The Book of Romans - Part 7

04-10-16

Hello and Welcome to Our Church Without Walls:
I’m preaching this Sunday on THE BOOK OF ROMANS

Today’s Text is Chapter 7. This is Part 7.

Join with us now as I give you an exposition on Paul’s Epistle to the Romans

Last week, we saw that Chapter 6 views sin as a master to whom the sinner belongs as a slave. This bond is dissolved only by death of the slave. Chapter 7 answers the objection of sanctification by grace leading to the principle of legalism. The first six verses of chapter 7 gives an analogy of the marriage bond to show the believer's relation to the legal principle (or the law). Sanctification by grace delivers from the law by the death of the believer. The illustration of the law of marriage simply points out that death alone dissolves legal obligation.

So, as far as sanctification is concerned, who died? Was it the believer? Or did the law die? Or was it Christ who died? Although Christ indeed did die, He rose from the dead! So, was it the law or the believer? Since Christ rose from the dead, His death is not in view except as it affected the believer's death in union with Him, through baptism. Was it the law that died? In Matthew 5:17, Jesus says, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” Since Jesus came to fulfill the law and not to destroy it, the law did not die. Therefore, it was the believer who died (spiritually to sin) and so becomes released from the legal principle by incorporation into the Body of Christ (verse 4). But, being free from the law does not give us freedom to do what God's law forbids, but freedom from the spiritual liabilities and penalties of God's law. Because we died in Christ, the law with its condemnation and penalties no longer has jurisdiction over us.

In verse 7, we see yet another objection. It basically asks, if the law arouses sin (verse 5), is it not sinful (verse 7)? Paul dismisses this error with detestation and shows the good purpose of the law in revealing man's sin in verses 8 and 9. And verse 12 tells us that the law is blameless. It is sin that is to blame, and we see in verses 9 - 11 that just because the law cannot sanctify, it does not make it sinful! And according to verses 7 - 13, we find the law reveals sin and condemns the carnal nature. So the law brings an awareness of the nature of sin, which brings the sinner to see his need for salvation.

The apostle is trying to show the struggle of the true believer in verses 14 - 25. He shows that man is "sold under sin" and in our "flesh" (our body) there is no good thing. As a matter of fact, Paul presents a good case that the "flesh" does all it can to get the believer to disobey God's law, and it loves sin. Yet, the believer hates sin, and desires to obey God. That is because the believer now has a new standard of conduct to follow. The old standard was the "old man" and the new standard is the "new man", but this new standard cannot be obtained through the law. That is the inner struggle of the believer. In verses 14 - 24, Paul uses the pronouns "I", "me", and "my" some 35 times. It is the "I" trying to sanctify itself being the reason for the defeat of the believer. The problem then, lies at the "I", or the self, trying to live the Christian life (the new man), but defeated by "I" (the old man). The root problem is that of legalistic self-effort or false sanctification, which when realized, causes frustration and the defeat of the believer.

A believer perceives his own sinfulness in direct proportion to how clearly he sees the holiness of God and perfection of His law. Now, you have probably heard it said that, “It’s okay to talk to yourself; it’s just when you answer yourself is when you need help!” Yet, down in verse 24 here in chapter 7, we see Paul struggle with "the wretched man" that he feels he is and wonders who will deliver him from the "body of death". But he turns around and answers his own question in the first half of verse 25.

Victory alone is "through Jesus Christ our Lord." It is not through restraint of the old nature, nor through elimination, annihilation, or eradication. The answer is the deliverance which Christ has wrought, expounded in Romans 6. Many believers get defeated because they fail to realize their position in Christ. Once a believer fully understands what they have as being sanctified in Christ, they need to act upon it converting it by faith into practical reality. Then, and only then, will the believer walk in victory.

I’m Dr. Robby sharing His Word, His Work, His Way