Romans 7:14-25 / A Life of Conflict (Sermon – Notes and Audio)

Posted on November 2, 2013


This is the twenty-eighth in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Romans. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of October 27, 2013. This message deals with the internal conflict which all believers face. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes and a study outline. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

AUDIO – Listen Now:


Rom 7_14-25


Rom 7_14-25 Outline


Romans 7:14-25

Paul, here, is speaking about a conflict which is present in all believers. In fact, he is speaking of his own struggles.

From the outset, Paul makes it clear that he is not demeaning the law in any way, for it is “spiritual”.

He wants it understood that the fault lies within him, and the same holds true for all believers.

When we believe on the Lord Jesus, he enters our hearts and lives in us.

Through faith we are declared righteous by God

Romans 5:1

. . . and are accepted as His children

John 1:12

Through faith we are cleansed by the blood of Christ

Romans 5:9

We are transformed, but the believer continues to live in the same human body, and still struggles with sin.

Paul says that the law is spiritual, and he is carnal. What does he mean?

***”spiritual “Meaning: of God, of the Holy Spirit”

***”carnal” Meaning: having the nature of flesh. It denotes frailty, weakness and imperfection.

We are all weak, but we have the upper hand, Christ lives in us.

Romans 8:11

2Cor. 4:11

. . . and we can be assured that the day will come when our flesh will be redeemed.

Romans 8:23

But, until then, we can either let our bodies control our spirits or vice-versa.

Through faith, the believer is crucified with Christ and his flesh no longer has control of his life.

Romans 6:6

. . . but, the struggle continues.

The dedicated Christian will continue to put down his old nature, but the old nature keeps fighting back.

This becomes a continuous, life-long battle. It is the battle that Paul describes here.

In fact, Paul hates those sinful things he does.

The believer cannot love sin, and have the mindset of the flesh, AND be willfully obedient to God.

In fact, Paul agrees that the law is good. His new nature defends God’s divine standard.

. . . But sin continues to work.

As long as we live in this corruptible body, in a sin cursed world, sin will still exist within us.

This doesn’t mean that all is lost.

When Paul says that nothing good dwells in him, he hasn’t forgotten that he has Christ living in him. He is speaking of his fleshly nature.

He knows that his old self cannot figure out how to do good. It’s not possible.

To do good requires a new nature, which comes with regeneration and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

When regeneration comes, the two natures will struggle for the rest of your natural life.

vv. 19-20:
“it is no longer I who do it” This is not a cop out, Paul is not making excuses.

When he speaks of “I”, he is speaking of his new nature, which is his true self.

Our true identity is who God created us to be, not what the world has made us into.

It’s not what you have declared yourself to be, and not what anyone else has declared you to be.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle for Christians to overcome, is to be who God has called us to be.

Paul discovered a law. . . evil is always present, even when we want to do good.

In fact, this law has yet to be disproven. It is as much a law of nature as gravity is.

However, Paul discovered an even greater law. . . The Holy standard of God.

Unlike the other law, this one is not a dismal revelation, it is a cause for joy.

Through this Law of God, Paul knows right from wrong.

Yet, though he knows what is right, he is powerless against the effects of sin.

We cannot rely on our own strength, but must rely on the strength of God.

Victory is always possible in Christ, but without Him we are doomed to failure.

Romans 8:37

The conflict within you between the flesh and the Spirit, is a form of spiritual warfare.

You win much of the battle just by realizing that the conflict exists.

If you deny any sinfulness once you are saved, you have lost the battle.

1 John 1:10

Sin is still a powerful force, but it can no longer control you unless you allow it to do so.

You are not doomed to failure, if you are a born again child of God.

The truth is, you cannot wander too far, fail too many times, or exceed the limits of Christ’s forgiveness.

When you repent and return to Him, He restores you to fellowship like nothing has ever happened.

Peter denied Jesus 3 times, despite his boasts to remain faithful; yet the Lord forgave him, and made him a great leader in the early church.

Despite the setbacks, Peter knew that his Savior remained forever at his side, ready to forgive.

You can be confident of the same.

Now is the time for a new beginning. Forget the failures and setbacks of the past. Ask forgiveness for your sins, repent and have a fresh start.

Be determined to live for God, from this day forward.

To be born again takes only a moment of faith, but to become like Christ, is a life-long endeavor.

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