The Battle for Holiness Bethel Presbyterian Church
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There are few passages in the Bible over which competent Bible students have divided more radically than the last half of Romans 7, beginning with verse 14. This is a section of the letter in which Paul is speaking of himself, describing a fierce internal struggle with sin. And the question is: Of what stage in his life is he speaking? Is he speaking of the present, that is, of the time of his writing the letterâ€”when he was a mature Christian, indeed an apostle? Or is he speaking of himself as he was in the past, before his conversion? Or is the true answer somewhere in between?
Who is the â€śmanâ€ť of Romans 7? This question has divided Bible students from the earliest days of the church and continues to divide them today.
It is a serious question, too. Some problems of Bible interpretation may be of limited importance, the specifics of prophecy, for instance. But this is a section of Romans in which Paul is discussing the Christian life. He seems to be answering two related questions: How can I live a triumphant Christian life? How can I achieve victory over sin? Any true Christian wants the answer to those questions. So, unlike differing opinions concerning other, less practical parts of Scripture, we all instinctively take seriously the discussion of any diverse interpretations of this passage.
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