Summary: God tells us to be “obligated” to Him not because God needs us but because God loves us and knows what’s best for us!
We continue our study of the Letter to the Romans.
Through the Apostle Paul, God spoke to the Christians in Rome 2000 years ago, but much of this letter is applicable to all Christians, especially for those of us here in America. Before reading our passage today, which is Romans 7:7–8:17, let us note the main topics of the letter.
Rom. 1: God has to judge man’s sin
Rom. 2: Jews thought they were better than anyone else
Rom. 3: God gives reasons for the Jews and the Law
Rom. 4: all are saved by faith (whether Jew or Gentile)
Rom. 5: Christians are called to fight the good fight of faith
Rom. 6: for Christians, Jesus is master not sin
Rom. 7-8: describes who Christians are
Rom. 9-11: discusses Israel, God’s people
Rom. 12-16: instructs Christians how to live
Let us continue to learn who we are as Christians. Please open your Bibles to Romans 7. But before reading, let us together pray our commitment to God’s Word......
Let us read first of all Romans 7:7-14……..
As we had noted from Romans Chapter 3, God gave His Laws, starting with the 10 Commandments, to tell us 3 major truths:
1. God’s Law tells us how Holy God is!
2. God’s Law tells us how sinful we are!
3. God’s Law leads us to Jesus Christ!
We are reminded of these truths in Romans 7:7-14.
But we can note another important truth in this passage.
Look again at Romans 7:14………
Now, it is interesting to look at other English translations of this verse.
The KJV reads
“For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.”
The NASB, NRSV, and the ESV basically state “For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin.”
And so, the other major truth is, God’s Law is spiritual and those who are living, including Christians, are still of the flesh.
Now, some say that the Apostle Paul is talking about how he was before he became a Christian. Now, that may be true, but take a quick glance at Romans 8:12-13………
And so, no matter how one interprets Romans 7, we can note for sure that
Christians still have a sinful nature. Perhaps looking at our “Salvation Process Chart” can help us……
When we accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, we were saved from the eternal judgment of God. But as we are still living here on earth, we are still in our mortal bodies but we are being changed from within by the power of the Holy Spirit; this is called sanctification, being saved. But there will be a time when Jesus will take us to heaven and we will be completely changed with immortal bodies; this is called glorification; we will be completely saved because we will no longer have our sinful nature in heaven!
Read along with me now Romans 7:15 –25……
And so, while still living here on earth, there is an on-going battle within a Christian; the sinful nature versus the spiritual nature. One way to look at this is the reverse of what happened to Jesus. Jesus Christ was completely spiritual but became flesh to take on our sins. Christians were completely flesh but became spiritual when they accepted Christ as Savior and Lord.