The time has come for us to tackle Romans Chapter 7. it is one of the best known chapters in the Bible. But it is filled with controversy.
- What is Paul saying with the example he uses of marriage?
- How does the illustration or example of marriage fit?
- Who do the husband and wife represent?
- How does this marriage illustration connect to the surrounding passage?
In the body of the chapter is Paul writing about himself or is this the general Christian?
- If he is writing about himself, when?
- Is it Paul as he was at the time of writing or is it Paul before his conversion?
- Have all the things that have been said before been abandoned and now we are all trapped in wrong doing because we can’t do the thing we know we should?
- Are we forever confined to being wretched men and women waiting for God to free us from this body of death?
- And what does “the body of death” mean?
Take the time to ponder this challenge and use the time to figure out where you stand on the controversy? Take time to read Romans 7 in context and work out what your conclusion is to the above questions and issues. Pay attention to the details of the passage. Don’t forget the controversy of Romans 9-11 as well. I will leave you with this today in the interests of opening up the way for you to decide for yourself what you feel about it all.
This last week I have spent being with people who have just received the Word of God in their language for the first time. I was given the privilege of giving one pastor his first copy of the Scripture in Ambai language. It was obvious how precious this was to him. It reminded me of the last time I saw someone receive the Scripture for the first time, her name is Indo’ Bonang, She was so excited that she was speechless knowing she was holding the whole of the New Testament for the first time in her language. It was a very sobering thing to experience. Challenging for me to maintain perspective concerning the Scripture. Therefore one of the things I want to do with these Bible Gems is not to tell you “the answers” – I am not so presumptuous. Rather it is to open up the way for you to find the answers to digging deeper for yourself.
If you are interested in reading Indo’ Bonang’s story click here. Now go and spend some time in Romans 7 and do some thinking for yourself. Hopefully while I have been in the remote parts of Papua you have had some time to look at Romans -11. Or maybe you’re too busy.
Here is a quote I came across the week before last in my preparation to challenge people about prayer.
The great people of the earth today are the people who pray, I do not mean those who talk about prayer. Nor those who say they believe in prayer. Nor those who explain about prayer. But I mean those people who take the time and pray.” They have no time. It must be taken form something else.S D Gordon
Let’s rewrite that:
The great people of the earth today are the people who read the Word of God. I do not mean those who talk about reading the Word. Nor those who say they believe in the Word. Nor those who explain about reading the Word. But I mean those people who take the time to read the Word of God. They have no time. It must be taken from something else.Ian Vail
If you are kind, people will accuse you of selfish motives; be kind anyway. The good you do today, most people will forget; do good anyway. Give the world the best you’ve got and it may never be enough; give your best anyway. In the final analysis it’s between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway.’Mother Teresa