The Greater Law
In Romans 7 & 8 Paul presents a complete analysis of his experience as a believer trying to live the Christian life. A believer in Christ is not a simple person - Paul presents a complete view of man and how we have three lives and four laws. What is presented is knowledge for us to apply in our lives, yet many fall short of living this out on a consistent basis. We have the key given to us but we need help to know, see, apply, and live it out.
There are pitfalls we can fall into, but there is a key to live an overcoming life. We need knowledge of this life but our knowledge is for our experience. Here we have man, Satan, and God and an expression of each one's life is seen. Each life has its own degree of strength and power; Paul even shows how these lives operate as scientific laws. The three lives mentioned are - man's life, Satan's life, and God's life. There is always the law of God (Rom. 7:22, 25) outside of us. For saved persons, we have three active lives within us and each life has a functioning law called: the law of the mind (7:23), the law of sin in the members of our body (7:23), and the law of the Spirit of life (8:2).
Rom. 7:21 - 8:2 I find then the law, with me who wills to do the good, because the evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God according to the inner man, but I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind and making me a captive to the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from the body of this death? Thanks be to 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. There is now then no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has freed me in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and of death.
In chapter 7 Paul saw the law of God and had the inward desire to do good. He willed to do good according to the law of God, but he found there was something else in his being that was warring against this will to do good. In his experience we was captive to this law of sin. Sin entered into man and is greater than man's ability to do good. It operates in us as a law that overcomes our desire and ability to do good. His conclusion was, "Wretched man that I am!".
There is another law operating in Paul, that is, the law of the Spirit of life. This law of the Spirit of life always overcomes the law of sin and death. Just as we are always under the law of gravity around us, we are always under the law of sin and death. We are unable to overcome gravity by ourselves. We may jump and temporarily be in the air, but soon enough gravity will bring us back down to earth. But, there is one way to overcome gravity, that is, we need to get into an airplane. As long as we are in the airplane, we can experience the law of aerodynamics and overcome the law of gravity. If we get out of the airplane, we are under the law of gravity again. Where we are matters more than what we can do or how much effort we exert. We need to allow this higher, greater, and more powerful law, the law of the Spirit of life, to operate within us.
By reading the book The Knowledge of Life you can gain more understanding of how the life of God operates in us. The matter of the three lives and four laws if fully covered in chapter 9.