Summary: This is the third message in the series. This message examines Romans 7 to see if it is talking about a Christian struggling with a sin nature.
In the first six chapters of Romans the Apostle Paul repeatedly contrasts what it means to live under the law and what it means to live by faith. He says a person will either have a nature that is governed by the law or a nature that is governed by grace. He will not have both at the same time.
The sin nature is governed by the law. The born again nature is governed by grace. We receive the sin nature when we are born into this world. We receive the born again nature when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. The born again nature cannot co-exist with the sin nature.
The born again nature replaces the sin nature.
Second Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” The word “new” means something that has never existed before. The sin nature we had before being born again no longer lives inside of us. Paul drives home this point with the phrase “passed away”. When a person “passes away” we know she is dead. The person ceases to exist, except in our minds. The same can be said of sin because
The born again experience does not affect our minds or our bodies.
The blue statements – we must know, believe and accept these truths to truly understand Romans 7. Christians who commit sin do so because they refuse to bow the knee to their new nature. They choose instead to bow the knee to rebellious unsubmitted minds and bodies that lust after the flesh.
Romans chapter seven
Most Christians read this chapter as Paul giving his testimony as a born again believer who is struggling with the flesh and committing sin even though his born again spirit does not want to commit sin. If we believe this lie then we have destroyed the power of the new nature to deliver us from sin and we are playing in Satan’s sandbox.
(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?
When we read the first verse, the subject matter should be readily apparent. Paul is talking about the law’s dominion over a person. And remembering what we learned in the first six chapters, the law only has dominion over a person who has a sin nature.
Paul doesn’t waste any words in this first verse. “Know you not, brethren” – “You know the law and you should know this already.” This is significant. The church had both Jewish and Gentile believers and he’s using Romans 7 as a “teaching moment” to illustrate just how powerful the new nature in them truly is.
(2) For the woman which hath a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. (3) So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
Paul is illustrating a spiritual truth with a natural example. The sin nature “marries” us to the law and death is the only thing that can change it. Here’s the message and some will not like it: as far as God is concerned only the death of a spouse can end a marriage. The word “loosed” drives this point home. It’s rendered “destroyed” in Romans 6:6. When we are born again all the authority and power associated with living under the law is terminated. This is not a divorce. This is an annihilation of the relationship.
(4) Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
Now what does this mean?
We cannot be dead to the law and still have a sin nature. Plain and simple. We have no sin nature “marrying” us to the law. Ladies and gentlemen, the sin nature no longer has dominion over us!
With verse five Paul begins to explain the life of the person under the law (“we were in the flesh”). In verse seven he says the law shined a spotlight on the sin nature. “Is the law the source of sin? God forbid. If it hadn’t been for the law I wouldn’t have known that I wasn’t supposed to covet. But because of the sin nature, I had no problem coveting. Boy, was I wrong!”