Lesson 10


Romans 7:7 – 25


Describe how we serve the Lord in the new way of the Spirit. (6)

ROMANS 7: 7 – 12

Paul said, “the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies” (7:5). The perverse natural mind of a human might conclude that the problem is with the law of God. Since it is God’s law, God is the problem. I certainly am not to blame! Paul exposed this whole line of thought as totally wrong. Paul said “sin” is the problem. Later in vs 18, he calls it our sinful nature. In Ephesians 4:22 he calls it our old self. The sinful nature we all inherited from our parents is what is leading us astray. It rebels against God’s holy law.

Paul uses himself as an example. He refers back to an earlier time of his life when he was an active Pharisee. He believed God’s law only spoke about outward actions. He honestly thought he wasn’t in any danger before God (vs 9). He even summarized his attitude then, “as for legalistic righteousness, faultless” (Philippians 3:6). Then he became aware that even desires and thoughts can be sinful. Suddenly his sinful nature was prompting all kinds of sinful thoughts and desires. His point – the law doesn’t create sin and death, our sinful nature is the culprit. The law is good. It only intends to benefit a person. He will teach us more about our sinful nature in the next section.


  1. What important purpose does the law fulfill? (vs7-11)

  2. How does the sinful nature respond to this helpful purpose the law of God offers us? (vs.8,11)

  3. What are some of the deceptive rationalizations sin proposes to trick us into violating God’s law?

ROMANS 7: 13 - 20

In this section my English Bible (NIV84) has the word “I” twenty-one times. There isn’t any reason from the text to assume anything but the obvious, Paul is speaking about himself. In this section Paul uses the present tense completely. He is describing himself as he is: a converted and we can certainly say mature believer. Yet he knows there is a dark power at work within him. His sinful nature (vs 18) is still very powerful and active in his heart and life. Living “in this new way of the Spirit” (6) doesn’t mean that the sinful nature is eliminated from the believer. Paul’s personal experience is the same that the Roman Christians were experiencing, there is a daily struggle with the sinful nature in a believer. While Paul takes personal responsibility for his continued imperfections (notice the “I"s), he also says that the culprit is the sinful nature within him. Every believer, no matter how mature we are or new to the faith that we are, will have that conflict within us. Our sinful nature will continue to resist the Spirit and its leading of our life.

KEYWORD – SINFUL NATURE – A mind and heart incline only toward evil, inherited from Adam

- NEW MAN, INNER BEING – New heart and mind created by the Holy Spirit by faith in Jesus, Delights in doing God’s will and fights against the sinful nature


  1. Explain what it means for a person to recognize sin as “utterly sinful.” (vs.13)

  2. What great conflict does Paul portray in vs. 14-20?

  3. What insights about a believer’s sinful nature do we gain in vs. 14-20?

  4. What insights about a believer’s spiritual nature do we gain in vs. 14-20?

ROMANS 7: 21 – 25

Every moment of everyday, a believer in Jesus has two competing principles at work within him or her. Our inner being and the sinful nature are not at all compatible. Paul portrays it as a war being waged within each of us. It is a war of control over our heart and life. Battles that are too frequently won by the sinful nature. Paul express a frustration with himself and a despair because he finds himself violating God’s will. He knows what the consequences are – death (24). He can’t change his sinful nature nor can he live a perfect life. He pleads for rescue and reminds himself and all believers that Jesus is the answer. He is our ongoing Rescuer and Savior. As Martin Luther said, we are saint and sinner simultaneously.


  1. What does Paul’s use of the present tense throughout today’s study emphasize to us?

  2. Why shouldn’t the believer be surprised that he or she still struggles with sin?

  3. How does a Christian find spiritual relief from the struggle with our sinful nature? 25

  4. What benefits are there in having a good understanding of the struggle that goes on between the sinful and believing nature of a Christian?


  1. Read Romans 8:1–17

  2. Read Romans – the People’s Bible Pages 123 - 133

  3. Read Romans 8:1–17 a second time but this time out loud.

How is Paul’s teaching about the sinful nature and the new inner being in the believer confirmed in your own life?