‘Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.’ Romans 7:21b
Many commentaries have been written about this passage, and yet the message that comes to us is not so hard to understand. When the Bible mentions those who are dead, this can mean 'spiritually dead' or 'physically dead' or both. This becomes clear in what Jesus said. ‘Let the (spiritually) dead bury their own (physically) dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God’ (Luke 9:60).
Due to the fall of man, humankind has been cut off from spiritual life, the relationship with God. But the gospel is preached to spiritually dead people so that they will be revived, spiritually reborn, and will have part in the resurrection when Jesus will come back to earth (Revelation 20:6).
Through this, we become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and this brings about such a radical change in our lives that people with whom we used to associate do not understand us any longer. They think it strange that we can no longer participate in so many things that we used to take for granted. Many former friendships will change, will end in alienation, even turn to hatred…
The rest of our earthly lives will be dedicated to Him: a time full of temptations, from within and from our surroundings. But that struggle, that suffering, will purify and mold us to enable us to do the works that God has prepared for us since the foundation of the world.
That life is a continuous encounter with the risen Lord Who has led the way in that suffering and that struggle, and Who will keep leading the way, till the moment appears when He returns on earth or when He calls us home.