For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. Romans 7:5
Our flesh is sinful and though we may have put our trust and faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, that does not mean that our flesh is dead completely. The process of crucifying our flesh is a life-long endeavor called sanctification, a process through which more and more our flesh dies and more and more the Spirit of God takes hold of our heart. We become holier and holier every day as we obey the Lord’s commandments and surrender our will to Him. As we become smaller, Jesus becomes bigger and more prominent in our lives (John 3:30). In Romans 7 we see that even Paul has a hard time with this process. Even he cannot get rid of his fleshly sinful acts overnight. Though he desires to follow the spirit of God, his flesh keeps acting against what his spirit desires.
In today’s text, Paul explains that the root of our problem is our innate pride that rules in our soul. We want to be in control and rule our lives. In fact, Paul explains that the more we learn what we should not do according to the Law of God, the more our sinful desires are awakened to do the opposite. That is because our pride does not surrender and does not want to be told what to do. Therefore, when the Law says “Don’t… ,” that is enough for our ego to want to do exactly the opposite. Due to our ego and pride ruling our heart, the commandments awaken our sinful passions against themselves, and those sinful passions lead to death and destruction. That is why through the law we become slaves of sin, by rebelling against the commandments. This does not mean that there is anything wrong with the law. It only shows that the law has no power to change our heart toward obedience.
But sin shall no longer be master over those who are not under the law, but under grace (Rom.6:14). As flesh is crucified more and more, those sinful passions cannot be awakened any longer, because they will be hung on the cross. Sin has lost its mastery! By His grace, we will have more power to say “no” as we grow in the Spirit.