Rom.7:7 – What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “YOU SHALL NOT COVET.”
You ever wonder about the law ? You know, the Ten Commandments. What was the point anyway. The Mosaic Law was quite complicated, actually impossible to keep it perfectly (except for that one man, Jesus Christ). That was exactly the point. It revealed the holiness of God and exposed the sinfulness of man. In today’s verse, Paul the Apostle, that old Pharisee of Pharisees himself, said that he never really knew he was a sinner until the Holy Spirit quickened those four words to his heart. “YOU SHALL NOT COVET.” That did it for him, his heart was eaten with covetousness. Saul of Tarsus was a sinner in need of a Savior. Here is how the Believer’s Bible Commentary describes this verse.
“In 7:7-13 he goes on to describe the important role which the law played in his own life before he was saved. He emphasizes that the law itself is not sinful, but that it reveals sin in man. It was the law that convicted him of the terrible depravity of his heart. As long as he compared himself with other people, he felt fairly respectable. But as soon as the demands of God’s law came home to him in convicting power, he stood speechless and condemned.
The one particular commandment that revealed sin to him was the tenth: You shall not covet. Coveting takes place in the mind. Although Paul may not have committed any of the grosser, more revolting sins, he now realized that his thought life was corrupt. He understood that evil thoughts are sinful as well as evil deeds. He had a polluted thought life. His outward life may have been relatively blameless, but his inward life was a chamber of horrors.”
So have you looked into the mirror of the law? Have you come face to face with your own shortcomings? I hope so because that is the place where recovery begins. You have to admit you are sick or you will never go to the doctor. You have to come to some hard conclusions to come to the Savior. What is that conclusion? That we are all sinners in need of a Savior.
Rom.7:5,6 – When we were controlled by our old nature, sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death. But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.
Christians have bickered over this question since the days of the early church, “am I still under the law?” The answer is a definite and firm no and yes. This is actually the conflict that we as Christians always feel in our lives. We know our sins have been done away with and we know that the law was a school master that pointed us to Christ revealing our sinfulness and our need for a Savior. At the same time our natural sinful tendencies want to draw some conclusions. The reasoning goes something like this,”If we are not under the law then we can live as we please”. From that point there is no restraint and people tend to concoct their own set of rules that we should live by. The point being missed is this, Paul said in vs,4 that we are dead to the law and now we are married to Christ. If that is true then I have a new person I am loyal to Who actually lives in side me. The point Paul is making is this, if Christ is in us we are no longer living under the constraints of our own will power. Christ is in us living this new life in us by the power of His resurrection.
How does that pan out in my day to day life? We really have several ways we can go. First, we can just live a compromising life similar to the rest of our society saying that we are no longer in bondage to the law. The second way is adhere to some religious version of the law and try our best to live up to it (good luck with that). The third option is the one I think we should go with. If Christ is in us draw, near to Him, yield to Him, allow Him to begin to live His life in us and through us. What will the outcome be? We will live a life free from sin by the power of the Spirit, Christ will be glorified, and our lives will be filled with the peace of God.
Rom.7:2-4 – For example, when a woman marries, the law binds her to her husband as long as he is alive. But if he dies, the laws of marriage no longer apply to her. So while her husband is alive, she would be committing adultery if she married another man. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law and does not commit adultery when she remarries. So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God.
I love to read the letters of Paul, he always points us to Christ. In this passage Paul uses the most intimate relationship we can have in this world as humans, the union between a husband and wife. Paul says that that union is spiritual and can only be broken by death. He goes on to say that if someone’s spouse were to die they are free to take another spouse. His point is this, the jewish world was married to the law. In Romans 6 Paul teaches us that believers have been crucified with Christ. That means we are dead. We are dead to sin and dead to the law. What is the result? We are free to be remarried. Our new spouse is Christ Jesus Himself. Here is how Adam Clarke describes this.
“As Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth, the object of God in giving the law was to unite you to Christ; and, as he has died, he has not only abolished that law which condemns every transgressor to death, without any hope of a revival, but he has also made that atonement for sin, by his own death, which is represented in the sacrifices prescribed by the law. And as Jesus Christ is risen again from the dead, he has thereby given the fullest proof that by his death he has procured the resurrection of mankind, and made that atonement required by the law. That we should bring forth fruit unto God—.”
This points us to the greatest privilege we can imagine, we have become the Bride of Christ. We who were once part of a fallen race, captivated by sin and dishonoring the Lord with our every breath, are now spotless and pure; we are clothed in the wedding garments of the Lamb of God. Rather than dishonoring God with our lives we are now a joyful display of His glorious grace. Let the Marriage Supper of the Lamb begin!!!
THE ROMANS SEVEN MAN!
MERRY TUESDAY BY PARRIS BAILEY
“O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 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.”
I love redemption! There is nothing so wonderful as feeling whiter than snow! I never grow tired of watching redemption do its work at Marysong Restoration Center. Most of the girls come in broken, bewildered with the look of “what have I gotten myself into” on their face. But in a few months their face begins to shine with hope and peace. Paul too was arrested on that Damascus Road and I am sure was quite surprised to hear Christ speaking to him about why Paul is against him. Redemption gets us to say-” I lost that good opinion which I had had of myself, and came to be of another mind.” (Henry) The Romans 7 man comes to grip with the revelation that as long as he is in the this world, his carnal man will be fighting with his spirit man. Some have called it “double man”. Thanks be unto God that Christ is in us giving us the ability to fight the fight of faith. Paul wasn’t saying he was sinning uncontrollably at all, but he was fighting within himself-warring in his members. Every day we have to learn how to “cast down all imaginations that exalts itself” and make sure as a soldier we don’t “entangle ourselves in the affairs” of this life.
“Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Ps. 51:6 Redemption pays us a visit and examines our heart. To many of us this process makes us feel uneasy but once we feel whiter than snow we are at rest. Our journey toward Christ includes repentance, expressing our sorrow for our past sins. Making obedience to God as a way of life and having a passionate personal devotion to God with a selfless trust, love and gratitude. I admit is is hard to stay in touch with our pride and alter ego, sometimes it will make us cry out-O WRETCHED MAN THAT I AM! WILL I EVER GET DELIVERANCE? Let us welcome the Holy Sprit to come to our aid teaching, instructing, comforting and lastly convicting. God will finish what he started in us.
“This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, not health, but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it, the process is not yet finished, but it is going on, this is not the end, but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory but all is being purified.” Martin Luther
PUTTING TO DEATH THE OLD LIFE
“For I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man; 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.”(Romans 7 vs.21-23)
We should not be discouraged by the natural tendencies that still try to dominate our lives. Rather, this struggle pushes us to the Lord. Transformation does not come from human will power, human wisdom or determination. Transformation into the heavenly man comes by the Holy Spirit. Paul talks about this ability to overcome the natural man in Romans 8. In verse 12 and 13 he gives us some important revelation. “So then brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, (the natural man), to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Did you get that? We can put to death the deeds of the body by the Spirit or by the anointing. Practically, we yield to the anointing several ways to cooperate with this work of God in our lives. We pray in tongues regularly, putting to death the natural tendencies. We saturate ourselves in worship, drinking in the heavenly presence that produces change. Finally, we spend time in Holy Ghost services, this brings destruction to the sinful tendencies. The anointing is the manifest presence of the Lord. The natural man does not want to live in the anointing, he wants to watch football and eat chips. The new man, loves the anointing. Spend time in His presence, especially if you are struggling with temptation. Start your journey now, destroy the natural man by walking in the Spirit.