"For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death" (Romans 7:5)
Do you ever notice how you want to do exactly what you have been instructed not to do? Take a diet for example, you want to eat everything that is on the list of what not to eat. Before you saw the list you probably did not have a craving for those items. However, as soon as you read what foods to stay away from you starting desiring those foods constantly and set yourselves up for failure. We see the same behavior in children. As soon as you tell them not to do something, they start scheming on how to do those very things. When we become aware, that is the moment in which the struggle starts. The same thing happened to us when the Law was given. When we knew those things that we were instructed not to do, that is when the desire for sin came alive on the inside of us and we wanted to do those things.
In today's passage Paul is contrasting the effects of the sinful nature and what fruit we bore under that nature so that we can fully understand what how we have been freed from it. "When we were living in the flesh (mere physical lives), the sinful passions that were awakened and aroused up by [what] the Law [makes sin] were constantly operating in our natural powers (in our bodily organs, in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh), so that we bore fruit for death." ( Romans 7:5 Amp ). The fruit came about by the desires and sinful passions that were stirred by knowing the Law. If the seeds were sinful passions then the fruit we bore from it was according to that nature and brought about death.
The more we knew of the Law and the righteousness that God ascribes to, the more we desired to break the Law. The Law told us what was holy and like a child, we wanted to do what we had been instructed not to. We became aware of what was sin. Since we were controlled by the sinful nature that aroused a desire to sin. The fruit of that desire brought about death.
In the previous passage Paul is stating again and again that we no longer belong to the sinful nature. We have been freed from it. In yesterday's passage Paul told us, "So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God." ( Romans 7:4 ). No longer do we need to bear fruit for death, instead we are to bear fruit for God. We have been set free from the Law and freed from the controlled of that old nature. Now we are controlled by the Spirit. We are operating in an entirely new way. Today I praise God that we are free in Jesus' name to live according to the Spirit of God and bear fruit for righteousness sakes. May you know and understand that you are free! Amen.
Original article published November 1, 2009.