Romans 7: The New vs. the Old


(25 verses, 3:30 to read)

What I am about to READ:

The best description of the Christian life.


1-6: “We serve a new way…”   We died to sin in the waters of Holy Baptism – when we died with Christ. We were once slaves to sin, but now we’re slaves to God. We have Christ’s righteousness. We’ve been released from the law with all its demands. We are a new creation – a new creation that doesn’t serve God because we have to, but willingly in love.

7-13: God’s Law is holy, righteous and good! The Law reveals our sin, but also incites sin to come alive and show its ugly face. It’s not the Law’s fault; it’s your fault. The Law tells our sinful nature what to do. But, being the mighty sinners we are, the old Adam in us desires to do exactly the opposite.

14-25: In this section of Paul provides us with a powerful description of the Christian life. In Christ we are a new creation, but the sinful human nature remains in this life. Through the Spirit we desire to do what is holy, righteous, and good, but our human nature continues to corrupt us. Thus, the old Adam and the new man (new creation) are at war. Luther says: “This entire passage clearly indicates a complaint and a hatred of the flesh and a love for the good and for the Law. But this attitude is in no way characteristic of carnal man, who prefers to hate the Law and laughs at it and follows the desires of his flesh. For the spiritual man fights with his flesh and groans because he cannot do as he wants to. But the carnal man does not fight against his flesh, but yields to it and consents to it”(LW:25, 328).


Paul recognized the battle between the “old-self” and the Spirit raging within him. He lamented his wretched sinful state for several verses, and then Paul had no other option but to cry out, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (7:24). Knowing that there is nothing good that dwells in his sinful nature, Paul must look outside of himself for righteousness. Yet, as a new creation, Paul knows where his righteousness comes from. In verse 25 Paul writes, “Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Paul turns to the only source of righteousness for a sinner; he turns to the righteousness found in Jesus Christ our Lord!

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group:

Sub Cruce,

Pastor Kevin Zellers, Jr.


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