to do.

Paul said in Romans 7:24, "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" If Paul were describing himself as in Christ, then who would deliver him? A second Christ? Was the first Jesus Christ not enough? Certainly Paul was describing his lost condition before he knew Christ.

Paul had said previously that we should not sin. Paul certainly did not go from a righteous bondservant of our Lord Jesus Christ in Romans chapter 6 to become a wretched, carnal slave to sin in chapter 7. The very thought is preposterous.

Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be [in] [the] [likeness] of [His] resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with [Him], that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For [the] [death] that He died, He died to sin once for all; but [the] [life] that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!

The false teachers present a conclusion that the Jews under the law were better off than Paul who, as a believer, became a wretched slave to sin. Certainly this is in opposition to the true arguments being presented by Paul, who showed by his own personal example that trying to be justified by the law resulted in his becoming a wretched slave to sin. Paul was showing the Jewish believers in Rome that they could also become righteous,  obedient bondservants of God by giving up the law and become justified by faith.

Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only [that], but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

The Apostle Paul summarized his experience as a Pharisee tied to the Law by comparing it to a "body of death." The Roman at the time would often punish a person who was convicted of murder by having him tied to the corpse and thrown into the sea. Paul was comparing the Law to a corpse. He pleads in Romans 5:24, "O wretched man that I am. Who will deliver me from this body of death?" His plea was obviously a description of his previous lost condition as a Pharisee under the curse of the Law. Paul gave the wonderful answer.

Romans 7:25 I thank God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. 8:1 [There] [is] therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God [did] by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those [who] [live] according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded [is] death, but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ [is] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin, but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

The Apostle Paul's True Character

Paul was an awesome Apostle. God entrusted to him alone the responsibility to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentile world. He was successful in establishing the Church that we see today. He was used by God to write a major portion of the New Testament Scriptures. Unlike Peter, Paul never stumbled in his walk with God as a bondservant of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no record in Scripture of Paul having committed a sin after his conversion. Paul's righteousness was beyond compare. His life after conversion was beyond question. Paul is the most respected person in Scripture short of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Pastors and teachers have wrongly interpreted Romans 7 to conclude that Paul was steeped in sin. This is a gross error that is absolutely deplorable.  They use Paul as a scapegoat for their false doctrines by stating that a regenerate person possesses two natures, the Adamic nature plus the Holy Spirit. They use Paul in an attempt to justify their own sins.

Paul referred to himself as a "bondservant" of Jesus Christ in three different places, Romans 1:1, Galatians 1:10, and Titus 1:1. The term bondservant had the same meaning as to be a slave. The false teachers throw these three verses in the garbage while quickly accepting the false notion that the senior Apostle at the time he wrote Romans 7:14, was "a slave to sin." The time span between his writing Romans 1:1 and Romans 7:14 could have been as little as a few days or a few weeks, but the heretical false teachers insinuate that he went into a sinful downward spiral in this short period of time. The false teachers are certainly sinful in their slander of Paul.

We can come to appreciate Paul's true righteous character through the careful examination of Scripture. Paul does not describe himself after his conversion as evil in any other book or any other chapter of Romans. The negative statements that he made are all in reference to his unregenerate life. Instead, he says that he is not a burden, does not ask for money, does not lie, etc. Paul suffered for the Lord and gave his life willingly for the cause of Christ. Paul knew nothing that should have been held against him.

1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I know nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one's praise will come from God.

Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain. 22 But if [I] live on in the flesh, this [will] [mean] fruit from [my] labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, [which] [is] far better. 24 Nevertheless to remain in the flesh [is] more needful for you.

Paul could not say, "In fact, I do not even judge myself," and "I am wretched" unless he were talking about his regenerate state versus his previous unregenerate state. These two statements have an opposite meaning. Paul stated in Philippians 1:20 that "in nothing I shall be ashamed." This clearly shows that his statement in Romans, "I am wretched," most certainly could not have referred to his regenerate condition as a "born again" Christian and Apostle to the Gentiles. His wretchedness was his condition as a circumcised Pharisee under the Law as he clearly described in Philippians 3:7 where he says, "these I have counted loss for Christ."

Philippians 1:19 For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.

Philippians 3:1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you [is] not tedious, but for you [it] [is] safe. 2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, 4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, [of] the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 

Paul also cautioned his followers to discipline sin. He certainly could not do so if he were a wretched sinner himself. He scolded them with a warning not to keep company with those in the church who are sinful.

1 Corinthians 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6 Your glorying [is] not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened [bread] of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet [I] certainly [did] not [mean] with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner--not even to eat with such a person.

Paul clearly stated that he did not have two natures. He did not have a sin nature (or Adamic nature) in addition to the indwelling Holy Spirit. He said, "But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit [with] [Him]." 1 Corinthians 6:17.

1 Corinthians 6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make [them] members of a harlot? Certainly not! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body [with] [her]? For "the two," He says, "shall become one flesh." 17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit [with] [Him]. 18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit [who] [is] in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.

2 Corinthians 11:9 And when I was present with you, and in need, I was a burden to no one, for what I lacked the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied. And in everything I kept myself from being burdensome to you, and so I will keep [myself].

Paul would not allow himself to be a burden to others. This is the opposite of the modern-day church pastors who beg for money and lay on legalistic bondage in the form of tithing. They are a burden to everyone.

2 Corinthians 12:16 But be that [as] [it] [may], I did not burden you. Nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you by cunning! 17 Did I take advantage of you by any of those whom I sent to you? 18 I urged Titus, and sent our brother with [him]. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not walk in the same spirit? Did [we] not [walk] in the same steps? 19 Again, do you think that we excuse ourselves to you? We speak before God in Christ. But [we] [do] all things, beloved, for your edification. 20 For I fear lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and [that] I shall be found by you such as you do not wish; lest [there] [be] contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, backbitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults; 21 lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lewdness which they have practiced.

1 Thessalonians 2:9 For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God. 10 You [are] witnesses, and God [also], how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; 11 as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father [does] his own children, 12 that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

2 Thessalonians 3:77 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; 8 nor did we eat anyone's bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, 9 not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us. 10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.

Paul suffered more than any other Christian in history for his testimony of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 11:24 From the Jews five times I received forty [stripes] minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 [in] journeys often, [in] perils of waters, [in] perils of robbers, [in] perils of [my] [own] countrymen, [in] perils of the Gentiles, [in] perils in the city, [in] perils in the wilderness, [in] perils in the sea, [in] perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness-- 28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? 30 If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity. 31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus the governor, under Aretas the king, was guarding the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to arrest me; 33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands. 12:1 It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago--whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows--such a one was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know such a man--whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows-- 4 how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 5 Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities.

Paul constantly exhorted his followers to live a holy and righteous life, acceptable to God. He could never have given these instructions if he had obvious sin in his own life.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, [which] [is] your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what [is] that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 12:9 [Let] love [be] without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 [Be] kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. 17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but [rather] give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance [is] Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. 20 Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. 13:1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to [fulfill] [its] lusts.

Paul Proves That Christ is Better Than the Law

Paul considered many of the people in the church at Rome, especially the Jews, to be unsaved by their insistence on keeping the law and circumcision. Their actions show that they do not understand the gospel and have not received the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. They are still married to the law and are thereby slaves to sin. They are walking in the flesh and not in the Spirit.

Romans 2:17 Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, 18 and know [His] will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, 19 and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. 21 You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? 22 You who say, "Do not commit adultery," do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? 24 For "the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you," as it is written. 25 For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? 27 And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, [even] with [your] written [code] and circumcision, [are] a transgressor of the law? 28 For he is not a Jew who [is] [one] outwardly, nor [is] circumcision that which [is] outward in the flesh; 29 but [he] [is] a Jew who [is] [one] inwardly; and circumcision [is] [that] of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise [is] not from men but from God.

Paul has clearly shown that it is impossible to be justified before God by works of the law. The law does not and cannot make one righteous before God. The law is a curse that condemns and kills. Christ is the end of the law and the beginning of righteousness for everyone who believes.

Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God [did] by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those [who] [live] according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded [is] death, but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ [is] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin, but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Romans 10:4 For Christ [is] the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

We believe that salvation (being born again) is by grace through faith based upon the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus took upon Himself the sins of all mankind by His death on the cross, and His resurrection from the dead provides salvation to all who believe. All who confess the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in their hearts that God raised Him from the dead are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become the children of God.

Believer's Victory Over Sin

Romans 8:1-11 [There] [is] therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God [did] by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those [who] [live] according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded [is] death, but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ [is] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin, but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

The Nature of Adam, Eve, and all Modern Humans.
One or Two Natures? Adamic or Sin Nature? Human Personality Traits?

Are the Sins of All Mankind Forgiven?

Where Does Faith Come From? Faith of the Son of God or Your Faith?

God's Attributes - Does God hate?

God's Election & Man's Free Will

History of the New Testament Scripture

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