Rom 7: 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
The explanation of “the body of this death” by Greek NT expositor and scholar, Marvin Vincent, is absolutely brilliant.
The body serving as the seat of the death into which the soul is sunk through the power of sin. The body is the literal body, regarded as the principal instrument which sin uses to enslave and destroy the soul. In explaining this much-disputed phrase, it must be noted:
1. That Paul associates the dominion and energy of sin prominently with the body, though not as if sin were inherent in and inseparable from the body.
2. That he represents the service of sin through the body as associated with, identified with, tending to, resulting in, death. And therefore,
3. That he may properly speak of the literal body as a body of death – this death, which is the certain issue of the abject captivity to sin.
4. That Paul is not expressing a desire to escape from the body, and therefore for death. Meyer paraphrases correctly: “Who shall deliver me out of bondage under the law of sin into moral freedom, in which my body shall no longer serve as the seat of this shameful death?”
5. Ignatius, in his letter to the Smyrnaeans, speaks of one who denies Christ’s humanity, as “Nekroophoros” one who carries a corpse.
Nekroo is a corpse. Phero is to bear something.
Bible expositor John Gill says this about body of this death. “And is to him like that punishment Mezentius inflicted on criminals, by fastening a living body to a putrid carcass.”
The evil tyrant Mezentius forced a criminal to be tied face to face to a copse (nekroo) until such man died from the effects of bearing and contacting the putrefying body.
Paul compares the sinful nature of mankind without Christ to the body of this death.
In fact, every human being without Christ carts a face to face chained “body of this death” . The rotting body of sin incessantly whispers sinful pleasures and habits to this one until he goes to the grave.
Only Christ and His work on the cross can unchain a loved one from this horror.
Rob Bell erroneously says in his book “Love Wins”, that because God is love, ultimately no one will go to, or stay in hell.
My apologia to Pastor Bell is that heaven or hell is not just an issue of love winning.
Could or would God allow people who are bearing a putrid corpse of the sinful nature chained face to face to them into His heaven? Heaven indeed would be a funny place.
Everybody alive at the etching of these words has opportunity to be freed of this corpse through Christ. Why should God do it later in hell for them? Or do I want to risk my eternity on Mr. Bell’s presupposition?