Romans - The Letter, Chapter 7

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Recap:

Romans 1:1-17 – The Good News is Jesus. He is the only emperor worth living for.

Romans 1:18-3:27 – God didn’t give up on mankind but He did give over to their sinful desires, their shameful lusts and to a depraved mind.

Romans 4 – We are brought into a “justified” and “righteous” relationship with God through Christ by faith…only. There is no other path.

Romans 5 – Sin brings about the wrath of God. However, we have peace with God through Jesus Christ.

Romans 6 – With our baptism we are united with Jesus in His crucifixion. As such we are dead to sin. With our baptism we are united with Jesus in His resurrection. As such we are united in His life and power.

Lessons from Romans 7- 8:1-25

  1. Death frees us from the obligations of the Law.
  2. The Law plays (played) the role God designs (designed) for it to play but Satan uses (used) it against us.
  3. Our old sin nature is dead but our “flesh” still pulls us in the sin direction.
  4. With salvation we have received the Spirit of Sonship/daughtership. This Spirit (the Holy Spirit) empowers us to live by the Spirit not by the flesh.

Dead to the Law

Romans 7:1-3 (Amplified Version)

Or do you not know, brothers and sisters (for I am speaking to those who know the Law), that the Law has jurisdiction [to rule] over a person as long as he lives? 2 For the married woman [as an example] is bound and remains bound by law to her husband while he lives; but if her husband dies, she is released and exempt from the law concerning her husband. 3 Accordingly, she will be designated as an adulteress if she unites herself to another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from the law [regarding marriage], so that she is not an adulteress if she marries another man.

4 Therefore, my fellow believers, you too died to the Law through the [crucified] body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 When we were living in the flesh [trapped by sin], the sinful passions, which were awakened by [that which] the Law [identifies as sin], were at work in our body to bear fruit for death [since the willingness to sin led to death and separation from God]. 6 But now we have been released from the Law and its penalty, having died [through Christ] to that by which we were held captive, so that we serve [God] in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter [of the Law].

7 What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, if it had not been for the Law, I would not have recognized sin. For I would not have known [for example] about coveting [what belongs to another, and would have had no sense of guilt] if the Law had not [repeatedly] said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, finding an opportunity through the commandment [to express itself] produced in me every kind of coveting and selfish desire. For without the Law sin is dead [the recognition of sin is inactive]. 9 I was once alive without [knowledge of] the Law; but when the commandment came [and I understood its meaning], sin became alive and I died [since the Law sentenced me to death]. 10 And the very commandment which was intended to bring life, actually proved to bring death for me.11 For sin, seizing its opportunity through the commandment, beguiled and completely deceived me, andusing it as a weapon killed me [separating me from God]. 12 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

13 Did that which is good [the Law], then become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, in order that it might be revealed as sin, was producing death in me by [using] this good thing [as a weapon], so that through the commandment sin would become exceedingly sinful.

The Law’s Intent – Satan’s Use of the Law

  1. God’s intent for the law is to point out sin so we can identify it, stay away from it, and be delivered from it.
  2. Satan uses the same law to lure us to sin.
  3. Satan uses the law against us as an impossible measuring stick.

The Pull of Sin

Romans 7:14-25 (Amplified Version)

14 We know that the Law is spiritual, but I am a creature of the flesh [worldly, self-reliant—carnal and unspiritual], sold into slavery to sin [and serving under its control]. 15 For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled and bewildered by them]. I do not practice what I want to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate [and yielding to my human nature, my worldliness—my sinful capacity]. 16 Now if I habitually do what I do not want to do, [that means] I agree with the Law, confessing that it is good (morally excellent). 17 So now [if that is the case, then] it is no longer I who do it [the disobedient thing which I despise], but the sin [nature] which lives in me. 18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh [my human nature, my worldliness—my sinful capacity]. For the willingness [to do good] is present in me, but the doing of good is not. 19 For the good that I want to do, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want to do, I am no longer the one doing it [that is, it is not me that acts], but the sin [nature] which lives in me.

21 So I find it to be the law [of my inner self], that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22 For I joyfully delight in the law of God in my inner self [with my new nature], 23 but I see a different law and rule of action in the members of my body [in its appetites and desires], waging war against the law of my mind and subduing me and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is within my members. 24 Wretched and miserable man that I am! Who will [rescue me and] set me free from this body of death [this corrupt, mortal existence]? 25 Thanks be to God [for my deliverance] through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind serve the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh [my human nature, my worldliness, my sinful capacity—I serve] the law of sin.

The Power of the Spirit

Romans 8 1-11 (Amplified Version)

Therefore there is now no condemnation [no guilty verdict, no punishment] for those who are in Christ Jesus [who believe in Him as personal Lord and Savior]. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do [that is, overcome sin and remove its penalty, its power] being weakened by the flesh [man’s nature without the Holy Spirit], God did: He sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful man as an offering for sin. And He condemned sin in the flesh [subdued it and overcame it in the person of His own Son], 4 so that the [righteous and just] requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us who do not live our lives in the ways of the flesh [guided by worldliness and our sinful nature], but [live our lives] in the ways of the Spirit [guided by His power]. 5 For those who are living according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh [which gratify the body], but those who are living according to the Spirit, [set their minds on] the things of the Spirit [His will and purpose]. 6 Now the mind of the flesh is death [both now and forever—because it pursues sin]; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace [the spiritual well-being that comes from walking with God—both now and forever]; 7 the mind of the flesh [with its sinful pursuits] is actively hostile to God. It does not submit itself to God’s law, since it cannot, 8 and those who are in the flesh [living a life that caters to sinful appetites and impulses] cannot please God.

9 However, you are not [living] in the flesh [controlled by the sinful nature] but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God lives in you [directing and guiding you]. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him [and is not a child of God]. 10 If Christ lives in you, though your [natural] body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive because of righteousness [which He provides].11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.

“We aren’t just “SINNERS saved by grace” as if we are still limping along in life – we are “sinners SAVED by GRACE and we LIVE in POWER by the HOLY SPIRIT!

The Power of the Spirit

Romans 8:12-16 (Amplified Version)

12 So then, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation, but not to our flesh [our human nature, our worldliness, our sinful capacity], to live according to the [impulses of the] flesh [our nature without the Holy Spirit]— 13 for if you are living according to the [impulses of the] flesh, you are going to die. But if [you are living] by the [power of the Holy] Spirit you are habitually putting to death the sinful deeds of the body, (i.e. with each victory sin’s influence dies a bit more) you will [really] live forever. 14 For all who are allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to fear [of God’s judgment], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons [the Spirit producing sonship] by which we [joyfully] cry, “Abba! Father!”16 The Spirit Himself testifies and confirms together with our spirit [assuring us] that we [believers] are children of God. 17 And if [we are His] children, [then we are His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His spiritual blessing and inheritance], if indeed we share in His suffering so that we may also share in His glory.

Conclusions:

  • God is not mad at you. His wrath has been satisfied – so stop living afraid of God because this fear will impact your intimacy/closeness with Him and your trust in Him.
  • With salvation you have literally been freed from your sin nature – you have died to it and now live in Christ. Stop feeling weak and helpless.
  • The pull of sin that you feel is the same for the rest of us – you have a choice to be sucked in and deceived or yield to the power of the Holy Spirit inside of you and walk/live in a different way.