SOAP Study - July 6, 2020

    07.06.20 | by Nicolet Bell


     Romans 7:14-25

    14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

    18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

    21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power[b] within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.


    • What verse stood out to you while you were reading?
    • What did you discover about God, yourself, and others?
    • How should this information impact your life?
    • What needs to be different about the way you are currently living?
    • Take some time to talk to God about the things you just learned and how you want your life to look different. Give God thanks for revealing these things to you, ask Him for wisdom and courage to move forward so that you can apply these things to your life.

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    This passage is packed full of insight about our human struggle with sin. What most stands out to me is Paul’s honesty- It is refreshing. In verses 15-22, he describes what so many of us often feel. We want to do right, we often know what is right, but sometimes it seems like we just keep on doing the wrong thing. We do the very thing we know isn’t good for us. Verse 23 gives us some insight into why we struggle in this way: “But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind.” Paul identifies this struggle as intense spiritual warfare. Re-read verse 24. I can almost picture Paul throwing his hands up and yelling this part! Can you hear his desperation? Then, verse 25 gives us the promise- “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord!”


    These verses encourage me to know that I am not alone in struggling with sin. How often do we experience this same frustration that Paul describes? For the most part, we as followers of Jesus, know what we should and should not do. {Now it is important to point out that we do not earn our salvation by what we do or don’t do. We receive salvation by faith alone.} But when we as followers of Jesus walk in His will, we feel His favor and goodness with us. When we don’t, we feel separated from Him. The truth is, we will always struggle with sin on this side of heaven- even the great apostle Paul did. What this passage teaches us is that we can bring our frustration before God. In His presence, we can express our real feelings and struggles. Through His Spirit, He will help us to be able to live a life that honors Him because “The answer” to our sin problem, “is in Jesus Christ our Lord” (verse 25).


    Jesus, I thank you that you are the answer! I acknowledge that there are often times that I feel overwhelmed by the weight of sin and overwhelmed by the struggle to do what is right. Help me to be real with you and to bring those struggles and frustrations before you, knowing that you will help me through your Holy Spirit that lives within me. Today, I submit my selfish desires (the desire to do what I want to do) to you. Empty me of myself and fill me with your presence.