Summary: Continuing Expository Study of the Book of Romans covering Chapter 6:23 - 7:25
Book of Romans
Lesson # 16
By Rev. James May
In this lesson we will begin studying Romans chapter 7, but let me remind you that when the Book of Romans was first written it could have been written in either Latin or Greek before it was translated into the English language. In the original text there were no chapter or verse divisions. In fact the only divisions would come as Paul would enter a new thought. Therefore, when we study this book let us keep in mind that man’s insertion of chapter and verse distinctions should not be taken as part of the inspiration of the Word spoken. Those divisions were inserted, not for the sake of changing the word written, but simply to allow for an easier method of study and reference.
With that in mind, let’s once again read the final verse of chapter 6 to see if there is a continuing thought into chapter 7, or if it is a totally new vein of thought with little or no connection.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
This verse is quoted time and again by nearly every minister and every Christian I know. It is a verse used as a building block to lead many to Christ for once a man knows of his sin, he must know also that death awaits him. Into the depths of condemnation and conviction for sin is given the good news of God’s wonderful gift of eternal life that is given to every man who will confess that sin, turn from it in repentance and accept Jesus Christ as Lord.
Sin brings death due to the law being broken and Christ rejected; but God gives life to those who are Born Again by the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ. When we die to the law, it has no more power over us, and when we are risen again with Christ then we are forever free in him.
Now Paul continues this same vein of thought as enter into chapter 7, verse. Perhaps you will see something in these verses that you haven’t seen before even though I know it’s been preached many times.
Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
Again, Paul is speaking to the saints that are in Rome. Among those saints in Rome are both Gentile believers and converted Jews, Messianic Jews if you will.
Paul is addressing those converted Jews specifically in this verse. The Jews know the law, which is referring to the Law of Moses. They had been taught this law from the moment of their birth in the Jewish nation. Now Paul was going to make it a point for them to realize just where the power of the Law ceased to have rule over them.
The Law of Moses was given for man to follow and obey to the letter in order to have the presence of God remain with Israel. But who could obey that Law? If a man had been born, and died before the law was given, how could he know that law, and how could it have rule over his life, commanding him to anything? Likewise, if a man knew law and kept that law, and the rule of the law over him lasted a lifetime, he would keep the law, obey the law and ever be concerned with fulfilling its requirements. But on the day that he died, where was the power of the law then?
Does a dead man have to worry anymore about the provisions of the law? Of course not! There is not one person lying in a grave in the cemetery out back, or in any other cemetery in the world who will ever be affected by any law that is passed among the living. Do you think it matters to a dead man that we put up a stop light at a new intersection, or that we change the speed limit on the highways, or that we pass a new law saying it’s legal to smoke all the marijuana you want as long as you aren’t caught driving under the influence of the smoke? No; those who dead are beyond caring about any law that we might pass, no matter how dumb it is.
And so it is with anyone who is born again in Christ Jesus, their old man is dead and buried with him and arisen again to eternal life in him. So then the law that is written to convict and condemn the hearts of sinful man, no longer has power over him. He is a new creation in Christ and subject now only to the Lord himself. As long as we serve the Lord, the law has no power to condemn, but if we turn away from God, go back to that old life, renouncing the salvation that Christ offers, then we put ourselves back under the law and its sentence of death once again.