TEACHER: Ken Hicks
SCRIPTURES: Romans 7:1-13
BOTTOM LINE: The Law is not to keep us FROM Sinning, but to EXPOSE our Sin so Christ can do a work in us.
QUESTION: Do New Testament Christians NEED the 10 Commandments?
And here’s the 3 sections we’re going to walk thru together:
- The Illustration that Clarifies – Verses 1-3
- The Explanation that Verifies – Verses 4-6
- The Application that Glorifies – Verses 7-13
The Illustration that CLARIFIES (7:1-3)
Now this is pretty simple picture isn’t it? He uses this illustration of a woman who is married twice, and in her 1st marriage, she was bound to her 1st husband as long as he lived. Now, maybe the phrase bound by the Law is hard for us to understand today, as Divorce has honestly gotten much too easy in terms of execution in my opinion.
… but without question, in God’s eyes, the covenant of marriage is intended to be for life. That’s exactly what most of us said when we said for better and for worse, until we’re separated by death, as God is my witness, I give you my promise. [or something like that].
But the main point here in Romans 7 is not marriage … marriage is just the illustration … the key point is that the woman who is married is Helpless to change her situation until her husband dies … and any attempt to do so on her part before that violates the Law and makes matters worse … She becomes an adulteress is he tries to live w/ another man while her husband is still alive …
… and we … as Followers of Jesus … are portrayed in the woman right?
And so the question is … Who is the 1st Husband? And we can get some different opinions here can’t we? Some say It’s the Law … and some say some other things … but if we truly look at the 1st 6 chapters of what Paul had been sharing here … I think we discover the 1st Husband is not The Law … but it’s our Old Self … our Flesh … our Old Nature.
SIN … it’s our Old Husband … and we’re bound to it as a wife to her husband … and there was nothing we could do about it … we have to live w/ ourselves … and there’s no running from it … and we are bound to it apart from the work of Christ declaring it DEAD in our lives.
The Explanation that VERIFIES (7:4-6)
Notice how that fits the illustration … through the Body of Christ … we are told that body was put to death on that bloody cross … we died to the Law which bound us to Sin … and every time we keep reaching back into our Old Nature trying to be Good and do Good and all that stuff … the Law shows up and shows us how short we come.
Even though outwardly, many times we’re meeting the demands and looking the part based off the definition of those around us. But now that Christ has come, we belong to another … it’s He who has been raised so that we may bear fruit! Don’t miss this … this is a powerful truth! The only life that is fruitful in God’s lens is the life of Jesus Christ living in and through you and me!
So … then what do we do w/ the LAW? Do we just throw it out completely? Any time someone tries to quote one of those verses, or brings it up … do we just jump up and remind them that we are no longer under the Law, but under Grace.
And I guess my response to that at least for me … is How Did Jesus Respond? What Did Jesus Do? What was His attitude towards the Law?
Even though Jesus didn’t NEED it so to speak … how did He regard it? And some of us know the answer … He Honored It! He highly regarded it!
The Application that GLORIFIES (7:7-13)
Let me see if I can close this w/ a little clarity here … here’s where I think we learn the true purpose of the Law … Paul says if it hadn’t been for the Law, I wouldn’t have known sin. Paul needed the Law to help him see his flesh in the mirror.
Left to our own accord, we can look in the mirror and be ok can’t we? And here’s where it gets tricky, sometimes we actually just accept the areas that we see in the mirror that we know or wish would be different.
And when we choose to walk after our Flesh … the Spirit sometimes uses the Law to help us look in the mirror and see it … and then discover the courage to experience God’s Grace … and find our way back to walking in God’s Spirit and Presence in our lives.
That’s what Paul means about we’re no longer under the Law, but Under Grace. It’s the Grace of God that reaches down and picks us up … and cleans us up … and we get the privilege to walk again.
When we’re walking In-Christ … living FROM God instead of FOR God … we don’t NEED the Law … and if we attempt to put that life back under the Law … we remind ourselves that we’re cheating on our new husband … the risen Christ.