Brief recap of Sin and the Sinner.
We are not sinners because we sin. We sin because we are sinners.
We are all sinners: Romans 3:9- 18 & 23.
Gods solution for our sin problem was for Jesus to live a sinless life and to die, so that we can die in him, and just as he rose from the dead, we can live a life of victory as we reckon ourselves dead to sin.
Recap: Sin and the Sinner.
“Believers” are “Sinners walking in the light” Our sins are dealt with by the blood, but that’s not the only problem, we will sin again because we are sinners.
Illustration: (Watchman Nee)
If we destroy all the liquor in town we haven't solved the alcohol problem as there are breweries and they are going to manufacture more. You can’t just destroy the product, you have to deal with the manufacturers. In the same way when our sin is washed away we need to deal with ourselves as we are sinners, we are sin factories.
How does God deal with the sinner?
The sin is dealt with by the blood.
The sinner is dealt with by the cross.
We, like Paul, were dealt with by the cross.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
If you didn’t realize that you died when you believed, then why did you have a funeral.
Baptism is a burial service.
Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
Sin and our Advocate.
Provision is made for when we mess up and take our eyes off the Lord.
1 John 2:1
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
Sin and “The Law.”
We have looked at the fact that we have died to sin in Romans 6, but now in Romans 7 we see that we must also die to “The Law”
Romans 6 deals with freedom from sin.
Romans 7 deals with freedom from the law.
Sin and the Law.
In Romans 6 we saw the relationship between sin and the sinner, depicted as master to slave.
In Romans 7 we see the relationship between the law and the sinner, depicted as husband to wife.
If we do not know true freedom from the law, we can never know true freedom from sin, because it will be in our nature to try please God, and He does not want us to try to please Him, He wants only one thing, and that is the life of Christ in us.
The Law of Sin and Death.
A law is something that always applies, however some laws, like the laws of a Country can be changed, if procedures and requirements that are laid out in the constitution of the country are met.
But there are natural laws like the Law of Gravity that are unchangeable, and always apply. The law of Sin and Death is unchangeable, it applies to every human
When you take a coin out of your pocket and drop it, it will fall to the ground no matter which country you are in, this is the Law of Gravity, it applies all over.
The same with the law of Sin and Death, you will sin and you will die, no matter who you are or where you are, the law applies. The only way to overcome it is to introduce a law that can overcome it.
The law of Gravity kept man on the ground until in 1903.
The Wright brothers then discovered that the law of aerodynamics could allow man to break free from the law of gravity and fly. The law of gravity still exists, it is just that the law of aerodynamics can overcome it.
The downward pull of our sinful nature can be compared to the law of gravity.
The upward lift of God’s indwelling Spirit
IE:The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus can be compared to the law of aerodynamics which enables us to break free and overcome the law of gravity.
When I die to the law I can now be united with Christ.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.
And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Our victory does not lie in trying to please God in the flesh, that is the essence of the Law and it falls into the category of Religion and not New Life, it is Reformation and not Regeneration, it is me Trying instead of me Dying.
In the flesh we cannot please God.
So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
In my flesh dwelleth no good thing.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Looking at Romans 7, the central theme is the believer’s relationship to the Law of God.
In this chapter, and in the first four verses of chapter 8, the word “Law” (nomos) is used 24 times.
In addition, the word “commandment” (entole), which means an order or charge issued by a superior, is used six times in Romans 7.
The word “principle” is also found in chapter seven, and is translated from the same Greek word for “Law” (nomos). So in all, the word “Law” or “commandment” is used a total of thirty-two times in Romans 7:1-8:4.
In these verses, Paul is clearly defining the believer’s new relationship to the Law of God after their conversion to Jesus Christ.
The three divisions of “The Law.”
When you talk about the Law, you must break it down into three divisions: Moral, Ceremonial, and Civil, or else it will be very confusing.
The Moral Law The moral law, lays out how to live a godly life or how to pursue personal holiness. It is rooted and grounded in the Ten Commandments. These moral laws are still in effect today with one minor exception. Nine out of ten commandments are reinforced in the New Testament. The only one that is not concerns the Sabbath.
The Ceremonial Law Second, there is the ceremonial law, which is the sacrificial system made up of the high priest, priests, sacrifices, offerings, the day of atonement, a scapegoat, and the rest. The ceremonial law was fulfilled in the life and death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Everything in the Law, as it related to the ceremonial sacrifice, was to be a foreshadowing of the coming of Christ. The ceremonial law was fulfilled in the life and death of Jesus Christ. It is no longer in effect.
The Civil Law The third aspect of the Law, the civil law, concerns how God’s people were to function as a society under the theocracy of the nation of Israel in the Promised Land. That part of the Law is not binding upon believers outside of the Promised Land without a king of Israel ruling over us. However, there is much for us to learn from the civil law. Our whole western Judicial system is based upon the timeless principles in the civil law issued to Moses. For example, the death penalty should be still in effect.
Uses of “The Law.”
Coming out of the Reformation, John Calvin articulated three specific uses of the law.
The first use was to give the knowledge of sin. We may know that we are sinners because we have been measured by the Law and shown to fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:20. Through the law comes the knowledge of sin. That is why we should use the law in our evangelism. That is why Jesus used the Law in His evangelism with the rich young ruler, who asked what he must do to inherit eternal life.
The second use of the Law was to establish law and order in society. No society can survive without law and order. There must be a standard for right and wrong. This is found in the moral law of God. We must have some standard of what is right and what is wrong. It can be found in the second half of the Ten Commandments. It establishes the home, the work ethic, truthfulness and honesty, and more. This is why during the Reformation there was the reestablishment of the Protestant work ethic. People became productive, prolific workers as a result of the Reformation because they preached the Law.
The third use of the Law was to guide believers in Christian living. This is the divinely-marked path of sanctification. It reveals the heart of the moral will of God. It is not something to discard. If you discard the moral law, you just discarded the roadmap that leads to personal holiness. It is the lamp that reveals the narrow path, showing the essential benchmarks in how to live a life that honors God.
Two Dangerous Extremes.
In the church today, there are two extremes that Christians can fall into when thinking about the Law.
One extreme is legalism, which comes in many different shapes and forms.
There are three main ways to break down legalism.
Number one is that you have to keep the Law in order to be saved. Paul has repudiated that position so thoroughly that none of us should be in danger of thinking that we have to keep the Law in order to be made right before God.
Number two is to believe you have to keep the ceremonial or civil law in order to be sanctified. There are some Christian teachers who pull ideas from Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy and want to impose them upon the daily lives of believers. We must understand that that part of the Law has been abolished. An example of that in our own country is the ZCC.
But there are numerous others
Number three is where people add more commandments to the Law. They come up with their own traditions and preferences, but they do not have a biblical chapter or verse for their standards. They claim that someone must wear certain clothing, not dance, not wear certain jewelry, but they have no explicit biblical text to substantiate their claims. That is all legalism. There is no biblical premise for their man-made rules. It is fine if you want to personally live that way. But if they impose it on someone else, saying they are not a good Christian if they do those things, they are legalistic. If there is no biblical support, it is adding to the Law
The other extreme, which is the complete opposite to legalism, is antinomianism. The Greek prefix “anti” means ‘against’ or ‘in opposition to.’ “Nomian” comes from the Greek word nomas, which means ‘law.’ So antinomianism means a person is against the Law. He is on the other side of the theological spectrum from the legalist. He is against the moral law. Antinomians believe they have a free license to live however they want to live. If you ever say the word “obedience,” people in these churches rise up against you, calling you a legalist. They believe they are free in Christ to live however they want to live. That is absolute nonsense and totally unscriptural.
The Balanced view.
We want to be right in the middle of these two extremes. We should honor the moral law of God, which includes commandments such as: “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. You shall not make for yourself a graven image or an idol. You shall honor your father and mother. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness. You shall not covet.” We are to honor the moral law with our obedience from the heart. However, we must realize that we cannot keep it in the flesh or by our own self-efforts. We can only obey the Law through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Romans 7 and “Sin and the Law.”
Do you not know, brothers and sisters, for I am speaking to those who know the law, that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives?
For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him.
So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress.
But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.
Romans 7:1-6. (continued)
So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.
For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death.
But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
In the depiction of our deliverance from the law in Romans 7:1-4, there is one woman, while there are two husbands. In Romans 7, we see a woman married to a man (The Law), he is very demanding, and rightly so, he is righteous and there is no room for compromise and no matter how hard she tries, she cannot satisfy his demands and he offers her no help to meet them.
The woman is in a very difficult position as she can only be wife of one of the two, and unfortunately, she is married to the less desirable one.
There is nothing wrong with the man, the problem is that the woman is unable to attain to the standards that he sets, his demands are perfectly legitimate, the problem is that he has a wife who can’t carry them out.
The only hope that the woman has is that her husband dies, so that she can be freed from the marriage.
However this husband is not about to die, in fact Jesus said this about the Law.
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one
tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished.
So now I have a problem, how can I marry this other husband if my first husband refuses to die?
There is a solution to my problem, if my husband won’t die, I can die and the marriage will be dissolved.
Hal Lindsey & Romans 7.
(Liberation of the Planet Earth, p.179).
The Apostle Paul tells about a person who was married to a demanding perfectionist.
He laid the law down to her day after day. He made insistent demands on her behavior. There was no escaping his cruel guilt trips. No matter how hard she tried nothing she ever did was good enough to please him. It was impossible to live up to his standards of behavior and conduct. No matter how hard she tried, she was a failure.
Because of his persistent attitudes her feelings altered between fear of his exacting demands and judgment to a sense of complete failure, guilt, resentment and hostility. Her situation was hopeless. He was perfect and she was just the opposite. Living with him was impossible.
How long could she go on in this situation? Secretly she wished he were dead. Nevertheless, he was in perfect health and strict moralist. He wasn't going to go away. He wasn't going to die and, of course, divorce was out of the picture.
Then would you know it, she met another man. This man was everything she ever wanted. Yes, he was perfect, but his perfection was balanced with love. There was grace about him. She found it impossible to resist his powerful unselfish love for her. Moreover, she wanted an intimate love relationship with him! In time, he asked her to be his. Oh, yes, he was aware of her present state. She belonged to another man. She was married. Moreover, the law was very clear about adultery. "The law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives."
When a person dies that is the end of the authority of the law. However, after he dies she is free to marry anyone she pleases. Remember, this old man was not going to die, and he would never consent to divorce so there was only one alternative. She would have to die! Then the law could have no effect on her. She could marry whomever she pleased and be innocent.
I know. You are asking the question, "But if she were dead, how could she possibly marry her suitor?“
There is only one way. She would have to die and rise from the dead! Illustration by Hal Lindsey adapted from
The purpose of “The Law.”
What is the purpose of the law? It is to hold the person guilty who breaks it. It condemns the lawbreaker. The law never says, "Hey, you are doing a great job. Keep it up!" It does not come along side and give you the power to obey it. All it can do is point its finger and say, "You are guilty!“
I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law.
Galatians 3:18& 24-25.
Why, then, was the law given at all?. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
Butterfly story: One day, a small opening appeared on a chrysallis (butterflies make a chrysallis and moths make a cocoon); a person sat and watched for the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then, it stopped and did not appear to be making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could not go any further. So the person decided to help the butterfly: With a pair of scissors, the person opened the chrysallis. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a withered body, it was tiny and had shrivelled wings.
The person continued to watch, expecting that, at any moment, the wings would open, enlarge and expand, to be able to support the butterfly's body, and become firm. It never happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a withered body and shrivelled wings. It never was able to fly.
What the person, in sincere kindness and goodwill, did not understand was that the restricting chrysallis and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening, were the One's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings, so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the chrysallis. Sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need in our life.
Story: Watchman Nee saw someone drowning while he and his friends were in the river swimming. One of the men in the river was a strong swimmer, so they told him to go to this man’s rescue, but he waited until the man was totally exhausted and was about to sink for the last time under the surface of the water and then he went and speedily recued him. Watchman Nee then scolded the strong swimmer and asked him if he enjoyed watching someone suffer, to which the man gave this reply.
If I had gone sooner while this man was fighting in his own strength, he would he clung to me and pulled us both under the water, I had to wait until he had exhausted his own efforts so that I could help him.
God has to wait for us to get to the end of our own striving to be righteous before He can help us.
Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful. We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.
The purpose of the Law is to bring you to Christ, to the point of death where Jesus says if you die, you can marry me and we will do this thing together.
So just like death was needed in Romans 6, once again in Romans 7 the solution to my problematic marriage to the law, and my inability to keep this husband happy, is for me to die and the marriage to be dissolved so that I can be married to another, that is to Jesus Christ.
He actually sets an even higher standard than the first husband, however he doesn’t only demand much he helps much.
The Law asks much, but offers no help in the carrying out of it’s requirements.
Jesus requires even more Matthew 5:21-48.
But what he requires from us, he himself carries out in us.
The Law makes demands and leaves us helpless to fulfil them. Christ makes demands, but he himself fulfils in us the very demands he makes.
Jesus and “The Law.”
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
You shall not murder.
You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.
Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, Raca,
is answerable to the court.
And anyone who says, You fool! will be in danger of the fire of hell.
You shall not commit adultery .
You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery.
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Do not break your oath.
Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.
But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.
And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black.
All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.
You have heard that it was said, Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.
If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?
And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Sinful man is the problem, not “The Law.”
The problem is not the law, the law is righteous, in fact the commands that Jesus gave are more demanding.
So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good…. We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.
God’s solution is, if the Law can’t die, then I must die and be released from these demands that I cannot meet.
But how could I marry if I died?
I didn’t just die, I rose to newness of life.
Now I can be married to another. One who is Righteous and Holy, but who doesn’t just tell me what to do, but helps me and enables me to do it.
At conversion God places his Law in our hearts and minds.
For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”
Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”
How does God do this?
He does it by His indwelling Spirit.
Now as a “Born Again Believer” I am married to another husband.
This is the ideal Husband, one who laid down His life for me and instead of placing some huge burden on me that I cannot bear, says.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
The burden of “The Law.”
After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe.
God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us.
He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.
Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear?
No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.
But consider this, Peter and the Apostles met a far higher standard than the “Law of Moses”. They loved their enemies, they turned the other cheek, no eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth as the “Law” required , but a laying down of one’s life in service.
How did this come about? They died and entered into the resurrected life of Christ.
Have you seen yourself not only crucified with Jesus, but alive and sharing in His resurrection life?
Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life.
Deliverance from the Law.
The law means: “I do something for God”
Grace means: “God does something for me”
If the Law means: “God requires something from me”
Deliverance from the Law means:
“God no longer requires anything from me, but Himself provides it.”
We must die to self and good works and allow the Lord of the Sabbath to live through us.
We enter into His rest and cease from our own works.
We don’t need more patience, we don’t need more love, etc, we need Christ.
We must stop trying to add to a life that must die and come to an end, and accept the life of Christ.
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
The Sinner and the Law.
When I die to the Law and allow Christ to live through me, then the Law-Giver on the Throne becomes the Law-Keeper in my heart.
Freedom from sin was procured on the cross.
Freedom from the law is produced by the Spirit.
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