Is The Wretched Man Analysis

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Tabita Mesina
February 28th, 2017

Is the “wretched man” in Romans 7:24 a believer or unbeliever? This section (Rom. 14-25) is probably the most difficult and controversial passage in the letter to the Romans. These verses have proven difficult even for the best interpreters. There are four major views on these verses. The first view is that Paul’s statements reflect his life prior to conversion. The second view is that the text addresses the experience of any man, whether saved or unsaved, who seeks to obey the law. The third view says that Paul speaks of his early converted state as he struggled to live under the law before learning to live by the power of the indwelling Spirit. The fourth view is that Paul is speaking of himself in a regenerate state as one progressing in sanctification, while in the process becoming more and more aware of the depth and gravity of indwelling sin. I
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Before we are saved we only have one nature - the sin nature. When we are saved , we are new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), but we still remain in the carnal body. These two natures are always at war and they pull us in different directions. Paul here describes the new man in relation with the law of God. In verse 14 the new man is said to be carnal. In verse 18 “in my flesh” means the whole fallen nature that needs the resurrection body. In verse 24 the “wretched man” cries out to be rescued from this body of death. As a believer in Christ, Paul longed to be delivered out of the fallen human body which still has indwelling sin. Paul did not longed to be delivered from the penalty of sin - that was paid for us on the cross - Paul longed for deliverance from the power of sin. What we have here is an honest and personal evaluation of Paul, of who he is in contrast with who Jesus is, and Paul comes to the conclusion that he is a wretched man in need of deliverance from
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