Summary: Paul’s point in this text is that the only way to be released from the Law was to die to it, and to be united to Christ.


Text: Romans 7:1-6


1. Illustration: Evangelist Fred Brown used three images to describe the purpose of the law. First, he likened it to a dentist’s little mirror, which he sticks into the patient’s mouth. With the mirror he can detect any cavities. But he doesn’t drill with it or use it to pull teeth. It can show him the decayed area or other abnormality, but it can’t provide the solution. The law is also like a flashlight. If suddenly at night the lights go out, you use it to guide you down the darkened basement stairs to the electrical box. If you had old wiring, when you point it toward the fuses, it helps you see the one that is burned out. But after you’ve removed the bad fuse, you don’t try to insert the flashlight in its place. You put in a new fuse to restore the electricity. In his third image, Brown likened the law to a plumb line. When a builder wants to check his work, he uses a weighted string to see if it’s true to the vertical. But if he finds that he has made a mistake, he doesn’t use the plumb line to correct it. He gets out his hammer and saw. The law points out the problem of sin; it doesn’t provide a solution.

2. Dr. Phil Williams said, “The law is the light that reveals how dirty the room is, not the broom that sweeps it clean.”

3. Proposition: Paul’s point in this text is that the only way to be released from the Law was to die to it, and to be united to Christ.

4. Paul talks about three aspects of this idea…

a. Released By Death

b. United In Christ

c. Free In The Spirit

5. Would you stand with me this morning as we read Rom. 7:1-6.

Transition: First, Paul talks about us being…

1. Released By Death (1-3).

A. Only As Long As He Lives

1. Again, let me say, that Paul major point in this paragraph is that in order to die to the Law we have to die to it.

2. He begins in v. 1 with, “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?”

a. There are two equal ideas here in this verse: first, is the lifelong bondage to the law, and second, liberation from the law that only comes from death. The second part is a huge key to this entire section.

b. By using "brothers" (or in this case brothers and sisters), Paul is putting his arms around the Roman Christians in order to draw as close to them as possible to assure them that they are justified and set free from the law.

c. He is speaking to them as ones who know the law, and in this case, he is not talking about Roman law, but rather about the law of Moses.

d. These Romans were not Jewish by birth, some of them were what they called "God-fearers" who were Gentiles who worshipped in the synagogue before finding Christ, and still others were taught the law after becoming Christians.

e. Paul's point was that they knew the truth, and that truth was that "the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives."

f. There are three things at play here; the law, sin and death. The law of sin and death controls us as long as we are alive, and only death can set us free from that bondage.

g. Paul's entire point here is that the believer has been transferred from the bondage of sin to God's kingdom because of Jesus' sacrificial death.

h. The only way in which Christians are freed from that bondage is by faith in Jesus, which makes us dead to the control of sin and death.

3. In vv. 2-3 Paul illustrates his point by using marriage as an example. He says, “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. 3 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.”

a. To illustrate this idea of lifelong control, Paul uses the metaphor of marriage.

b. Three times in vv. 2-3 Paul uses the term "law," and eight times in this section. Paul's point is the law, and again this refers to the law of Moses, and marriage is simply an illustration of the lifelong nature of it.

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