my citations of the thoughts of Lloyd-Jonesand Käsemann concerning this view in part one above). Of course,the Jews themselves are not thinking this way any more than did Paul thinkthis way before he trusted Christ. His description in 7:14-25 isnot a psychological depiction of the agony the Jew feels while trying toobey the law; if it were, the entire Jewish nation would have been rushingto faith in Christ for relief from their struggle! Paul's descriptionis more pointedly the Christian awareness of the inability of humanityapart from God to do what is good, which, in the final analysis, wouldbe to come to Christ on our own and by our own efforts. The purposeof the law is to lead people to Christ for justification (cf.
1 Corinthians14:37 and Galatians 6:1, where Paul uses in such ways as to indicate that he considers himself to be spiritual andtherefore mature.)
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12)), aswell as missing the context of Paul's discussion of the functions and limitationsof the law in the preceding verses. Indeed, I am convinced that oneof the primary reasons why the traditional view became traditional is becauseRomans 7:14-25 has been so often read out of its context. The ironyis that while chapters 6 and 8 do describe Christian experience, whereas7:14-25 does not, it is 7:14-25 that has been handed down as the normativeChristian experience, and chapters 6 and 8 have been relegated to the levelof "positional" truth (i.e., something true in God's cosmic account bookbut definitely not true down here on earth). The tragedy is thatthe wonderfully liberating news of chapters 6 and 8 has been overshadowedby the bleak picture of helplessness that has come out of the misunderstandingof 7:14-25, and the church is definitely poorer for it.