Summary: Today we will be studying Romans chapter 7 and chapter 8:1-4. Paul in these verses writes what could be called a Christians Declaration of Independence. In these verse Paul declares that in Christ we have been set free from three things.
A DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE (FREEDOM IN CHRIST)
Did you all see some fireworks last night? I really enjoy watching fireworks and my favorite place to watch them is in Virginia. While living in Yorktown, Virginia each 4th of July we would go to watch fireworks at the Yorktown Battlefield. It was great, there were probably a thousand people and they always had an Air Force band playing patriotic songs AND yes we always brought plenty of food. The atmosphere was incredible and I had great feelings of pride and admiration, as we sat on our blankets, on the very ground where so many men gave there lives in the final and decisive battle of the American Revolution.
Only a few years earlier 50 men had signed a document written by Thomas Jefferson. "When in the course of Human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve a political bond which they have committed with another and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature’s God entitles them.... We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
That document was the Declaration of Independence signed in congress on July 4th 1776. Declaring their freedom from the oppressive rule of England.
The title for todays message is A DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE (FREEDOM IN CHRIST).
Today we will be studying Romans chapter 7 and chapter 8:1-4.
Paul in these verses writes what could be called a Christians Declaration of Independence. In these verse Paul declares that in Christ we have been set free from three things.
I. We are free from the LAW ("do to be") [7:1-6]
Sally was married to Bill for many years. Then one evening Bill had a heart attack and died. Several years latterSally remarried a man named Jack. Jack was in many ways differentthan Bill. Bill didn’t like to eat breakfast (he just grabbed a cup of coffee and headed out the door) and Jack liked to start his day with a big country breakfast. Bill didn’t care if the house was kept clean and Jack wanted the house to be neat and tidy.
After Jack and Sally had been married for a year, Jack was beginning to get aggravated. He came down the stairs hoping to find things different but the house was messy and as he went into the kitchen hoping to smell bacon and eggs cooking on the stove, he only found a cup of cold coffee. When Jack voiced his dissatisfaction with the situation Sally said "well that’s the way Bill liked things".
Jack said " Sally, Bill is dead. You are my wife now. You have to stop living like you are still married to Bill.
Paul in these verses is teaching the Jewish Christians an important lesson. We know that he is talking to the Jewish Christians because he says in verse one "I am speaking to men who know the law". Paul in teaching this lesson draws an analogy or an illustration from marriage. LET ME SAY UP FRONT HERE THAT PAUL’S INTENT HERE, IS NOT TO PROVIDE TEACHING ON MARRIAGE (HE AND OTHER WRITERS DO THAT IN OTHER PLACES IN GOD’S WORD). Paul is making only one point in this analogy and the point is this:
You Jews are still keeping the law you are still boasting in the Law, You still believe that the law makes you more righteous than the Gentiles. Do you know what you are acting like, You are acting just like a woman whose 1st husband is dead but acts as though he is still alive.
Paul says in verse 4 "so, my brothers, you also died to the law". The law to them is dead and they have been joined to another. You are free from the law and are now under the grace of Christ.
How does this truth apply to us?
Did you notice what I put on your outline right next to being free from the law (do to be).
That’s really a good summary of what keeping the law taught. If you were to be righteous by keeping the Law you had to DO certain things TO BE righteous. And do you know what? no one could ever be righteous by keeping the law. James "the half brother" of Jesus in his letter writes in James 2:10 "Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it".
We can never be good enough or do enough to be made righteous in the eyes of God. Many times we are like those Jewish Christians. We have been set free from the requirements of the law by the blood of Christ. It is not what we do that saves us, it is what Jesus has done for us. Jesus has done all that needs to be done to make us right before God. Nothing we will ever do will add to our salvation. YET!! We too, many times, carry around the burden of believing that we have to do something to earn or to make sure we are saved. Going to church, reading our Bible, praying to God, memorizing scripture, teaching a SS class or helping the poor is not going to save anyone. Now it is true, that these things are the fruit a person who is saved, is supposed to bare. BUT they can’t save us ONLY the grace of God which we enter into through obedient faith in Christ can save us.