ROMANS CHAPTER 7
(Much of the following can be found in Vernon McGhee’s “Thru The Bible”.)
Please look up and read the additional verses provided. Nothing can replace your study of the Word, not even my Bible Study lessons!
THEME: Shackles of a saved soul: struggle of a saved soul.
The law cannot produce sanctification in the life of the believer; it merely shackles it. Neither can the believer produce sanctification in his life by depending on the desire of the new nature. Just to say you want to live for Christ won’t get you anywhere. You need to present yourself to Him, recognizing that you are joined to the living Christ.
Dr. Alexander Whyte (A Scottish priest like person who published books trying to teach God’s word) once said that whenever a new book on Romans comes out and is sent to him by its publishers for consideration, he at once turns to the comments on chapter 7, and according to the view taken of that important section, he decides the value of the entire work.
In this “struggle of a saved soul”, a believer reaches out and grabs a straw. Sometimes the straw is the Mosaic Law. And she finds that she has gotten hold of, not of a straw, nor even a life-preserver, but actually a sack of cement, and it is pulling her under. She can’t live that way. As a result, multitudes of the saints accept defeat as normal Christian living. There are many saints that are satisfied to continue on the low level of a sad, shoddy, sloppy life. God does not want us to come to that state.
The “powerless sanctification’ of this chapter shows us the way we are not to life. We cannot live the Christian life; we need to learn that we cannot do it ourselves. In fact, we need an undo-it-yourself kit! That is, we need to turn our lives over to the Spirit of God, yield to Him and let Him do for us what we cannot do ourselves.
The Mosaic Law is where many Christians go to try to find Christian living. The Mosaic Law has no claim on the believer. Actually, the Law condemned man to die. You don’t contact the judge who sentenced you to die and ask him how you are going to live!
Romans 7:1: 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?
Here is Paul saying KNOW again.
Acts 15:10 We cannot bear it!
Now Paul is going to give an illustration. Please stick with the illustration and not get hung up on rules of marriage.
Verse 2-3: 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. 3 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.
If the husband is dead, she is no longer married to him.
Paul is not giving us instructions on divorce and remarriage here, he does that elsewhere.
The point is here that when a woman’s husband dies, she is no longer married to him. She is single.
Verse 4: 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
The Law was killed to you by means of the body of Christ.
The wife represents the believer in Christ.
The second husband represents Christ.
The first husband represents Adam and our position in him.
In chapter 5 we are shown two headships – first Adam and Last Adam, the first man and the second man, Adam and Christ.
The Law was given to control the old Adamic nature. But it failed through the infirmity of the flesh. It never lifted him up, it became a millstone around his neck.
There is no hope for us or anyone in the Law.
Paul says that Christ died in His body, we are identified with Christ in His death, and now we are dead to the Law and the Law is dead to us.
The first husband is Adam and we are no longer joined to him. Now we are joined to the living Christ.
Christ is the second husband, who enables us to bear fruit.
2 Corinthians 5:17, This is the main thing of this chapter, we are not married to the law, we are married to Christ. We are under grace! Believe it!
Crazy illustration: Before the civil war times there was a very handsome man married to a beautiful woman and lived happily in a lovely home. Then he became sick and died. It was a great heartbreak for her. She loved him. And she did a strange and morbid thing. She had his body embalmed, placed in a sitting position in a chair in and air-tight glass case and situated it in the great hallway of her lovely home. The minute you opened the door, you were looking at him. Well, here friends realized that this would not do! They urged her to go abroad and travel for awhile. So she went did for almost two years. During that time she met another man, fell in love and married him. On their honeymoon they came to her plantation. The new husband picked her up and carried her over the threshold. When he put her down he was staring into the face of her old husband. Well, she had forgotten about him. She told him that he was her first husband. She now knew that it time to bury the old husband, he was dead, and she belonged to someone else. She buried him!
Some believers who are now married to Christ have not buried the old husband, the Law. They are trying to live by the Law in the strength of the old Adamic nature.
This is as ridiculous as the woman who did not bury her old husband.
How do you think the new husband would feel if you are living as if you are married to the old husband?
Verse 5-6: 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. 6 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.
Face this squarely! Are you in your own strength able to keep the Law?
The flesh breaks out of the restraints imposed by the law and brings down the irrevocable penalty for breaking the Law, which is death.
But now we are delivered from the Law (the word here released means discharged or annulled)
Note in verse 6 that we have been released from the Law so that we now serve the new way … we serve. In verse 4 it said we died that we can bear fruit.
Today we are to serve Him, not on the basis or the motive “I ought to do it,” but now “I delight to do it because I want to please Christ.”.
The believer is set free, but now in love she gives herself to the Savior as she never could do under the Law.
“I do not work my soul to save; That work my Lord hath done. But I will work like any slave; For love of God’s dear Son.”
We serve Christ because we love Him. Period.
God’s question to the unsaved is “What will you do with My Son who died for you?’
But His question to you and me, “Lovest thou me?
The Christian life is living His life through us today!
I challenge you to pray about “The Law” and for God to show you if you have been living under it. He will help you break that line of thinking if you understand the need for it and ask Him! He wants you to live in love, love for Him, love for others!