Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Series in Romans

Text: Romans 7:1-13

Title: The Usefulness and Uselessness of the Law

Romans 7:1-13 Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? 2 For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. 3 So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man. 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. 7 What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, "YOU SHALL NOT COVET." 8 But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; 10 and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; 11 for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. 13 Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful.

I. The Uselessness of the Law

a. The law doesn’t bind us

b. The law doesn’t save us

c. The law doesn’t sanctify us

II. The Usefulness of the Law

a. The law reveals our sin

b. The law arouses our sin

c. The law ruins the sinner

Please open you Bible to Romans chapter 7. We will be looking at the first 13 verses today. If my job as pastor is to read the scripture and then explain, I have my work cut out for me today. This section of scripture has a number of tricky twists and turns to it.

One of the great things about preaching all the way through a book from start to finish is that we should all have a context, or a background, to help us better understand some of the trickier passages. Since we have already heard Paul talk about the purpose of the law, when we read through this passage, we have that prior knowledge to guide us.

Follow along as I read Romans 7:1-13

As a pastor, one of the questions I get asked often has to do with the function of the law. This is one of those areas that has caused a great deal of confusion and disharmony with believers since the time of Paul. There are even some Christian groups today that have a fundamental misunderstanding of the function of the law.

The Seventh Day Adventist group is one denomination that still falls within the bounds of orthodoxy in many areas, but when it comes to relating with the law, they are confused. They still hold to Saturday as the true Sabbath, they still hold to many of the OT dietary requirements, and they have created for themselves a whole new list of new “laws” or legalistic rules for living.

I’ve always been fascinated with legalistic Christianity. It is such an anomaly to me. Even though the scripture is clear about our freedom from the law, there seems to be these deep seeded need within humanity for structure and rules, and boundaries. Legalistic denominations are still very prevalent and popular. There are millions of people who are drawn to that kind of religious structure for some reason.

Do you know what I mean? There are some people who just seem to need a lot of rules to feel like they are good Christians. Then there are those who have been in legalistic churches that have gotten out and understand what freedom from the law is all about.

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