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ROMANS 7 // THE GREAT DIVORCE

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LAST WEEK

We looked at the details that define a Christ Follower.
We looked at what happens to a person as a result of following Jesus
Though a person used to be enslaved to sin
Now there is a better option
Now there is a Jesus option
An option that enables us to leave our old ways and cling to the new ways.
No longer must we pay for our sins
For Jesus has paid the price for us
No longer must we stay in the chasm of Spiritual Debt
For we have been set free from such a burden
The wages of sin was death, but the gift that God has given us is Everlasting Life in the Son of God.

SO NOW WHAT?

Does this mean we don’t have to pay attention to the law?
Does this mean we can wild out and sin since the law has nothing on us anymore?
What is the role of the law in the life of the Christian?

TURN TO PSALM 1

Romans 7 NKJV
1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. 6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. 7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. 9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. 10 And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. 12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. 13 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
PRAY
THAT WE WOULD UNDERSTAND THE ROLE OF THE LAW
THAT WE WOULD SEE ITS NECESSITY IN OUR LIVES
BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, THAT SINCE WE ARE FOLLOWING JESUS, THE LAW WOULD BE KEPT SUBCONCIOUSLY.
Psalm 1 NKJV
1 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
PSALM 1
THE PSALMIST DEFINED A BLESS MAN IN A VERY UNIQUE WAY
He describes him as this
One that does not receive counsel from ungodly people
Nor one who walks in the ways of sinners
Instead
This blessed man delights in the law of the Lord
In this law, this man meditates on it, Day and Night
These behaviors lead to something beautiful
This man will be immoveable
Like a tree planted by a nourishing river of living water
ROMANS 7:1-
A tree that bears fruit in its season
Whose leaf shall not whither
And whatever he does, prospers
This is very different from the ungodly
Who are like chaff, debris, that gets tossed by the futile wind.
The godless will have no confidence to stand on the day of judgement
They have nothing to plead their case
They are very different than the trees planted by the rivers of living water.
We may not ever know, who these are
But we can rest in the fact that God does.
He knows the way of the righteous
He knows it leads to life
But the way of the ungodly
This way leads to death.
NOW THAT WE HAVE FOUND VALUE IN THE LAW OF THE LORD
LET’S LOOK AT THE TEXT
Romans 7 NKJV
1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. 6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. 7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. 9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. 10 And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. 12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. 13 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
PRAY
THAT WE WOULD UNDERSTAND THE ROLE OF THE LAW
THAT WE WOULD SEE ITS NECESSITY IN OUR LIVES
BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, THAT SINCE WE ARE FOLLOWING JESUS, THE LAW WOULD BE KEPT SUBCONCIOUSLY.
Romans 7:1–6 NKJV
1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. 6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

THE JOY OF THE CHRISTIAN IS NOT FOUND IN THE KEEPING THE LAW. THE JOY OF THE CHRISTIAN IS FOUND IN THE FACT THAT JESUS FULFILLED THE LAW AND RENDERED IT POWERLESS OVER THE CHRISTIAN.

THE JOY OF THE CHRISTIAN IS FOUND IN THE FACT THAT JESUS FULFILLED THE LAW AND RENDERED IT POWERLESS OVER THE CHRISTIAN.
AS WE COME TO REALIZE THIS TRUTH, WE CAN GO TWO DIRECTIONS:
Abuse this truth
Or, cause the truth to change YOU, and YOUR tendencies to break the law
CHURCH, PAUL IS DESCRIBING WHAT A CHRISTIAN’S RELATIONSHIP TO THE LAW SHOULD BE.
ALL OF HUMANITY HAS HAD A RUN IN WITH THE LAW IN ONE FORM OR ANOTHER.
HE SAYS:
HE SAYS:
“DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT THE LAW HAS DOMINION OVER EVERY MAN AS LONG AS HE LIVES?”
Do you not know that apart from Jesus, the law remains undefeated?
PAUL, THEN GOES ON TO DESCRIBE WHAT THIS MEANS
He says:
A woman is bound by the law of marriage to her husband
Until that husband dies, she is not free, she is stuck in that marriage, and so is the husband.
She can’t remarry, until she is set free from that law
She can’t go free and marry someone else until her current husband dies
If she were to do so, according to the law, she would be considered an adulteress.
HOWEVER
If her husband dies
She is now free from the law that once bound her to her husband
She is free from that law, and can now remarry
WHAT IS PAUL SAYING HERE?
Well, we can go many ways with this
But to me, it is very evident that Paul is relating this picture to Jesus and the Church
We were once married to the Flesh
Mastered by our own desires
Knowing what the law says, and continually disobeying it.
BUT THEN JESUS COMES ON THE SCENE AND GOES TO THE CROSS
CRUCIFYING HIS FLESH AND INVITING US TO CRUCIFY OUR OLD MASTER
WHEN OUR OLD MASTER IS CRUCIFIED THE BRIDE IS SET FREE
THE BRIDE IS NOW FREE TO REMARRY
FREE TO EXPERIENCE LIFE WITH ANOTHER BRIDE GROOM
THE MAN WHO MADE IT ALL POSSIBLE
JESUS, THE CHRIST.
Because of Jesus, We are now dead to the law that once held us bound.
We are dead to sin, and alive to Christ
FOR WHAT REASON?
To bear fruit unto God
To be a source of fruitfulness
Abundant in fruit
THIS IS VERY DIFFERENT FROM OUR PAST LIFE
Before God purchased us
Before God saved us
When we were in the flesh, our sinful passions, which were aroused by the law
Were at work in our members
To bear fruit unto death.
It is like our kids, sometimes we steer them in the direction they should go.
We tell them “The only reason why I don’t want you to do this, is because it can be very harmful to you and your sisters”
I can’t tell you how many times I tell my girls “If you listen and obey our instructions, it will prevent a lot of physical and emotional hurt”
Pero No, they want to find out for themselves.
They push the boundaries, and then they come crying back.
The sad part is, we adults are the same way with the Lord
Instead do this
They get curious
They want to know the why
And even when we provide the why
They still want to find out for themselves
The sad part is, we adults are the same way with the Lord
God calls us to freedom
Yet we enslave ourselves to our vices
God calls us out of the darkness and into the llight
But our flesh directs us back into the darkness.
God tells us that we are dead to the law
But we pride ourselves in keeping the law
We become legalistic
We gauge the quality of fruit with the works of the law
CHURCH, PAUL IS CALLING US TO SOMETHING DIFFERENT!
THE BELIEVER IN CHRIST HAS BEEN DELIVERED FROM THE LAW
THEY ARE DEAD TO WHAT ONCE ENSLAVED THEM
ALIVE TO WHAT HAS FREED THEM
THAT WE SHOULD SERVE IN THE NEWNESS OF THE SPIRIT AND NOT IN THE OLDNESS OF THE LETTER.
IT IS A SHIFT THAT WE MUST PARTICIPATE IN.
Romans 7:7–12 NKJV
7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. 9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. 10 And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. 12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
SO THE QUESTION REMAINS, IF WE ARE DEAD TO THE LAW, WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE LAW?
PAUL REMINDS US THAT WE NEED THE LAW
NOT AS A SAVING SOURCE
BUT AS A SOURCE TO POINT US TO THE SAVIOR
BUT AS A SOURCE TO POINT US TO THE SAVIOR
PAUL WOULD NOT HAVE KNOWN THAT COVETOUSNESS WAS A SIN, IF THE LAW WOULD NOT HAVE TOLD HIM
BUT BECAUSE WE ARE LIKE CHILDREN GONE ASTRAY
Our flesh, has taken what the law said, and made a desire out of it
Producing in us all kinds of covetousness
“WELL THEN WHY DID GOD CREATE THE LAW?”
Though that is a good question, the best response is this
“Not only did He create the law, He sent His Son to fulfill the law, that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting Life”
Because of what Jesus did on the cross, the law is not a source of condemnation, but a source that preaches to the necessity of Jesus
THIS IS WHY WE NEED THE LAW
TO TELL US THAT WE NEED A SAVIOR
BECAUSE IF THE LAW DIDN’T EXIST, WE WOULD NOT FEEL BAD ABOUT ANY OF OUR SIN
If there was no law, sin would be powerless
Apart from the law, sin is dead
PAUL KNOWS FROM EXPERIENCE
HE KNOWS WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO KEEP THE LAW AND STILL FEEL DEFEATED
HE SAYS:
“I thought the commandment was supposed to bring life, but I only found it to bring forth death”
However, when it is seen properly
When the law is viewed in light of the cross
It doesn’t give us life, it points to the source of life, Jesus
This is why the law is holy, and the commandments of God are holy and just and good.
WE MUST LEARN TO SEE THE LAW IN LIGHT OF THE CROSS.
Romans 7:13–25 NKJV
13 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
ROMANS 7:13-2
SO WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE DEAD TO THE LAW?
IF THE LAW IS GOOD AND JUST, WHY IS IT ALWAYS PAINTED IN A BAD LIGHT?
THE LAW IS GOOD IN THAT IT POINTS TO OUR DEFEAT.
IT POINTS OUT WHERE WE HAVE MESSED UP
IT LETS US KNOW WHO WE ARE AND WHO GOD IS.
IT LET’S US KNOW THAT WE ARE CARNAL, SOLD UNDER SIN, AND THE LAW IS SPIRITUAL.
THERE WERE THINGS THAT PAUL WANTED TO DO, SPIRITUAL THINGS
THINGS THAT HIS FLESH PREVENTED HIM FROM DOING
THERE WERE THINGS THAT HE HATED, AND THOSE THINGS HE DID.
This is what the law does, it reveals to us how sinful we are.
Its meant to be the foundation of our belief in Christ.
But sometimes, we let it wage war against our flesh
We don’t realize that in the spiritual battle, we must fight.
WE CAN BE LIKE THE PSALMIST
MEDITATING ON THE LAW DAY AND NIGHT
KNOWING WHAT IS RIGHT AND WRONG
WHEN THE TEMPTATION COMES
WE APPLY NOTHING THAT WE HAVE LEARNED
CHURCH, THE WORLD DOES NOT NEED A PASSIVE CHRISTIANITY THAT LEADS TO PUBLIC HYPOCRISY
IT NEEDS FAITH IN ACTION THAT POINTS TO HOW POWERFUL JESUS IS TO SAVE
WE MUST RECOGNIZE THE WAR THAT IS GOING ON WITHIN US
OUR MEMBERS ARE WARRING WITHIN US
DESIRING TO FULFILL THE LUSTS OF THE FLESH
IT IS UP TO US IF WE ARE GOING TO WALK IN THE SPIRIT, THAT WE MAY NOT FULFILL THE LUSTS OF THE FLESH.
CRY OUT TO JESUS
LET HIM KNOW,
LET HIM ANSWER THE QUESTION
“OH WRETCHED MAN THAT I AM, WHO WILL DELIVER ME FROM THIS BODY OF DEATH?”
HE WILL ANSWER
HE WILL SHOW UP
HE ALWAYS DOES
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