Annotated Romans-Ro.7:15-25- “Old Man, Inner man…”

“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin(Ro.6:6)”.

The term ‘Old man’ is valid under the law of sin, and it refers in spiritual sense to the eternal Will  creating a body of evidence* against every man that comes to the world. By the same argument we believe in ‘inner man’ another body of evidence created under the the law of God to which St Paul refers in v.22. Law of God  is also called the law of grace.

Law of sin and law of grace accordingly refer to Adam and Jesus respectively. (Ro.5:12,19). Since Adam disobeyed God’s commandment he made his own will more important than the divine Will. Jesus as the Son manifested obedience ‘as the image of the invisible God(Col.1:15)’. Spirit of disobedience is alien to the kingdom of God.  It is clear in the expulsion of man and woman from the Garden. “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:(Ge.3:22)” In the verse God is in plural. Adam is also qualified as son of God (Lk.3:38). But there is only one begotten of God. And it is what St Paul refers here ‘…By the obedience of one shall many be made righteous(Ro. 5:19)”. Because of Adam death is consequently imputed to all who have not come under the law of grace. As express image of God the example of Jesus Christ tells us that the Law of God is doable. Grace and truth he established by death and resurrection. It is to which the psalmist alludes here,’Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice (Ps.50:5).’

Law of sin being alien to the kingdom of God demands restitution. By the same token the law of grace freely gives man newness of life. Onus of Adam’s culpability, which was laid over all according to representational symbolism, is cancelled.

To sum: Old man is synonym for carnal nature of man. Old man and newness of life can never come side by side in one. We die to sin in order to put on newness of life or remain as a servant to sin the result of which, is death.

  • body of evidence  refers to the handwriting  referred by St. Paul as in ‘Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;(Col.2:14)’.By the same argument we have about the truth written in inward parts a body of evidence that the individual is purchased with the blood of Christ. It is called heart, in spiritual parlance where indwelling Spirit holds a lamp , which is the word of God. St Paul speaks of the ‘the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ(2 Co.4:6). As physical world is a trap for Old man to deceive oneself to think one is righteous the Spirit of God leads the heart or the inner man to the ways of righteousness.

For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.

17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

18 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.

19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

23 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.

24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

25 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.

About bennythomas

I am a Dutch citizen. An architect by profession I am married and have six grandchildren. I am still keen on expressing myself and each day is new and an occasion where I might bring out from within something worthwhile.
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