“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. 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. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So, I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.” Romans 7:14-17
The character of the law is described in four words, holy, just, good and spiritual. That the law is holy and just nobody can deny, because it came from a holy God who is perfectly just in all that He says and does. The law is good. It reveals God’s holiness to us and helps us see that we need a Savior.
What does it mean that the law is spiritual? It means that the law deals with the inner man, the spiritual part of man. When we deal with the inner man, our actions change. The law cannot change the outer man unless we first change our inner man. Paul is telling us that we are under the bondage of sin and the law cannot help him out. He is like a man arrested for a crime and thrown in jail. The law will only help him if he is innocent, but Paul knows that he is guilty and that the law argues against him, not for him. Paul’s problem is not lack of desire; he wants to do what is right. Paul’s problem is not lack of knowledge, he has knowledge; he knows what the right thing is. His problem is he has no power. He lacks the power because the law provides no power. Paul accepts responsibility for his sins. He knows that he needs the power in his life if he is going to be free from sin. The start to a walk with Jesus is that we accept our sinful nature and repent of our sin. When we do this the power will come from Jesus Christ.
“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the Lord your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul. And you must always obey the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good.” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)
“Therefore, change your hearts[a] and stop being stubborn.” (Deuteronomy 10:16)