Romans 7:4-6 (NLT) - “So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God. When we were controlled by our old nature, sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death. But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.”
“At issue for us… is Paul’s own view of the conflict between the Spirit and the flesh, between living kata sarka (’according to the flesh’) and kata pneuma (’according to the Spirit’). Every occurrence of these terms in Paul has to do with our present eschatological existence-what it means for believers to live together as a people, defined by the already/not yet fulfillment of God’s promises, in contrast to a former life defined and determined by the world. My point: Nowhere does Paul describe Christian life, life in the Spirit, as one of constant struggle with the flesh. He simply does not speak to that question. His point rather is the sufficiency of the Spirit for God’s new end-time people.
“Basic to Paul’s view is that, as with Torah observance, the time of the flesh is over for followers of Christ. According to Romans 7:4-6, Christ and the Spirit have, with the new covenant, brought an end to the time of the law and the flesh, which belong to our existence before and outside Christ. Continuing to live this way is incompatible with life “according to the Spirit” (Rom 8:5-8). But Paul’s view does not represent triumphalism, as though people who lived by the Spirit were never tempted by the old life in the flesh or that they never succumbed to such. They have, and they do; and there is forgiveness for such, and gracious restoration” (Gordon Fee, Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God).
Prayer: Lord, thank you that we live now in the life of the Spirit, by your grace! Thank you for the victory! In Jesus’ name, Amen.