Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Romans 7 The Law and the Gospel

Romans 7:1-6 – Released from the Law

Paul is speaking to those who know the law.  He tells them that the law has authority of man only as long as he lives.  He uses the example of a married woman being bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if he dies she is released from the law of marriage and can remarry.  But if she remarries while her husband is still alive, she is an adulteress. (Rom. 7:1-3)

Paul says we also died to the law through the body of Christ so we might belong to another, the one who was raised from the dead in order that we might bear fruit to God.
We were controlled by the sinful nature and sinful passions aroused by the law which was at work in our bodies so we bore fruit for death.  But now by dying to what bound us, we have been released from the law so we can serve in the new way of the Spirit.  (Rom. 7:4-6)

Believers have died to sin and the law.  We have been freed from sin and are released from the law.  We now walk in the newness of life and serve in newness of the Spirit.  This victory is tied to our union with Christ in His death and resurrection.  We are release from the law and the power of sin like the woman is released when her husband dies.  We are now joined to the crucified risen Lord.  We are remarried to Christ so we might bear fruit for God.

What area in your life do you need to be widowed from and married to Jesus?

The Jews thought the law was given to make us holy, but Paul says the law served to arouse us to sin.  The law is holy and good.  We are the problem.  Just because we have died to the law doesn’t mean we can live the way we want and do whatever we please.  We died to the law so that we are legally free to be joined to Christ and His authority and as our husband.

The law is not the answer to our sin problem, because all of us have violated the law many times and will continue to do so.  You can post the commandments on your refrigerator and try to keep them by your own strength, but it won’t work.  The law just arouses our sinful passions and will not quench our sinful desires.  Because of the power of Jesus, we are free from the condemnation of the law and the power of sin is broken.

Are you a Christian?  You cannot be partly Christian.  You are either dead or alive, born or not born.  It is not a gradual process.  You are or you are not a Christian.  If you are not a Christian, you are under condemnation of the law.  Put your trust in Christ and then you will be released from the law and joined with Christ.  Then you can bear fruit for God.

Principle:  We are released from sin through Christ to bear fruit for God.

Romans 7:7-13 – The Purpose of the Law

Paul says the law is not sin and that he would have not known what sin was except through the law.  Apart from the law sin is dead.  He uses the example of “do not covet”.  Once he was alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and he died.  The commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.  Sin deceived him and through the commandment put him to death.  The law is holy and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.  In order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in him through what was good so sin might become utterly sinful.  (Rom. 7:7-13)

Paul said the law isn’t sinful and he chose the commandment of “do not covet” as an example.  To want others possessions is a sin.  He didn’t know this until the law was shown to him.  The law is good, but it’s our human nature that seems to want things just because God forbids them.  The law is holy and righteous because God gave it and God is holy and perfect.  God intended the law to help people.  He says the law is good.  It is sin that causes death.

Romans 7:14-25 – The Law and Our Struggles

Paul says he knows the law is spiritual, but he is unspiritual and sold as a slave to sin.  He doesn’t understand what he does.  For what he wants to do he doesn’t do and what he hates he does do.  It is the sin living in him and nothing good lives in him in his sinful nature.  He has the desire to do good, but doesn’t carry it out.  (Rom. 7:14-25)

Paul is speaking of the past in 7-13, before his conversion.  Verses 14-25 is after his conversion.  There is a lot of controversy of whether Paul is speaking of himself or not in these verses.  Some think it was before he was saved.  Some think it was when he was a new believer and some when he was a mature believer. 

Either way I think we can all identify with him.  The Christian life is not easy.  Paul struggled with his own sin conflict with sin.  We all have struggles against sin and we are not perfect.  We will continue in conflict with sin as long as we live in this world.  We have to depend on the Holy Spirit to guide when tempted.  We like Paul should give thanks to God for Jesus who rescued us.

How has Jesus rescued you?
Where do you struggle in your Christian life?

I have been a Christian most of my life and have studied the Bible over the years.  You would think because of this I would feel better about myself, but I’m like Paul and I don’t.  I think it’s because the more I study and experience Him the more He reveals my sins to me.  I want to do what I should, but my sin nature sometimes keeps me from it.  I will never arrive to perfection in this life.  I am constantly learning and growing in my faith.

This is a very difficult passage to understand, but that is not Paul’s main concern.  His concern is not to share his personal experience, but to tell us that God’s law is not evil.  He is trying to show that the law bring conviction of sin and that we are powerless and need Christ’s power to save us.

Principle:  The Christian life is a struggle, but Jesus rescues us.

Next time we will study Romans 8.  Have a blessed day and thanks for visiting my site.  Hope to see you here again.  --  I encourage you to trust in Jesus.

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