What I Hate, That Do I
​Chapter 5
The Good and Evil

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"For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do" (Romans 7:19).

The only avenue of victory is The Cross of Christ. Maintaining faith in The Cross of Christ guarantees that victory will ultimately come. 


This phrase in Romans 7:19 means that no matter how hard Paul tried, and despite all of the effort he put forth, he simply could not live up to the moral law of God.

We must quickly state the following: every avenue taken other than The Cross of Christ, and I mean every avenue, always and without exception concludes in self righteousness. How does it do that?

Every so-called avenue to victory outside of The Cross will always and without exception bring glory to the individual as we see in statements like these: 

  • I fasted twenty-one days.
  • I memorize four scriptures a day.
  • I witnessed to seven people today.

The list is as long as you want to make it, but all of that brings glory to man. The Cross alone brings glory to God because it is something that The Lord did and man could not do. Whatever it is that man does will never fall out to ultimate victory, but there is still something about the struggle that man wants to hold up as his crowning effort – something that says, "I struggled greater than my brother or sister did."​


Many will contend that while some weak believers may fall into this category, such does not touch them, especially considering that they are faith giants. But I would remind these people that if they believe such a thing, then they are referring to the apostle Paul as weak. I would also remind those people that Paul wrote about a third of the New Testament and, in fact, was given the meaning of the New Covenant, which is The Cross, the meaning of which was given to us in his fourteen epistles. Consequently, I would hardly think that the term weak could be rightly applied to Paul.

The truth is that all believers, irrespective as to whom they may be, are weak within themselves. If we do not rightly understand that, then our fall will be even harder. The person who truly understands that will never look askance at others who seem to be having difficulties in this area. In fact, having had the same difficulties, that person realizes that what he has now is not because of his own power or strength, but rather that of The Lord. Consequently, there is no room to boast. Paul told us there was only one thing in which we could boast: "But God forbid that I should glory (boast), save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Galatians 6:14). 

In that and that alone can we boast. 


This portion of Romans 7:19 lays to rest completely the idea that Paul is speaking here about minor things of little consequence. Paul is speaking of evil, which means sin. 

I realize it is very difficult for us to grasp the fact that the mighty apostle Paul actually failed God after his conversion. But here the text is very plain that he did, in fact, and did so repeatedly. Paul was a man of great personal courage, strong determination, and great resolution, but these things were not and are not enough. No one – not even the strongest among us – can overcome sin within his own strength. No matter how much we hate the thing, even as Paul did, the very evil that we do not want to do, that we will do. 



The answer to this question, in the strict sense of the word, is yes. But not as some think. It needs some explanation. Anyone reading this text should understand that Paul's choice was to do good; his choice was not to do evil. His choice, which in effect, is the will, is not strong enough within itself, as we have already stated. So sin in that capacity is not merely a choice. If it were, Paul would not have had these great problems.

At this very moment, there are many Christians who have made the choice not to do certain wrong things, but they have had that choice overridden time and again. So what is the answer?

As we have already stated and which the text plainly bears out in regards to sin, if we try to make a choice respecting sin on the wrong basis, we will fail. It is not a matter of simply saying no to sin, as many claim.

Were that true, then Jesus wasted His time in coming down here and paying the terrible price He paid at Calvary.

I realize that the unconverted world does not say no to sin, and it does not desire to say no. In fact, they say yes to sin, and gladly so. But for the believer, the situation is altogether different. The moment the person comes to Christ – at that moment – the power of the sin nature is broken with the divine nature planted within his heart and life. The believer is now a new creation in Christ Jesus and actually hates the things he once loved (things that were wrong) and now loves the things that he once hated (that which is righteous) (2 Corinthians 5:17). Then the believer finds that old sin impulses begin to come back. If he knows who he is in Christ Jesus – and more particularly what and why he is – then he really says yes to Christ, and the impulse dies as it is attempting to be born. Consequently, the sin nature remains dormant – it does not come into play – and the believer walks in victory, even as intended. 


Most of the time, regrettably, it does not happen this way. Instead the believer attempts to overcome the evil impulse with his willpower and fails. He does what the sin impulse demands, which is evil and which is sin. He feels terrible about the thing, instantly repents, and God instantly forgives, as He will always do (1 John 1:9). However, because of faith placed in the wrong thing, wrong faith brings back the sinful impulse, which rears its ugly head again, and again, and again. The failures continue, even as Paul here explains. The sin nature, which had been dormant (with that dominion of sin broken), is now once again roaring into a conflagration and out of control. Even though he probably will not admit it to himself, the believer, who loves Jesus with all of his heart, is once again being controlled by the sin nature exactly as he was before conversion, at least as it regards certain particulars. This is the frustration that Paul felt – the same frustration experienced by millions of others after him. 


To combat this thing, the believer, almost in a panic, sets about to do whatever he thinks or hopes will bring victory. He asks for prayer in church, for instance, with hands laid on him. Many times, the power of God is very effective with the believer being touched mightily. That believer thinks surely his problem is now solved, but he finds very quickly that it is not solved. The sinful impulse returns, and once again he is off to the races, so to speak – a race, incidentally, that he always loses. He is now more frustrated than ever. Doesn't the power of God work? Isn't prayer effective?

He then resolves to try harder, which does not help the situation, but at times exacerbates it. Actually, it tends only to frustrate the grace of God (Galatians 2:21). 


Despite what some say, God places no limitations on how many times He will forgive. As long and as often as a person is sincere in his heart and truly seeking forgiveness, forgiveness will always be granted (Matthew 6:14-15; 7:1-5; 1 John 1:9).

However, even though forgiveness is greatly needed and greatly appreciated, that is not really the answer. It should certainly be obvious that the cycle of sinning and repenting, sinning and repenting is not the will of God, but, regrettably, that is the case with many, if not most. Jesus Christ did not die on Calvary and pay the terrible price He paid for the believer to live a defeated life. While forgiveness is always afforded – and thank God, at least if it is sought, it is a very necessary respite but only a temporary respite – it is not the actual answer.


The answer is yes, but not in the sense that most people think. While deliverance plays a much greater role in all that God does for us than most would be able to comprehend, still, deliverance, in the sense of what most think, is not the answer. 

The reason is very simple: if the person is delivered without understanding what the Word of God says about this subject, then he will be right back in the same position of defeat almost before the last hallelujah dies down.


While demon spirits definitely do play a part in anything that is not the will of God, still, it is not demon possession that is the problem, even though it certainly can go into demon oppression, which is a different thing altogether.

Nevertheless, as biblical as anointing with oil is, as biblical as laying on of hands is, and as biblical as deliverance is – these things are not the answer for this that Paul addresses. And yet deliverance does play a role, but in a different way than most people realize.


When Jesus addressed His hometown of Nazareth, He made a bold and beautiful announcement. He said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives..." (Luke 4:18).

If one is to notice, He said "to preach deliverance," rather than laying hands on the person and delivering them, which is a valid scriptural doctrine in certain situations.

What did He mean, "preach deliverance?" He meant the same thing that I am saying in this statement right now, whether it is written, witnessed, or preached behind the pulpit. The deliverance comes by the truth being pointed out by believers, exactly as The Holy Spirit pointed it out to Paul, with them seeing that truth, acting on that truth, and then deliverance coming by that truth. I speak of Romans 6, 7, and 8. That is what He means by "preach deliverance." In fact, it is the only deliverance that will work in this type of situation, which incidentally, is available to all. Jesus said, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (deliver you)" (John 8:32). 

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For anyone to ask such a question shows that he has scant knowledge of the Word of God, or else he simply does not believe the Word of God.

The breaking of the dominion of sin by Christ in the lives of believers, which was accomplished at Calvary, presents a monumental victory. That tells us that the problem was and is of such magnitude that man could not begin to hope to deal with this monster within himself. If he could, then Jesus underwent this horror unnecessarily. It is understandable how the world would resort to such choices ​– they do not know God and, consequently, do not believe God, so they resort to whatever they can. But for preaches who claim to believe God and know the Bible, to even remotely suggest such a thing is an insult of the greatest magnitude to Christ and his finished work at Golgotha.

The problem is sin – not a quirk of nature, not a simple adoration, not a slight mendacity, and not even a personality problem – and there is only one remedy for sin, and that is The Cross of Christ. 


​If the problem is sin – and it is, as Paul plainly states over and over again – then how does man think he can address himself to this situation with psychological counseling and expect favorable results? Do not preachers know that this is the very reason that Jesus came to this world? Do not they know that He came to deliver men from sin? Do not they know that he paid a terrible price in order that this deliverance may be ours? In fact, deliverance from sin is the very foundation of the Gospel – it is what redemption is all about; it is what Jesus did at Calvary and the resurrection; it is the reason He came.

So how can the poor, pitiful, foolish, archaean prattle of man, which passes for wisdom – earthly wisdom, which is sensual and devilish – how can such help anything? (James 3:15). The only answer is The Cross of Christ, which is what Paul is addressing himself to. 

To be frank, rather than gross unbelief on the part of preachers – a sin of tremendous proportions – I would think that most preachers have resorted to psychology (psychological counseling) because they do not know the truth presented here by Paul in Romans 6, 7, and 8. Not knowing what to do and realizing that the laying on of hands, although helping, does not really solve the problem, they have no answers, so they turn to other sources. The truth is – and we have to say it – that unbelief is the culprit in many if not most.


We have already addressed this, concerning the propensity of Adam after the fall blaming Eve, but the world of psychology offers another excuse for the believer. 

Of course, psychology does not really believe that there is such a thing as sin; it claims that man's problems originate from outward influences rather than inward. The Bible claims the opposite, which is what Romans Chapter 7 is all about. Psychology claims that all men are basically good, and if they are not, it is because of outward influences, which, if corrected, the the goodness will return. Psychologists, of course, claim they can correct the problem. 


The Bible teaches the very opposite – that man is inherently bad, and as such there is no good in him (Romans 3:10-18). The Bible claims that this is the reason for all of man's problems: man is bad, again, because of the fall. It also claims that the only solution is a miraculous change on the inside of man, called the born again experience (John 3:3, 16). The Bible claims that Jesus alone can effect this miraculous new birth experience, and that it comes only by one having faith in Him (Acts 4:12; Ephesians 2:8-9; Colossians 2:10-15). 

The Bible places the responsibility squarely on the person, while psychology blames outside forces such as environment, lack of education (or wrong education), or abuse as a child. Consequently, many believers enjoy resorting to psychology because it makes them think, at least for a short time, that this problem of sin is not their fault or responsibility but that of someone else or something else. Consequently, it is eagerly embraced by many, because many enjoy shifting responsibility.


The matter with The Lord is very simple. He only asks the believer to admit that the situation or problem is sin, whatever type of symptom it may have. As well, the believer must ask The Lord to forgive him and then show him the truth of the great deliverance and victory paid for by Jesus at Calvary. The Lord will do exactly that, just as He did with Paul, and victory will ultimately be forthcoming.

Once the believer knows who Jesus is, what Jesus did, and his part in Jesus – and he has faith in that – then The Holy Spirit will instantly take control, with victory ultimately assured. Satan does not mind too very much what we do in the realm of personal opposition against him, but he cannot stand at all against Christ and The Spirit of God.


If the believer is fighting and winning, after awhile, he will fight and lose. That is a guaranteed conclusion.

The believer is commissioned to fight only one fight and that is the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12). Other than that fight, we are not to fight at all because there is no need to fight. 

That is why Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). 

Christianity, at least in biblical type, is to be a rest in Jesus, not a continuous struggle against sin. While it is true that the flesh and the spirit are constantly opposed to each other, still, if we follow after The Spirit (The Holy Spirit), rest will always be ours.

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"Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me" (Romans 7:20). 

Paul was to find out that The Cross and The Cross alone was and is the answer to his, and to our dilemma. If The Cross of Christ is ignored or misunderstood, then the believer will be left in the position of Romans 7:20 – a verse very similar to Romans 7:17, but with one distinct difference: in verse 17, Paul is establishing the fact of the sin nature in the life of the believer. In verse 20, he begins his teaching by declaring, in essence, that the sin nature is powerful because a particular law enforces its activity.

As we will see, this law mentioned by Paul is not the law of God but rather "...the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2). 

In this phrase from Romans 7:20, "Now if I do that I would not," Paul is stating that things are being done against his will. In other words, Satan is forcing his will because at that time Paul's faith was in his ability to carry out the law – now that he is saved and Spirit filled. But Paul finds that despite this great fact, he cannot override the powers of darkness any other way except The Cross of Christ, which he learned a little later.

In other words, when Paul wrote this, he full well understood the message of The Cross and was living accordingly, but until that revelation was given, Paul lived a life of spiritual failure, as will everyone who follows such a course. The only answer is The Cross of Christ. 


This phrase from Romans 7:20 states emphatically that the believer has a sin nature. The idea here is not getting rid of the sin nature, which actually cannot be done (at least until the trump sounds), but rather controlling it, which the apostle tells us how to do in Romans Chapter 6 and 8.

In the Greek, the word dwells is oikeo, and it means "to occupy a house, reside, remain; to cohabit." In other words, the sin nature will remain in the believer, as stated, until the trump sounds and the believer is then glorified. Then and then alone will "...this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15:53).

Though the sin nature does remain in the believer, even with a powerful law attached to it that makes it very effective, ideally it is to be isolated from the believer, causing him no problem. In fact, it does not cause the believer problems as long as he is trusting fully in Christ (Galatians 2:20). 


There are two errors here that should be corrected:

  • Many preachers hold that there is no such a thing as a sin nature (Romans 7:20 shoots down that idea). 
  • Some preachers claim the opposite, that if the sin nature is in us (and it is) then we are not responsible for the sin committed.

Please understand that all failure – and it does not matter who the person is or what is done – all failure is the fault of the individual and never the fault of The Lord or someone else. While at times other people may enter into the infraction, that is as far as it will go. The fault is mine, and mine alone. 


"I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me" (Romans 7:21). There are certain laws designed by the Godhead. We will find several of them in the latter part of Romans Chapter 7, and two in the first part of Romans Chapter 8. These laws designed by God are going to function exactly as they were designed to function; of that one can be certain. 

The law to which Paul addresses himself is not the law of Moses in this case, but rather "the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2).

In the Greek, the word law is preceded by the definite article the, so it is "the law."

The law to which Paul refers is the strongest law on the face of the earth, with the exception of the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.​ That being said, if we are going to try to function in any manner other than the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, we are guaranteed of failure.


Again, Paul is speaking of this time before he was given the revelation of The Cross. How long that period lasted we are not told, but quite possibly it lasted several years. At that particular time, however long it was, while the apostle was definitely saved, Spirit filled, preaching the gospel, and actually an apostle, he found to his dismay that no matter how hard he tried, he simply could not live a victorious life. He wanted to do the right thing, he tried to do the right thing, and he emphasized the right thing in every capacity, but sadly he found failure at every hand. This is the problem with the majority of Christendom now: millions of Christians simply do not understand what is happening to them. No matter how hard they try, they simply do not know how to live for God. 


I realize that the statement about living for God sounds over the top, but it happens to be true. Most of the modern church has no idea how to live for God. They do not know or understand the great word of The Cross as it refers to sanctification – how we live for The Lord. With that being the case, they are doomed to spiritual failure. Yes, they are saved – and some are being used mightily by The Lord – but their personal lives are anything but victorious. They do not know it, but they have come up against powerful laws – laws designed by God – and to be sure, those laws are going to function as designed. 


As sure as the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus guarantees victory for the believer (providing the Word is followed), so is the defeat if the law of sin and death is allowed to have its way (with the Word ignored) (Romans 8:2). 

In the Greek, the word present is parakeimai, and it means "to lie near, be at hand." The idea is that this evil nature is always going to be with the believer. Considering the words dwells and present, there is no hint in the Greek that their stay is temporary.

Paul brings out the same truth in Galatians 5:17 where he says, "the flesh (evil nature) lusteth against the Spirit (has a passionate desire to suppress the Holy Spirit), and the Spirit against the flesh (has a passionate desire to suppress the flesh): and these are contrary the one to the other (set in opposition to each other): so that ye cannot do the things that ye would (cannot do the things which you desire to do)."


"For I delight in the law of God after the inward man" (Romans 7:22).

No true Christian wants to sin. In fact, sin is utterly abhorrent to any and every believer. While the flesh may want something that is wrong, ​and it often does, the inward man always wants that which is of God, and of course I speak of those who are truly born again.

The law of God actually is the law of Moses and, more particularly, the moral part of that law, which we refer to as the Ten Commandments. Due to now having the divine nature in him, Paul now loves the things of God, which he once hated, despite this war that is going on in his soul.

In the Greek, the word delight is sunadomai, and it means "to rejoice." Again, we know from this that Paul is not speaking of the preconversion experience, as many claim, for the simple reason that no unsaved person delights in the law of God. It is not possible for him to do so, in as much as he has no divine nature in him whatsoever. No, this is the heart attitude of any and every true believer. We love the law of God while we hate sin in every capacity. Despite the failure that all of us have at one time or another, the true believer loves God, wants to please God, and loves the things of God – all because he is a new creation in Christ Jesus.


The inward man refers to the new creation which has been brought about by and through The Lord Jesus Christ, in effect, creating a new man. Before conversion, the inward man was corrupt, vile, ungodly, and totally controlled by the sin nature. Now the inward man is to be controlled by the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). However, it also refers to the following: man's real problem is from deep within himself. It is the law of sin and death that once bound him, but from which he is now free, at least as he continues to have faith in Christ and The Cross. A believer can allow his faith to be placed in something other than Christ and The Cross, which then gives latitude for the sin nature to revive and begin to control him once again. Unfortunately, that is the condition of most modern believers. They do not know or understand The Cross of Christ relative to sanctification or how The Holy Spirit works. That being the case, their faith is placed in the wrong thing, which gives the sin nature latitude to work.


When Jesus saves the sinner, He does so by regeneration, which is actually a restoration (Titus 3:5). This takes place in the inward man, referring to the soul and the spirit. The salvation process now works from the inside outward, versus man's efforts – attempts to work from the outside inward – which are impossible. The latter is like trying to assuage a poisoned well by building a garden around it. The garden may be nice, beautiful, and even smell wonderful, but it does not change the poisoned water. For that to be changed, one has to go to the source and stop that which is poisoning the well. Only then will the water be pure and fresh. Thus is the born again experience.


"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" (Romans 7:23). 

We now have another law introduced – the law of the mind. Unfortunately, most Christians are trying to live for God by means of the law of the mind, and it cannot be done. 

The term another law refers to the law of sin and death mentioned in Romans 8:2. This law has to do with the sin nature, and it provides its power. This law is not in the soul and the spirit, but rather in the members of the physical body, such as the eyes, ears, and tongue. That does not mean that the soul and the spirit are unaffected by whatever happens regarding this law. It does mean that the members of the believer's physical body are what carry out the wishes of the sin nature – if the believer yields to the evil impulse. 

This law – the law of sin and death – is the most powerful law in the universe, with the exception of the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2). If we do not know how to effect the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus – put it to work on our behalf, which it was ever intended to be – we will lose. No matter the fight we put up, and no matter the effort we make, we will lose. 


The phrase from Romans 7:23 presents another law – the law of desire and willpower (understand that this law is not more powerful than the law of sin and death). In Romans 7:21-23, we have three laws mentioned:

  • The law of sin and death (Romans 7:23)
  • The law of God (Romans 7:22)
  • The law of the mind; the law of desire and willpower (Romans 7:23)

Of these three, the law of God is far and away the most powerful, with the exception of the law of sin and death. Paul wanted to do right, as millions do, but the law of sin and death overrode the law of the mind, and it always will – if that is what we are depending on. So, Paul must find how to bring the law of God to bear, which he does. 


This part of Romans 7:23 plainly tells us that the law of sin is stronger and more powerful than the law of the mind. The idea is that the law of sin and death is warring against the mind, attempting to bring the believer once again into bondage – a slave to the sin nature – even as was the case before he came to Christ.

I think one can say without exaggeration that Satan succeeds most of the time, even as he succeeded for a period of time with the Apostle Paul. Some people erroneously think that when this happens the person is lost. That is ridiculous for this simple reason: if the person is lost, there will be no war. The war is raging because the person belongs to God, loves God, and, as in the case of Paul, may be in the process of being mightily used of God. Often times, this is definitely the case.

Some may wonder how a believer could be used in this state, especially considering that he does not have victory in this area (whatever it is), and has once again become a slave to sin.

As to how long that Paul remained in this situation, we do not know; the scripture is silent. But it was long enough for him to learn these valuable lessons, which probably could not have happened over a period of several days. Ever how long it was (probably several years), the evidence is clear that the Lord was continuing to use Paul even during this time. The answer is not so complicated. 


First of all, Paul loved The Lord very much and was doing everything within his power to overcome this problem, whatever it was, even as outlined in Romans Chapter 7. As well, The Lord knew what the outcome would be, and that victory would ultimately be obtained.

While The Holy Spirit definitely could not use Paul to the extent that He desired during this time, He still was continuing to work, and to work mightily within his life. 

It is the same with modern believers, and, in fact, has always been this way. There are many who are being presently used of God in a great way, but with the problems of this nature in their lives, over which they are struggling and actually warring. There is failure involved, even as Paul exclaims here. But as bad as that may be – and it is bad – this does not mean that Paul, or any other believer who has fought this same battle, was lost. Were that the case, there would be few saved, if any, because all have fought this battle in one way or the other, and I think I can say that without fear of exaggeration.

Again, in this last phrase of Romans 7:23, Paul brings out the truth that this law of sin carries out its evil desires through the physical members of the physical body. While sin begins in the heart, it has its conclusion in members of the physical body – the eyes look at things which they should not look, the tongue says things it should not say, and the hands doing things they should not do. 

________________________________________________________________Part 4______________________________________________________________


"O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Romans 7:24).

The only way that one will have a proper understanding of the Word of God is to first of all understand The Cross of Christ. The only way that one can walk in victory is to understand The Cross of Christ and function accordingly. Romans 7:24 proclaims Paul now being brought to the place to where he can receive help. He has exhausted all of his own efforts, which did not work at all. His condition forced him to cry out to God for help.

It is unfortunate that most of us have to come to this place before help can be received. The battle and struggle are not necessary in this strict sense of the word, but it does seem to be necessary for most of us, even as it was for the Apostle Paul. Man – even believers – must come to an end of himself. The hope of the flesh must die in every respect. With no more hope left from that sector, we cry out to God.


To be sure, the word wretched  adequetely describes the situation – a Christian who does not have victory, yet wants victory with all of his heart. It might even be an individual who is being mightily used of God while all of this is going on, even as Paul. However, Paul had one great disadvantage that none of us have, at least in a sense.

This great plan of redemption, which provided for salvation from sin and victory over sin and has been gloriously and wondrously consummated by Jesus Christ, is now available to all. Still, I am not exaggerating when I say that not one single person in the world at the time of Paul had this segment of truth respecting what Jesus had done. It was Paul who was the first one to face this monster and seek God until the answer came, which is given to us here: Jesus Christ is the New Covenant, and The Cross of Christ is the meaning of the New Covenant. That meaning was given to the Apostle Paul, which he gave to us in his fourteen epistles.


Yet I am not so certain if that was a disadvantage at all. Most of the time, other believers can be of little help, and, much of the time, even harm. Blessed is the believer who does not have the privilege of having someone join with him in seeking God and maybe, hopefully, one who knows the great truths of these chapters in Romans. Sadly, those are few and far between.

In fact, if Paul had been a member of some modern Pentecostal denominations, the chances are great that he would have been unceremoniously drummed out of those particular organizations. They could hardly afford to have someone in their ranks who had obvious failure, irrespective as to the call of God on his life, or how much God was using him. Thank God that albatross did not exist then.


This question presents a wail of anguish and a cry for help. This was Paul's cry during the spiritual experience he describes of himself in Romans 7 – Paul, the saint, ignorant of the delivering power of The Holy Spirit, concerning Whom he had so much to say later on.

The minute Paul cries "who," he finds the path to victory, for he calls upon the person for help. We are told that the Greek text is masculine, indicating a person, and that person is Jesus. 

The words this death​ refer to the miserable condition of the Christian who is yet dominated more or less by evil (sin) nature over which he is desiring to gain victory. It is the death Paul speaks of in Romans 7:9. 

Scholar Kenneth Wuest said, "The body of sin here is the physical body, in which the sinful nature dwells and through which, when it is in control, it operates. Paul is not crying out for egress from his body but for deliverance from the condition of defeat which his residence in his physical body makes a possibility, and his lack of spiritual knowledge up to that moment, resulted in."


"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" (Romans 7:25).

This verse presents Paul giving the answer to his own question: deliverance comes through Jesus Christ, and, more particularly, what Jesus did at Calvary. 

Paul gives thanks to God for that fact. In the phrase "I thank God," one can see and feel the victory which has now come to the Apostle, and for which he is so grateful, as should be obvious. No longer does sin dominate him, and no longer does this battle rage within his soul. He has found rest in Jesus Christ. 

While it is true that Satan will continue to oppose him greatly in respect to his work for God – which resulted in stoning, shipwreaks, and imprisonments – never again would Satan be able to rob him of this great victory of sanctification, which he now had in Jesus Christ.


One can almost hear Paul crying to God in respect to this problem, which threatened his very soul, for that was Satan's intention. However, the answer came, and it came in detail. It was meant to be given to all of us, and it being written down in the Word of God, for it was and is, the Word of God.

No doubt, Paul's thanks to God never ceased respecting this that the Lord had done by revealing the tremendous truths imparted to him. It meant not only his victory, but also the victory of untold millions of others.

Please allow me to say the following: it is regrettable but true that most great victories are won and great truths presented in that which seems to be terrible defeat, even as it was with Paul. Unfortunately, due to the fall, man is so constituted that he is very reluctant to throw himself at the foot of The Cross and cry in desperation for help. To be sure, even these victories always come through Jesus Christ, they all came to what He did at The Cross at Calvary.

God took that evil instrument of torture (The Cross) that Satan surely thought was the defeat of Jesus Christ, and He turned it into the greatest victory that man has ever known.


Even though we have already given the following, still, it is so important that we would ask again for your forbearance: 

  • Jesus Christ is the source of all things we receive from God (John 1:1-3, 14, 29; 14:6).
  • While Jesus is the source, The Cross of Christ is the means, and the only means by which all of these wonderful things are given to us (Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 1:17-18; Colossians 2:10-15).
  • With Our Lord as the source and The Cross as the means, The Cross of Christ must ever be the object of our faith (1 Corinthians 1:23; 2:2; Galatians 6:14).
  • With Christ as the source, The Cross as the means, and The Cross of Christ the object of our faith, and with that being maintained, The Holy Spirit, Who works exclusively within the parameters of the finished work of Christ, will then work mightily on the behalf of such a believer (Romans 8:1-11; Ephesians 2:13-18).

We must understand that Jesus Christ is the New Covenant, while The Cross is the meaning of the New Covenant, the meaning of which was given to the Apostle Paul, and he gave it to us in his fourteen epistles.


There is one and one deliverer only – The Lord Jesus Christ. In response to the anguished cry, "who shall deliver me?" the answer is, God can, and the vehicle of this deliverance is through the work and person of Jesus Christ The Lord. 

Thus, the three mighty princes – death, sin, and the law – lose their authority over all who, by faith, become associated with Christ in His death and resurrection. With Him, the believer enters a new realm of life and righteousness, and energized by The Holy Spirit he lives a true life of sanctification.

Scholar George Williams said, "If the believer makes 'death' his refuge, the death of Christ, he is safe from the domination of sin. For what can Satan do with a dead man?"


This portion of Romans 7:25 presents the will of Paul, and all other believers for that matter.

Again, the will is the trigger, but of itself, it can do nothing unless the gun is loaded with explosive power. That power is The Cross, and, more particularly, Jesus on that Cross. There, He made it possible for believers to "serve the law of God." He actually does it through us (Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 1:18; 2:2). 

All of this means that the mind of the believer wants to serve God, wants to walk in victory, hates sin, and desires to please The Lord in all things. That is the way it is with every person who is truly born again.​

Again, the mind is very important, but it is not able of itself to carry out that which must be carried out, and that is where most believers are today. They do not know God's way, which is The Cross, and though they love The Lord, they live a life of perpetual defeat.


The first thing we want to know is the definition of "the flesh." The flesh is that which is indicative of human beings – our motivation, education, talent, ability, personality, strength, self will, willpower – all of that is the flesh. While these things are not necessarily wrong, the fact is, reliance on them guarantees defeat. ​

The body was so weakened at the fall that it left us incapable of doing what needs to be done, no matter how hard we try. This is the greatest battleground for the believer. The flesh can be very religious. It can load itself up with scriptures to where we think we are on the right track. But if it is not Christ and The Cross, no matter how good it may look or sound, it is still flesh and will profit the believer nothing.


Paul is saying that if the believer resorts to the flesh – self will, self effort, religious effort – he will not serve the law of God, but rather the law of sin. Irrespective of his sincerity, motivation, consecration, or desire to do right, the result of self effort will always be the law of sin. The Holy Spirit emphasized through the apostle, the term law over and over and in respect to different situations. In effect, he is saying that these laws are immutable – not capable of, or susceptible to change.

We must always remember that the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus is the most powerful law in the world – a law all of us have access to – providing our faith is where it ought to be, which must be in Christ and The Cross.


In response, we might ask the question, "Do such what?" 

Considering that for a period of time the apostle Paul was living in acute failure, how could The Lord give him the meaning of the New Covenant, which is, a million times over, the single most important document on the face of the earth? There are several answers to that. First, Paul did not want to fail. He was trying with all of the strength in himself not to fail, but by going in that particular direction, he was destined to fail, as would all of us in that capacity.

The Lord knew the heart of Paul, and He gave Paul the answer to his dilemma, which is the answer to our dilemma.

We must also understand that there are no perfect Christians in the world. There is a perfect Christ, but no perfect believers. All of us, even the great apostle Paul, fall short of perfection. While the Bible does not teach sinless perfection, it most definitely teaches that sin is not to have dominion over us (Romans 6:14). This tells us that sin can certainly have dominion over the believer if that believer does not function scripturally. It had dominion over Paul before he learned this great truth, and, sad to say, it has dominion over most Christians today because they do not understand The Cross of Christ relative to sanctification.

If The Lord had waited until Paul (or any believer) became perfect before giving him this great truth it would be a long, long wait. 

Personally, I believe the message of The Cross, which also incorporates the work of The Holy Spirit, and which God has given to us, is His answer to a hurting church.

​Some time back, The Lord gave me a word of knowledge as it respects the condition of the church. The devil began to tell me – and he can be very convincing at times – that the message I was preaching, and I am speaking of The Cross, might be needed by a few people, but most Christians were doing great without it, so I was wasting my time. This went on for several weeks, and he almost made me believe it.

Then one Sunday night, while Donny was preaching, he mentioned the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage. He made the statement from Exodus, "Let my people go." He was not really preaching on that particular subject; he just made mention of it, but when he did, The Spirit of God came over me, and The Lord began to speak to my heart. He said: "What you are hearing is not from Me but rather from the evil one. My children, those who serve Me, are in the same condition today as the children of Israel were those long, long years ago under Pharoah. They were slaves, and most of mine are slaves presently. They do not know My way of victory, and they are trying to live in all of the wrong ways." That tells me that the modern church is in pitiful condition. Of course there are exceptions, but as a whole the situation is not good. The modern church desperately needs The Cross, just as the church down through the ages desperately needed The Cross. There is no other answer for sin and no other answer for victory – it is only The Cross, The Cross, The Cross!

Blessed stream from Calvary's hill,

Flowing freely, flowing still,

Plunge me, Lord, beneath the tide, 

Flowing from Thy riven side.

Shed, to take my sins away, 

Shed, to cleanse me day by day;

Sprinkling now the mercy seat,

There I find communion sweet.

Tho' the whole wild world should come,

At this fountain there is room;

Millions at The Cross I see, 

Yet He makes a place for me.

When with all the saints above, 

Saved, I sing redeeming love,

Still the blood of my theme shall be,

Shed for many, shed for me.