Romans #14 – Good Gifts: New Power (7:1-13)

Enough change in 2020

Marriage is supposed to be:

  1. Covenantal: a loving bond unlike other relationships that are contractual
  2. Mutual: choices affect one another
  3. Total: all of who you are and what you do is involved
  4. Sacrificial: you give up freedom/independence for love/unity
  5. Fruitful: it’s not good to be alone, you are better together
  6. Flexible: tools not rules

Is marriage a good or bad experience? = Depends

Living Under Law is Like a Bad Marriage

Romans 7:1 Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.

  1. God uses family language to speak of the XN life “brothers” “husband” wife
  2. Marriage ends when a spouse dies “til death do you part”
  3. You are free to live a new life including a new relationship

=Law is like a bad marriage.

  • Control. Rules. Punishment. Cheerless. Impossible. Non-relational. Kills
  • Family illustration – law based religious dad broke mom, rebellious kid
  • We are living under law more than ever in US 

Gallup Poll – mental health 1 group up weekly church

Since Romans – 186%, added 630 kids, baptized 117, PMD social 6 million month, RF Live 1.5 million month = classroom, shade, water slides, raised park, 6pm

Living Under Grace is Like a Great Marriage

Romans 7:Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

Law in the WORD

  • Paul’s letters “nomos” 121X variety of uses

=Totality of God’s standards universal, or right & wrong over all

  1. Reflects the character of the Lawgiver
  2. Restrains some evil (Rom. 2 conscience, Rom. 13 gov’t)
  3. Reveals our sin

=Jews call this a burdensome yoke (Acts 15:10)

MRI Illustration

Law in the WORLD

  1. We rebel against authority as we want to be sovereign
  2. We feel guilty
  3. We appeal to it to criticize & judge others
  4. When we do well, we appeal to it
  5. When we fail, we try to ignore or hide it
  6. When we fail & are found out we feel defeat & depression

= shows our need for a Savior & new relationship w/Spirit not Law

XNity like marriage 1. sacred moment 2. new legal status 3. new name = life together

Living Under Law vs Living in the Spirit

Romans 7:What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. 10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. 13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.

3 Purposes of Law (law = good; we = bad)

  1. Names our sins (coveting)

National – rebels removing laws & calling evil good.

  1. Aggravates our rebellious sinful nature

Personal: Pitching machine illustration


YOU?: Paul makes this personal

  • “I” almost 30X ch. 7

10 Commandments

1.         You shall have no other gods before me.

2.         You shall not make idols.

3.         You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

4.         Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

5.         Honor your father and your mother.

6.         You shall not murder.

7.         You shall not commit adultery.

8.         You shall not steal.

9.         You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

10.       You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, your neighbor’s wife, or anything that is his.

#10 is the internal sin.

NEED: New 1. Nature 2. Desires 3. Power = under Grace

  • “Carnal XN”               vs                    Victorious Higher Life/Perfectionism XN
  • Real XN is in the struggle in the middle – new but not perfect

You Died to the Law & Live by the Spirit

  1. Your old self is dead
  2. You are no longer married to the “law”
  3. Your new self is in a new relationship with God through Christ

Closing Prayer with Grace.

This sermon from Romans 7 shows how living under grace and in the Spirit is far better than living under law.
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