“Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” Romans 7:20 KJV
“For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 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.” Romans 7:22-23 KJV
The Apostle Paul is walking us through how sin (Satan) gets a foothold in the believer. He tells us, even though his inner man delights in God, there is something, or should I say someone, operating his members. Some explain this away by teaching we have two natures, meaning we are born with a sinful nature and those that have been born again have been given a second one. For me this doesn’t make any sense. There has to be some other way of seeing this.
First we have to understand how man was created. Paul asked, “know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you…” With this in mind I started thinking about the Tabernacle or Temple. I pondered how it was built, and the way in which it functioned, and something dawned on me. As you know the Temple was defined by three separate courts, or areas.The Most Holy Place, the Holy Place and the outer court. The inner, Most Holy Place, of course is where the High Priest once a year went in to meet with God. He would take animal blood in and sprinkle it on the the Mercy Seat, God’s presence would come so God and man (The High Priest) could commune together and deal with the sins of the people. This part of the Temple represents the spirit of man, and it’s easy to see the comparison. God, by way of his Spirit, enters into a union with our inner man, or spirit, but we still have the other two courts to talk about.
Just outside of the “Most Holy Place” is what is known as ” the Holy Place” which is comparable to man’s soul. Now, as I said, the High Priest only went into the “Most Holy Place” once a year so the rest of the time he spent in the “Holy Place.” While God’s Spirit is joined to our spirit in a fixed, everlasting union, our “Holy Place” ,or soul realm, is filled with plenty activity and fluctuation from good to bad and up and down. The good news of course is since Christ came the veil was torn so we are not limited to once a year. Since Christ’s work on the cross we are instructed to live in the Spirit or Most Holy Place.
When the Bible tells us our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit this includes all three aspects. In our spirit we are joined to the Holy Spirit in union with God and safe from the enemy. However, even though our inner man is off limits to him, this doesn’t mean he can’t harass us in our the outer courts/body or our Holy Place/soul. Now we finally come to my point.
The Apostle Paul is teaching us in Romans seven that in his inner man/Most Holy Place he’s on board with, any and everything God is doing, but in his members/outer courts he has something else going on. You see the enemy gains access in our body/soul level and manipulates us into things we don’t even really want to do. Our problem is in those moments we are listening to the deceptive voice of the enemy. After all he can come as an angel of light you know. So the way sin/Satan operates is by gaining access into our minds/soul realm telling us things he wants and we are deceived into thinking his wants are our wants. When the reality is we, in our inner man, want only what God wants.
In conclusion let me just say our body/soul level isn’t sinful, in and of itself, but this is where the enemy gains access. To go with the Temple analogy it’s like the enemy is in the outer court yelling to us and even though we live in the Most Holy Place we are tricked into joining him in his lusts. Sin/Satan speaks to us in the first person and convinces us his ideas are our ideas so we will go with them. When all along we, I mean the real we, are joined spirit to Spirit with God and want only what he wants. The Bible tell us “He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” If that’s true, and it is, then our problem is the same as it has always been which is listening to the wrong person and not discerning between the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error. “Greater is he (Spirit of Truth) that is in you, than he (spirit of error) that is in the world.”