Those who teach living above sin must interpret this passage by Paul to speaking of Paul as a lost religious man. Those who deny eternal security of the believer must interpret this passage to be speaking of Paul as alost religous man. However, this passage speaks directly of the saved man's struggle with sin for many contextual reasons. 1. The description of the lost man and sin is found in Romans 1:18-3:23 2. This descrption is part of the answer of the question in Romans 6:1 concerning a saved man and sin: Roman 6:1 ¶ What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? The answer of this question falls under the same repeated question: a. "Know ye not" - Rom. 6:2-15 b. "Know ye not" - Rom. 6:16-23 c. "Know ye not" - Rom. 7:1-8:13 The question in Romans 6:1 concludes with the following answer: Rom. 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 3. There is a change from the past tense in Romans 7:5-13 to the present tense Romans 7:14-25 4. The man in Romans 7:14-25 "hates" sin and "delights" in the law of God in direct contradiction to the lost man described by Christ in John 3:19-20 and the carnal mind in Romans 8:7. Rom. 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. Rom. 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 5. The lost man has no "inward man" that "delights in the law of God" but rather the opposite - "is at ENMITY with God and is NOT SUBJECT TO THE LAW OF GOD AND NEITHER INDEED CAN BE" - Rom. 8:7 6. The man in this context is WILLING to do right but does not have POWER to right: Rom. 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 7. The man in this context denies that he is responsible for the origin of evil but rather it originate from indwelling sin in one aspect of his person: Rom. 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 25 So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. 8. This man idenitifes one aspect of his being which has not yet been REDEEMED from sin and from whence SIN not only originates within him ["my members" "this body of death"] but operates as a "law" "the flesh" 14 ¶ For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. When Paul says "I am carnal sold under sin" he makes it clear he is talking about one aspect of his nature called "the flesh" while emphatically denying that what is sold under sin refers to "I" and his "inward man". The conclusion to Paul's question in Romans 6:1 is that the child of God does not "continue in sin" for the following reasons: 1. What we have received (justification/regeneration) symbolized in Baptism. Baptism symbolically declares us to have died to sin by identifying us with his death and burial and have risen with Christ in regenerative life "that we might no longer serve sin" - Rom. 6:2-6 - Hence, we are judicially "free" (justified) from sin by Christ's death (v. 7) that we might live with Christ in serving God (v. 8) no more legally under the dominion of sin (v. 9). Having the resurrected life of Christ we should reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive to God under his servants under grace rather than under law (vv. 10-15). Responsibility to implement what we have received by grace. 2. Justified persons are no longer the servants of sin but servants of Righteousness by regenerative life - Rom. 6:16-23 3. Justified persons are no longer under the law but that does not they are free to sin - Romans 7:1-5 - nor does that mean the law is sin - Romans 7:6-13 - nor does that mean we live without or live above sin - Romans 7:14-25 4. Justified persons do not continue in sin under condemnation because of the Indwelling Spirit of God - Rom. 8:1-9. By the power of the indwelling Spirit of God the power of indwelling sin can be put to death and therefore we are not debtors to sin to continue in sin - Rom. 8:10-13. CONCLUSION: 1. The body of the saved man has not been regenerated and is still unredeemed - the flesh - members - and is subject to physical death - corruption due to sin - thus "sold under sin" and must die or be transformed. 2. Sin dwells in "the flesh" of regenerated persons and operates as a "law" that is in active opposition to the inward regenerative nature of man. 3. The regenerated man "delights" in the law of God, has the presence of "will" for Good but lacks POWER to conquer indwelling sin and always loses in a power struggle. 4. The answer to indwelling sin and its power is not the "will" of man but the power of the indwelling Spirit of God. 5. Regenerated persons do not "continue in sin" although they do sin, and always will lose to sin if they operate by the power of their own will, but they do not "continue in sin" because the Holy Spirit within them provides not merely power to express the regenerative life of Christ but God works in them both to will and to do of His good pleasure according to His good purpose (Rom. 8:26-28).