Romans 7 is broken up into 3 sections, each with their own headings. Let’s take a look at them, one by one.
We are no longer bound to the law. This passage explains how we are only subject to the law while we are alive, once we are dead, we are no longer bound to the law. Our old selves are dead, we are now a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). This means that we are no longer bound by the law. What does this mean for us? Verse 6 spells it out for us. 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. I believe that God is more interested with WHY we do what we do, than WHAT we do. Now don’t get me wrong, there are things that God has asked us to do and others that He has told us to do, however it is important to ask WHY we do these things. If we do them because we have to or to avoid punishment, that is under the law. We need to do them because we love God and because we want what He wants, which is what is best for us. That is a win/win in my book. 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.
God’s law reveals our sin. This is very important, as I often see people confused about the Old Testament, and I have often been misquoted due to some of my comments about it. The Old Covenant (before Jesus died for us) is just as relevant, God did not change, the God of the Old Testament and the New is the same God. Make no mistake about it. God hates sin now, just as much as He did before Jesus came, so why are things different now? Jesus is the difference. The Old Testament was showing us just how sinful we are/were, it was showing us what Jesus came to save us from. If you acknowledge Jesus as Lord, in your heart and with your mouth, the Bible says that you are saved. This means that Jesus has saved you from the sin that you have done, are doing, and will do. Does this mean that you can go on sinning? Why would you want to, now that you know how much God dislikes it? In the Old Testament, the only way people could get forgiveness was to sacrifice something, now we just have to ask. Sin still plays a big part in giving the devil a foothold in our lives, and trust me, you don’t want to do that. I for one am on a mission to root sin out of my life, not because I have to, but because I want to.
Struggling with sin. Many Christians can identify with this passage of scripture, Paul saying that He was in two minds. Wanting to do what was right, but kept on sinning. We often use this passage to make us feel better, if Paul couldn’t resist sinning, then we are in good company. I have used this passage to justify my own sin. I’m now not sure about this, in fact, I think it is saying the opposite. Take a look at what Paul says. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. Paul says that Jesus is the answer. Here is the bottom line (which may upset you), if you know Jesus, you already have the answer. That means that we believers, can no longer use this excuse. This passage is Paul talking about obeying the Law, which he couldn’t do in his own strength, that is why he needed Jesus! I’m not saying that we should all be perfect, I’m just saying that God sees us as perfect (through Jesus) and we can now strive to live up to that with no condemnation and the with the help of the Holy Spirit. Do you see how much easier that makes it? It takes the pressure off.
Now I may have upset you with this post, don’t get too annoyed just yet, keep a look out as we take a look at the rest of Romans. Paul is explaining something here, and we don’t want to get too upset until he has finished. I look forward to see what we can learn next week, I hope that this has challenged and blessed you.