Paul’s great endeavor, in his entire Romans Seven struggle, was to make “the flesh,” his old man, consent to do that holy law of which his new man approved. He had not yet despaired of himself. When he understood this conflict, he thought he had in his own will the power to do the things, that since his conversion he delighted in. The fact is he had not yet realized the absolute distinction between the old and the new creations. And it was through this heart-rending experience that he found the new or “inward” man to be distinct from the old man; that the realm of “the spirit” was absolutely separate from that of “the flesh”; that old man, with all its life and energy, was to be despaired of, not sanctified. The discovery that was new to Paul was: “I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see a different law in my members” (vs 22, 23). When he realized the real situation, he no longer sought how to make the flesh serve God, but how to get clear away from the old man. He cried out not, “Who shall help me subdue this body of death?” but, “Who shall deliver me out of this body of death?” When he said, “Who shall deliver me out?” he showed that at last he recognized himself as the new creature and all else as condemned and corrupt. And when he said, “Who shall deliver me out?” he confessed at last his utter weakness, even in his new life, to war against sin. Then God could deliver him. Every effort toward growth that proceeds from “the flesh,” or the “old man,” is regarded as man’s endeavor to keep the law or requirements of God. And the whole object of the Apostle in this passage is to draw us off from all self-effort, to rely (as seen in Romans Eight), upon the Holy Spirit instead of our own strength the sin we hate. A most interesting line of study as to the office of the law is seen in the following verses: In Romans 3:19, that law meets the offender and arrests him, stops his mouth from his vain excuses and carries him for a “hearing” before God, where he is adjudged guilty. In Galatians 3:22 (RV), the law “shuts up” the condemned soul in the jail of conviction of sin; and in verse 23, is seen keeping the prisoner “in ward” (RV), “shutting up” the offender securely. There is no buying off this stern jailer, either by paying for past offences, or by promises of a future “reformed-I”. In Galatians 2:19, 20, the law is seen taking out his prisoner for execution and becoming himself the executioner: “I through the law died . . . I have been crucified.” The law, thus, cannot have mercy. It can only condemn and execute. But thus it (the law) becomes our servant to bring us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith, apart altogether from its works (Gal 3:23, 24). The law drives us, as high offenders, out of its realm, by putting us to death. Then we find life in Christ. And no one, in his experience, finds Christ, till spiritually he has died to the law. Christ is not to be found in the realm of the law (which is the old creation), but in that of grace (which is the new creation). So that all they that are of legal works are abiding under the curse of the very law they dream they are satisfying (Gal 3:10).