“But there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin. So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free”
Romans 7:23-25 [TLB]
My Dear friend, our opening scripture is clear picture of what God’s Word calls “The Good News”.
The sin of Adam enacted a spiritual law known as “The Law of Sin and Death”, which was to govern human kind, including all who won’t sin after the similitude of Adam.
In Romans 8:20-21 [TLB], Paul refers to this law as “thorns and thistles”.
There are some words here whose definitions need to be looked into. To do that, I’m going to lead you through the Bible. This is because one of the things the Bible does is that it will always give us the best definitions of words. My reason for saying this is because the definitions provided by the Bible are based on the context in which the words are used.
For instance, the word “curse”, which is symbolized by “thorns and thistles”, is clearly defined in Romans 8:20-21, as “a spiritual force that overcomes a person against his own will”.
Take a look at this: “For on that day thorns and thistles, sin death, and decay – the things that overcome the world against its will…”
What this means is that a curse suppresses a person’s will power, and gives them another will to operate with, independent of their choice, so that they can end up being enslaved by something.
The very first time in the Bible where the words “thorns and thistles” are used to depict the presence of a curse, was when God pronounced punishment for Adam’s sin as recorded in Genesis 3:17-18 [KJV]. “17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: CURSED is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 THORNS ALSO AND THISTLES shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field”
Now in Romans 8:20-21, Paul tells us that there are three things that can have a negative spiritual influence in a person, to force them to live contrary to their will. These three things are curses [thorns and thistles], sin and death. They overcome a man against his own will, and compel him spiritually to start living a life that he’s not designed to live.
As I said earlier, when Adam sinned, a spiritual law was enacted, referred to as “The Law of Sin and Death”. This law in itself is a curse, because it would subsequently compel a sinner to start living against his will. Such a trend is a clear indication of a life that’s under “defeat”, according to God’s Word.
Through Adam’s sin, death spread through the entire human race, given that “The Law of Sin and Death” was enacted. What this law does is that it spells man’s defeat and failure. That’s what the Bible teaches in Romans 5:12; 8:20-21.
The question now is this:
How does “The Law of Sin and Death” spell man’s defeat?
This is my answer: It does that by targeting the human mind, filling it with sin-consciousness; or ideas that are unscriptural. That’s what Romans 7:21-25 teaches us.
What these verses seek to explain is that “The Law of Sin and Death” is at war with the human mind, and each time it wins the fight, the person concerned is made more enslaved to sin.
“The Law of Sin and Death” is a curse; a negative spiritual force that gets stronger in the life of a person the more sin-conscious they become. You see, it feeds on a mind set of sin-consciousness.
The point I want to drive through is that as long as you live a life of sin-consciousness, you’ll find it practically impossible to do what you’re supposed to do.
What Paul tells us in Romans 7:23-25 stems from his personal experience. He saw a spiritual force that was fighting against his will, and consequently hindered him from doing the good things he wanted to do. His conclusion was that sin was still at work in his life. The question is, how? Here’s the answer: through his mind [Romans 7:20].
Pleasing God under such conditions was impossible for Paul, in spite of how much he wanted to. The reason was simple: mentally speaking, he was enslaved to sin through his thoughts, which were dominated by sin-consciousness.
The Good News is this!
All of us were once like that spiritually. But Christ our Lord, has set us free from the curse called “The Law of Sin and Death”, by dying for us, and through His resurrection, He has put to force a new law for us – it’s “The Law of the Spirit of Life”.
It’s because of this new law that Paul could boldly say “Who [God] hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and HATH TRANSLATED US INTO THE KINGDOM OF HIS DEAR SON” [Colossians 1:13 KJV].
In order to consolidate this priceless truth, Peter also said “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who HATH CALLED YOU OUT OF DARKNESS INTO HIS MARVELLOUS LIGHT” [1 Peter 2:9 KJV].
What’s the Evidence of our Freedom in Christ? It’s in the revelation of God’s love that has been poured into our hearts at the new birth. Romans 5:5; 1 John 2:7-11; 4:8-11
The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in your born again spirit is God’s undeniable substantiation that in Christ, you have been set free from sin and its power by “The Law of the Spirit of Life” Romans 8:2.
Go ahead and celebrate your freedom in Christ; it’s total, not partial. Acquaint yourself with God’s Word and live by this truth, that in Christ Jesus you have been set free. Yes, He has set you free, and nobody can do anything against that. When you wake up every morning, keep reminding and preaching to yourself that “In Christ Jesus, I have been set free sin and its power. I’m no longer a slave to sin. Sin has no dominion over me, because I’m the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus”. Alleluia!
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You’re deeply loved, highly favoured and greatly blessed because you’re a life-giving spirit just like Jesus.
Jesus Is Lord!