Summary: In Romans 6, Paul dealt with those who think they can do whatever they want now, even live sinfully. Now Paul turns to those who think they need to follow “the rules” in order to be a Christian. What we find is that our only hope for living is a relatio
The Law and the Christian
The Law does not have authority over us (v. 1-6)
The Law does still have purpose for us (v.7-13)
The Law does not have power to change us (v.14-25)
It has been hot out there!
We have been facing extreme heat this past week. On Thursday, while driving, my car thermometer read 106 degrees!
Now I like the summer much better than the winter, and even though I am not a fan of the heat we have been having, I will take this over zero degrees any day of the week.
But I do hear many people I know that complain about the cold in the winter, now complaining about the heat in the summer and wishing we were back in the winter!
We are a people who don’t like extremes and when we are experiencing one end of the spectrum, the other end seems to always look better.
In the church, we see this too.
We see people in churches and sometimes churches themselves, seeking to live or encourage people to live in ways that they think are just using their freedom in Christ. And when that is going on, we see some people say, they need to have some sort of order or rules. They are not acting like Christians! And sometimes, that can be very true.
As we have been going through our series, Summer in Rome,
We see that Paul dealt with the extreme of licentiousness in chapter 6 as he asked and answered the question that some were thinking that they should practice sinning so that God’s grace may increase?” (Romans 6:1). He says absolutely not!
Christians cannot use their freedom in Christ to go on and living in ways that do not glorify the Lord.
That would cause people to ask another question. Well if we need to live differently, then what do I need to do to follow Christ? What are the rules I need to follow, the things I need to do or not do to be a Christian.
Early on, as Christianity was largely Jewish, many of the Jews felt, that those trusting in Christ had to follow the law.
Today, we see churches on the other end of the extreme of saying you can live any way you want, to saying, if you are going to be a good Christian, then you can’t do these things, and you need to dress in these clothes and you need to do this and not do this.
And people move from living a life of licentiousness, of doing whatever they want, of whatever feels good, to a life of legalism, of following certain rules that are going to make you a Christian.
Paul speaks to that today in Romans 7, if you would turn there with me.
We are going to see what the relationship should be between the Christian and the Law.
7 Do you not know, brothers — for I am speaking to men who know the law — that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives? 2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. 3 So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.
4 So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "Do not covet." 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.