The Apostle Paul’s Confession

Series: Recalibrate | Week 7: Released from the Fight You’ll Never Win

Day Four Romans 7:14-20

Pray: Invite God into your time and ask Him to speak to you, then read the passage.

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. 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. – Romans 7:14-20 (NLT)

Discover: Use the Discover section of your Recalibrate journal to write down your answers to the following observation and interpretation questions.
1. How do you reconcile verse 14 (Paul calling himself a slave to sin) with what he said in chapter 6 about no longer being a slave to sin?
2. How does verse 18 provide clarity for this seeming opposition (read it in other versions for more help)?
3. Write out Paul’s confession in these verses in your own words. Can you identify?

Respond: Use the Respond section of your journal to answer the following application prompts.
1. What does this passage teach me about God?
2. How does this aspect of His character change my view of self and others?
3. What should I do in response and when?

For Further Reading: What’s Really Going on in Romans 7?

For Families with Kids at Home:
Here in Romans 7:14-20, Paul lays out that the problem isn’t the law; the problem is our inability to follow it. When we fail to uphold the entire law (which each of us has done), then we forfeit having a relationship with God. But because Jesus was able to perfectly uphold the law and took the punishment for our failures at upholding it, He made a way for us to have a relationship with God again! Take time to explain to your kids that their relationship with God isn't based on their ability to get everything right, because none of us can do that perfectly. Instead, God becomes their friend when they trust in Jesus and His ability to live a perfect life!

*If you don't have a Recalibrate journal, you can use any journal available to you to write down your responses.
**TPCC does not necessarily endorse all For Further Reading/Learning sources. They are simply meant to be a helpful tool.