It has been almost a year since I began writing Free Indeed, and since that I time, though I have yet to write or to edit this treatise on the man in Romans 7:7-25 any further, I have since continued to meditate upon this passage in light of my continued studies of the book of Romans. I also during that time have entertained other opinions on the matter and have considered the validity of my case in light of those opinions as well as in light of my further study of the apostle’s epistle. And since those further meditations, I have yet remained unmoved in my interpretation and indeed have seen it validated by my further studies.
Chief among those considerations which have further solidified my stance is that of the third person of the Trinity–the Holy Spirit. Though I will cover this consideration of him in much more detail in the ensuing treatment, I have, in short, seen both in Scripture and in my own experience how absolutely fundamental the Holy Spirit is in the life of the Christian. And though the apostle is dealing with multiple concerns in our present section of Holy Scripture, I believe the chief among those is the demonstration of life apart from the Spirit of God. This concern of the apostle is a valid one indeed, for all we have to do is simply look around us. All about us, in what we call our conservative evangelical churches, there exist either two extremes–either on the hand the charismatic extreme that places great emphasis on the manifest gifts of the Holy Spirit while ignoring the Spirit’s sanctifying work in redemption, and on the other hand, the anti-charismatic extreme that forfeits the redemptive work of the Spirit in favor of a high view of the freedom of the will of man. Both extremes greatly misunderstand the great work which is the Spirit’s and thereby rob the Spirit of the praise that he is rightly due.
My chief hope in this study is that you, with an open mind and heart, will consider with me this passage in Romans 7:7-25 and will with me glorify the Spirit of God who has caused us who are in Christ to be born again to a Living Hope by the eternal decree of the Father through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (cf. Jn. 3:6,7; 1Pet. 1:3). To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.