Too often people use Romans Chapter 7 as an excuse to live in sin.
For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. Romans 7:9Paul was raised as a Jew. When he said, I was alive without the law once, the only time he was without the law was when he was a young toddler. Sin, and the capabilities of sin working, was in Paul’s human flesh as a toddler, but he was not accountable for them when he did not understand the seriousness of the wrong. It was the fleshly nature in him (that everyone is born with) that came up against the commandment (the law). When you understand and go against what God wants you to do, it is sin, and the wages of sin is death. Sin is a spiritual separation from God, that is why it is described as "death". Without God, we are spiritually dead!
These simple truths are not taught very many places today, and that is why that just any church will not do. Although people are educated in the scriptures, many will not tell you that sin is death. Some will teach it, but they will not teach that you can have complete victory over sin. Since sin is declared biblically as death, it is no condition to be falling in an out of. God’s plan is to deliver us from sin and for us to stay out of it.
For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Romans 7:11
The sinful nature over-stepped the commandment and deceived Paul. The Devil says, you can partake of things: they are not so bad. It is sometimes hard for those growing up around the truth of the gospel, to understand that there are some things in sin that you don’t really want to know and understand.
Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. Romans 7:12-13
Once he understood the law, then when his flesh pushed past the law, he committed sin. Sin took him down, deceived him and defeated him. The law is here to teach, correct and control us until we get saved. The law is good because it teaches the right things. It teaches us, and corrects us until we are able to come to salvation. Without the law, we would have gone farther in sin than we did, without that control.
For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. Romans 7:14-23
Paul knew things were wrong, but he still did them, before he came to Christ. Before that, he wanted to do the things of the law in a correct way. The flesh had a problem. When we get saved, we can’t give in to the flesh because it still has the capabilities of evil. People often fall from salvation because they get too close to the things that they had done in their past sinful life, before salvation. The flesh has not forgotten those things and the sinful pleasures of them. The flesh is too familiar with the evil that it did in the past.
So the question is "How can we get victory and keep victory from the flesh?"
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:24-25
– Through Jesus Christ- it can be done!
It is important that Romans chapters 6, 7, and 8 are all considered together, as the singular presentation that it is. If we are saved and turn to live to the flesh, the same things will happen again. We must keep a love for Christ or we will find ourselves back in the same situations again. When we interpret the scriptures, we must consider that the bible is not written in modern English, nor in the context of modern day culture and practices. The law has its place and purpose: to constrain sin and teach us what is wrong. The law is good. It is not a bad thing. In Romans 8:1 it shows that we are still in the flesh. The Spirit of God will help us maintain our salvation by crucifying the flesh. The spirit of God must reign within, to have the power to crucify the flesh over the long run.
It is critical that we walk after the things of the Spirit of God.
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Romans 8:1-9
They that live to the flesh, - or their flesh is alive and having its way, - cannot please God. For the long haul, we need the Spirit of God reigning within to live for God. If we don’t have an intimate relationship with God, our love, motivation, and purpose will not benefit God, but will be according to our own way.