We will need the framework that we have established to understand what we will be talking about today.
Romans 7:1 Or do you not know, brethren [speaking to the church] (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?
Both physically and spiritually
Romans 6:9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.
Death no longer has power over us, in that we have been freed from the death penalty because Christ paid it for us.
Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Sin no longer has the power of death over us as it did before
Now we will see in this instance that the law has power over us while we are alive, it has the power to convict us as a sinner. But when we are dead, the penalty has been paid in addition to the fact that we are no longer sinning….
Seems obvious, but Paul has a much deeper and more profound point to make.
Romans 7:2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband.
So far, so good, seems reasonable
Romans 7:3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.
What law is Paul referring to here? 10 COMMANDMENTS! He is saying that the law, the 10 COMMANDMENTS, are still binding.
Romans 7:4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.
Dead to the law: [talked about dying with Christ and dying to sin in the previous chapter] dead in the eyes of the law; the death penalty is no longer over us and the law no longer has that power over us.
[without comma separated clause] you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ that we should bear fruit to God.
We become a part of the body of Christ when we receive the Holy Spirit (chapter 8) – and by that spirit we should bear the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22)
Now here is the most profound statement. Not only is Paul speaking of the transformation that has now happened in our lives but also he is now describing the previous and present relationship that God had in the Old Covenant and now has in the New Covenant and why there was a change and how it was brought about.
that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead
We have been talking in the previous verses about the marriage covenant between man and woman and now Paul is relating that to the marriage covenant between Christ, the God of the Old Testament, and Israel and how that one is now void through the death of one of the parties in the agreement or contract…and how that now makes way for the New Covenant or a New Marriage to spiritual Israel (Romans 2:28-29)
Jeremiah 31:32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD.
Israel agreed not to WORSHIP the false gods of the Gentiles and to be OBEDIENT to the Law of God and in return He promised material blessings of great wealth and health.
This was the agreement, the contract, the covenant.
Covenant is Not the Same as the Law
A Covenant is based on them keeping the Law
Israel said, “I do” to the covenant (it was not one sided). But “Israel did not honor the covenant”
They rejected God and played the harlot with many lovers even though God pleaded with her through His prophets. He kept trying to show her the error of her ways, but she would not listen,
Jeremiah 31:33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
He will marry spiritual Israel
Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh;
Romans 2:29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.
Deuteronomy 5:29 Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!
Hebrews 8:6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
Hebrews 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.
Hebrews 8:8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “BEHOLD, THE DAYS ARE COMING, SAYS THE LORD, WHEN I WILL MAKE A NEW COVENANT WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH—
Hebrews 8:9 NOT ACCORDING TO THE COVENANT THAT I MADE WITH THEIR FATHERS IN THE DAY WHEN I TOOK THEM BY THE HAND TO LEAD THEM OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT; BECAUSE THEY DID NOT CONTINUE IN MY COVENANT, AND I DISREGARDED THEM, SAYS THE LORD.
Hebrews 8:10 FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS IN THEIR MIND AND WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
Hebrews 8:11 NONE OF THEM SHALL TEACH HIS NEIGHBOR, AND NONE HIS BROTHER, SAYING, ‘KNOW THE LORD,’ FOR ALL SHALL KNOW ME, FROM THE LEAST OF THEM TO THE GREATEST OF THEM.
Hebrews 8:12 FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.”
Hebrews 8:13 In that He says, “A NEW COVENANT,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
Now back to the scripture at hand.
There were only two ways that God could technically get out of His marriage — either ALL of Israel would have to die or He would…and because of the promises that God had made, Israel could not cease to exist. So, through the death of Jesus Christ, the Old Covenant could be terminated and a new Marriage Covenant could be entered into with the Church; those who had God’s Holy Spirit.
But not only did Christ die severing the marriage contract, but we die as well in the eyes of the law and are free to “remarry.”
Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”
Revelation 19:8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Revelation 19:9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”
Romans 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.
KJV – For when we were in the flesh, the motions [sufferings / afflictions] of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
When we [Israelites did not have God’s spirit within us, the sufferings of sin, the fruit of sin that comes from breaking the law was at work within us.
This is the outcome of fallible humans trying to keep the law on their own.
Romans 7:6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.
delivered from the [penalty of the] law; the condemnation of the law
having died to what we were held by
What were we held by? SIN! But we are no longer ensnared by it:
Romans 6:6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
Romans 6:7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.
Romans 6:11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This is how we then serve in the newness of the Spirit
We rise from the watery grave of baptism and have hands laid upon us and receive the Holy Spirit, the power of God within us, that we may do the “good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Paul switches gears here a little and clarifies if there is any doubt of what he is alluding to:
Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. [He says this in a good way] For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “YOU SHALL NOT COVET.”
Check point; time to make sure that we are on track and the ship is righted.
He doesn’t want to do these things and he is saying that the law helped him in this respect; it showed him what sin was so that he could avoid it and be pleasing in the sight of God. Paul knows that sin separates him and us from God (Isaiah 59:2).
Romans 7:8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead.
Being unaware of sin, prior to conversion, Paul had no idea of the wrong direction that he was heading
Without the clause set off by commas: Sin produced all manner of evil desire, because he thought there was no law that he had to obey[Romans 4:15 where there is no law there is no sin (or breaking the law)]
It takes a law being there to break it. Paul was unaware
Romans 7:9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.
He thought he was alive only because he did not realize the rules that God required him to be subject to.
But when he found out the necessity to keep the commandments as well as how to keep them, he then understood that sin was the breaking of that law and carried a penalty with it.
God’s law had convicted him in the same way that it should us.
Romans 7:10 And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death.
The law is to show us the character and nature of God, the way they live and how they want us to live; the way that leads to being like them and eventually being with them
How did it bring death: Romans 6:23
Romans 7:11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.
For sin deceived me and used the commandment to kill me.
James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.
James 1:14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
James 1:15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
Romans 7:12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
Come to a conclusion again on the previous matter
The law and commandments are of God and they are righteous and good [this is an understatement]
Convicting me that I am sinner and as a depiction of the nature of God
So if there is any doubt up to this point, Paul straightens it out
Romans 7:13 Has then what is good [the law] become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.
Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.
Again with the law
We continue to fight the good fight.
Paul, now 25-30 years into his Christian battle
The battle within; the battle of the mind; the internal battle
Romans 7:15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.
Notice that it is in present tense; not what he used to do
Paul’s self-evaluation as an apostle
Romans 7:16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.
He didn’t want to do it. [Just like us]
Romans 7:17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
Personification of human nature
Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.
Our natural self is not righteous; that is why we are to put on the righteousness of God
Cannot be done in and of ourselves
Romans 7:19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.
Romans 7:20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
Our strength is inadequate
Romans 7:21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.
Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.
Here is Paul’s view on the law. Paul wants to keep the law. It is just, holy and good.
Romans 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
1 John 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,
1 John 4:3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
1 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.
1 John 4:6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another…
Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
Paul’s final assessment of the previous verses. Still in present tense. An apostle for 25 Years plus or minus 5.
Human nature does not go away…but we don’t have to be slaves to it.
Romans 7:25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
There is hope. The mind is the seat of thought and the holy spirit. DOES serve the LAW of God.
The flesh that he/we comes out of serves sin.