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.
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Paul mentions two laws here. One of these he sees in his members, i.e., in the outer self, which is the flesh or the body. This law is hostile to us. It wars with his mind, leading him captive in a state of sin and preventing him from getting out of it and finding help. The other law is the law of the mind, which is either the law of Moses or the law of nature which is innate in the mind. This law is attacked by the violence of sin and by its own negligence, for in that it loves evil it subjects itself to sin and is held captive by the habit of sinning. For man is a creature of habit. For Paul, there are here four kinds of law. The first is spiritual. This is the law of nature, which was reworked by Moses and made authoritative; it is God’s law. Then there is the law of the mind, which agrees with God’s law. Third, there is the law of sin, which is said to dwell in man’s members because of the transgression of the first man. The fourth appears in our members and tempts us to sin, befor...
Paul sees another law in his members fighting against the law of his mind. He sees it is there, not remembers that it was there. He is pressed by what is present, not recalling what is past. And he not only sees this law warring against him but even taking him captive to the law of sin, which is (not was) in his members.
See what a fight we have with our dead sins, as that active soldier of Christ and faithful teacher of the church shows. For how is sin dead when it works many things in us while we struggle against it? What are these many things except foolish and harmful desires which plunge those who consent to them into death and destruction? And to bear them patiently and not give into them is a struggle, a conflict, a battle. And between what parties is this battle if not between good and evil, not of nature against nature but of nature against fault, which is already dead but still to be buried, that is, entirely healed? Against Julian.
Paul perceives imprisonment where righteousness has not been fulfilled; for when he is delighted with the law of God he is not a prisoner but a friend of the law and thus free, because he is a friend. .
Everyone is bound by carnal habit to the law of sin. Paul says that this law wars against his mind and captures him under the law of sin, by which it may be understood that the man being described here is not yet under grace. For if carnal habit were merely to wage war but not to triumph, there would be no condemnation. Condemnation lies in the fact that we freely submit to and serve depraved carnal lusts. But if such lusts exist and we do not give in to them, then we are not ensnared by them, and are under grace instead. Paul speaks of this grace when he calls upon the Deliverer and pleads for his help, that love might accomplish by grace what fear could not achieve through the law. –.
In this life it cannot happen to anyone that a law warring against the law of the mind should be entirely absent from his members, because that law would still be waging war even if man’s spirit were offering it such resistance as not to fall into line with it. .
One the law which arises from the assault of evil, and which often draws on the soul to lustful fancies, which, he says "wars against the law of the mind.".
And the third, which is in accordance with sin, settled in the flesh from lust, which he calls the "law of sin which dwells in our members; "
For he in a previous verse ascribed sin to the flesh, and made it out to be "the law of sin dwelling in his members "and "warring against the law of the mind.".
-that other law, no doubt, which he has described "in his members as warring against the law of his mind"