Summary: This is the third of a series of sermons based on scriptures where a rhetorical question beginning with the phrase "Do you not know. . ." is asked. This sermon deals with the rhetorical question asked in Romans 7:1. "Or do you not know, brothers—for I am
Series Title: Do You Not Know?
Sermon Title: The Law’s Binding Power
Text: Romans 7:1-6.
What a profound statement—the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives. Duh!! That’s like saying, “Don’t worry about temptation, it will only bother you as long as you live.” Or, as Paul points out, “Marriage isn’t forever, just a lifetime.”
What Law is Paul Speaking about?
The Law of Moses.
This is radical teaching for the Apostle Paul. Paul lived as a Jew, even after becoming a Christian. He was zealous for the Law. But, he also realized that Gentiles were not subject to the Law. But he had always encouraged his Jewish brothers to keep the Law. But he seems to be advocating that even a Jew is freed from the Law of Moses when he is crucified with Christ and united with Christ in baptism. That may seem like Paul is contradicting himself. It seems as if Paul is caught in a paradox. How do we make sense of this? Even for the Jew, after they became a Christian, the keeping of the Law of Moses was not binding. However, if they wanted to remain a Jew, then they must still keep the Law. But they were not obligated to maintain their Jewish-ness, it was optional. As a Christian, they had died to the concept of law keeping as a means of justification. But if they chose to keep the Law, realizing that they were under no obligation to do so, more power to you.
The Law of Sin and Death.
Under the Law of Sin and Death, the soul who sins is the soul who dies. But what if a person has died to sin? Is he still subject to the Law of Sin and Death? Absolutely not. This is Paul’s point. If we died to sin, we have been liberated from the Law of Sin and death. “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2). What are the implications for you and me? When I sin, I am no longer under the condemnation of death. We have been set free from the Law that condemns us on account of sin. Is there any thing better than that? “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1). As Paul concludes, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31).
The Illustration of Marriage.
The Bonds of Matrimony Last a Lifetime.
Usually, when a wedding ceremony is performed, both the bride and the groom pledge to be faithful, “until death do us part.” Some modern ceremonies have substituted “as long as we both shall love” for the more traditional “as long as we both shall live.” That is not a wedding. The union that results is not a marriage. That is what is sometimes referred to as “serial monogamy.” To be faithful to one person at a time, is not the same as being faithful to one person as long as you are both alive. I’m going to say something about divorce, and I know there are people here who may have been divorced. But what I say is what God has said. He said, “I hate divorce” (Malachi 2:16). Why is divorce so wrong? Because you made a deal. It was a deal to stick it out through thick and thin. You know, “for better or worse”. If you didn’t mean it, then why did you say it? Marriage is a public act. You declare your vows to one another “in the presence of God and these witnesses.” You can not end a marriage privately. It is a public act. If you have sinned by divorcing, then you must repent publicly before this congregation.
The Bonds of Matrimony are Loosed at Death.
Paul indicates that you are subject to the law of marriage as long as you both live, but if one of you dies, the bond has been broken. You are no longer obligated to forsake all others, you are free to marry again. You are only subject to the law of marriage as long as both of you are alive.
But, he’s making a point. The same is true of all law. You are only subject to the Law of Moses until you die to the Law of Moses. You are only subject to the Law of Sin and Death until you die to the Law of Sin and Death.
Death to Sin Means Freedom From Law.
Remember Your Baptism?
You died to sin. You died to law keeping as a means of obtaining righteousness.
You Are Released From the Law.