Summary: When a person is a Christian they are dead to sin and they are also dead to the law. In Romans 7:1-6, Paul explains why Christians are no longer under the law of Moses. What a blessing to be under grace not law.
A. The story is told of an old preacher who was dying.
1. He sent a message for his banker and his lawyer to come to his home, both men were members of his church.
2. When the lawyer and banker arrived, they were ushered up to his bedroom.
3. As they entered the room, the preacher held out his hands and motioned for them to sit on each side of the bed.
4. The preacher grasped their hands, sighed contentedly, smiled, and stared at the ceiling.
5. For a time, no one said anything.
6. Both the banker and lawyer were touched and flattered that the preacher would ask them to be with him during his final moments.
7. But they were also puzzled, because the preacher had never given them any indication that he particularly liked either of them.
8. They both remembered his many long, uncomfortable sermons about greed and covetousness that made them squirm in their seats.
9. Finally, the banker said, “Preacher, why did you ask us to come?”
10. The old preacher mustered up enough strength to weakly say, “Jesus died between two thieves, and that’s how I want to go.”
B. Death, of course is no laughing matter, that’s true whether we are talking about physical death, or spiritual death.
1. During our sermon series on Romans, we have talked about how that death came through Adam, but that life came through Christ.
2. We have talked about how we are dead to sin and alive in Christ.
3. Today, we are going to talk about how that we have died to the law through the body of Christ.
4. We will also learn about the important principle of death and how it changes many things and releases us from certain obligations.
C. Those of us who watch the news were likely troubled by the things that Jeffrey Epstein was charged with.
1. On July 8th of this year, federal prosecutors charged financier Jeffrey Epstein with one count of sex trafficking of a minor and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.
a. Per the indictment, “over the course of many years, Jeffrey Epstein, the defendant, sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls at his homes in Manhattan, New York, and Palm Beach, Florida, among other locations.”
b. The document also noted that “in order to maintain and increase his supply of victims, Epstein also paid certain of his victims to recruit additional girls to be similarly abused.”
c. The prosecution alleged that he sexually assaulted girls as young as 14 years old.
d. Following the indictment, Epstein pleaded not guilty on both charges
2. This was not the first time that Epstein had been in trouble with the law.
a. In 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty to a felony charge of solicitation of prostitution involving a minor, and was sentenced to 18 months in prison; he served 13
b. He also registered as a sex offender.
3. Prosecutors said the case would involve a million pages of discovery, including evidence from his Manhattan mansion.
a. They would have liked the trial to begin next June.
b. On July 18, Epstein was denied bail.
c. He had previously said he was willing to post $100 million.
d. Prosecutors “argued that Mr. Epstein’s vast wealth, said to be more than $500 million, would make it possible for him to flee the country if he were not held in jail.”
4. There was speculation at the time of Epstein’s arrest that his arrest could open a window to expose other influential people who knew about or participated in his crimes.
a. The question is what evidence or information did Epstein have against them and how might he use it?
5. Suddenly, on July 24th, Jeffery Epstein was found dead in his jail cell from an apparent suicide.
a. Epstein's death effectively ends the criminal case against him, but several of his alleged victims have started civil lawsuits against his estate.
D. Why have I brought up Jeffery Epstein’s story?
1. I have brought it up to illustrate the point that the apostle Paul made in Romans 7:1-6.
2. Our legal system may reach very far, but not even the “long arm of the law” can go beyond the grave.
3. You just can’t prosecute a dead man!
E. As you know, we have been systematically making our way through the book of Romans, and we have now come to Chapter 7.
1. In Romans 7:1-6, the apostle Paul explains why we are no longer under the Law of Moses.
2. When you think about it, that is a logical question: after all, for centuries God’s people had observed the Old Testament rules and regulations.
3. So, what changed?
a. Why don’t we keep the Sabbath any longer?