It is a difficult passage, but the meaning is clear when we realize that he is talking about his struggle with sin before becoming a Christian. As a child, Paul did not know right from wrong and was not accountable to the law of God. He “was alive once without the law” (v. 9). After coming of age, he realized he was a law breaker and now under the condemnation of the law. The problem was not with the law; it was “holy and just and good” (v. 12). The problem was with Paul; he was a sinner (vv. 13-14).
Paul described his struggle as a sinner (vv. 15-23). He knew what the law said and knew that the law was good, but he stilled sinned. Sin dwelled in him. He was controlled by the flesh. Evil was present with him. So, he did what he did not want to do, what he knew he should not do, and he did not do what he wanted to do, what he knew he should do. His mind was taken captive by his flesh.
Finally, Paul came to his senses and cried out for deliverance (vv. 24-25). He realized his need for a savior, whom he found in Jesus Christ our Lord. In chapter 8, Paul described the new life in Christ beginning with these words, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (v. 1), and closing with these words, “we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (v. 37).
Reread the passages above and think on these lessons: 1) Children are not held accountable by God. 2) When we realize we are sinners we must look to Jesus for our salvation. 3) In Christ, we are set free from the guilt, condemnation and power of sin to live in victory by the Spirit of God.
2/18/2022 07:00:38 am
I have 11 yr old twins and do not see in scripture children being baptized, In fact, several places in the book of Acts the Bible specifies men and women were baptized. The new testament is silent of baptism of children and the old law children under 20 were not held accountable- which that account is mentioned in the new testament 3 times. I am in a quandary because I have children. I could persuade them to be baptized but I don't see it in the Bible.
5/24/2022 04:24:28 pm
It is your responsibility to teach your children the gospel as it is revealed in the inspired Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:14-17). It is up to them to believe and obey the gospel (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16).
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Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135