Welcome home everyone, It’s great to be in the house of the Lord with you all again.
Last week we had a powerful time of Pentecost as we experienced a much-needed touch from the Holy Spirit. I want us to be people that carry the spirit of Pentecost with us everywhere we go. As we look at the Apostles’ example, we don’t see them only exhibiting the ministry of the Holy Spirit in certain times of the year. Rather, we see them living it out in all seasons and in every place. This is what makes them noteworthy, it is the power of the Holy Spirit moving through them. This is the power that brings real and lasting change.
Our message today will elaborate on some of these ideas. We are returning back to our study of Romans and continuing to build that firm foundation in Christ Jesus. This morning we are beginning chapter seven, where Paul unfolds further the concept of dying to the Law and being wed to grace in Jesus Christ.
My prayer for us today is that together we will find ourselves not abandoning the Law of God but, rather, turning ourselves away from the idea of a works based salvation and turn to faith in Jesus knowing that he alone is our savior.
Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person 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 that binds her to him. 3 So then, if she has sexual relations with 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 if she marries another man. 4 So, my brothers and sisters, 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 for God. 5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, 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.Romans 7:1-6
Death In Christ = Freedom From The Law
Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives?Romans 7:1
Let’s remember church that the Law was never mean to make us righteous or save us, rather it was to reveal our sin and bring us to repentance.
Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.Romans 3:20
Though we have participated in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. We have died to both sin and the Law. Yet, we still carry a moral responsibility. God still requires his people to live in obedience.
Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law.Romans 2:14
We have become a law unto ourselves. Our death in Christ frees us from the Law. Let’s skip ahead and look a verse 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.
As believers, we have been given the Holy Spirit that lives in us. Since we have died to the Law and raised in Christ, the Holy Spirit has replaced the condemnation of the written code. He has become the guiding hand of grace that moves us to obedience of the commands of God. Does this mean that we no longer sin? Of course not!
The temple in Jerusalem was considered the most holy place. The priests ministered there. And it was the place where God’s presence dwelt. The temple represented the pinnacle of morality, justice, and holiness. God did not need a law to govern himself. In John 20, the resurrected Christ breathed on his disciples and said, “receive the Holy Spirit.” We see Christ dead to the law and resurrected, he set into motion an institution whereby the Holy Spirit lives in each of us, as we have also died to the Law.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;1 Corinthians 6:19
You have died to your old master, the Law. You have been released from the authority of your old husband, the Law, and you are now free to be wed to grace in Jesus Christ.
The reasons why this is still so important for us to get these days is this… First, if we don’t recognize that we are removed from the Law in this way, we run the risk of sliding into this idea that if we do enough good things that we will be good enough to be saved. We remove our personal need for a savior. In this place we have made Christ useless. We have essentially, saved our selves and have no need for grace or repentance. Second, if this is the attitude we take on our own salvation, we will impose this same attitude on to others who desperately need the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Keeping the Law cannot save us. It is only through faith in Jesus Christ that we die to the Law and are raised up to belong to him.
Freedom From The Law = Freedom To Become His
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 that binds her to him. 3 So then, if she has sexual relations with 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 if she marries another man.Romans 7:2-3
Paul uses this allegory not as an instruction of morality in marriage per se, but rather to demonstrate further the parallels law and grace. In this parallel, Paul shows it’s the husband that dies. Thus, freeing the wife from the law of marriage. And in this case, it is the believer’s death to the law that liberates. The death of the husband that allows her to marry another. But it is the Believer’s death to the Law that allow us to belong to someone new, Jesus Christ. In the allegory the woman is bound by the Law of marriage and must endure her situation until his death which hopefully is out of her control. On the flipside, the believer may choose Christ at any time. Church, being free from the Law does not mean we can do what ever we want without consequence, because we are covered under the blood. Being free from the Law means we are not bound to its condemnation, rather we are free to belong completely to Christ.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!2 Corinthians 5:17
This is a totally new situation. A new life, certainly an infant isn’t born automatically with criminal charges or with other life difficulties. These things come as life develops and choices are made. That’s why babies bring such hope and joy because they carry with them a fresh realization that anything is possible. A child carries the hope of a new relationship. Freedom from the Law means that we are free to belong to Him. We are free to start fresh and new in a new relationship with Him
Paul presents this passage under the presupposition that we cannot be bound to the Mosaic Law and to Christ at the same time. Paul sees them as competing authorities.
So, my brothers and sisters, 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 for God.Romans 7:4
On writer refers to them as regimes, one old and one new. The mosaic law is the old regime that was never intended to save, only to reveal sin and bring to us repentance. Christ is the authority of the new regime with full power to save us from God’s wrath and with grace to declare us innocent on that day of judgment. In Christ, the condemnation of the Law has been replaced by the Holy Spirit that dwells in the heart everyone who will believe on Jesus. In this freedom we have become one with Christ.
Belonging To Christ = New Life In Grace
For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, 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.Romans 7:5-6
Paul is contrasting 2 forms of life that are polar opposite. Realm of the flesh and the new way of the spirit. The realm of flesh highlights sinful passions and fruit for death. “the sinful passions aroused by the law” The word in the Greek that used for “aroused” is “dia” It’s a preposition and it can also be seen as because, though, by reason of, or by the instrumentality of. At any way you look at it, it was through the regime of the Law that we became aware of these sins. On one side where looking at lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. And death is the result. And the other side is the new way in the spirit. If death is the result of the Law, then the opposite of that must be life. Life in the spirit. Freedom to live as the spirit leads. Life eternal in the presence of God. Freedom from the bondage of the condemnation of the law. And salvation from the wrath of God, now, and at final judgement. Today we all have a choice to make…Will you choose life in the grace of God through faith in Christ Jesus or will you choose to live in the fruit of death?
When I was young, I would always work with my Dad. And the last thing I wanted to do is to feel like I failed him. Often, I would feel as though the job had gotten the better of me and I would become discouraged. I suppose he could sense that in me, and to relieve my dismay he would always this; Son, don’t sweat the small stuff. In our work there is this looming “law of results,” right? This is how we judge ourselves worthy, in this way, is by our works. My Dad applied his grace to his child to relieve a burden that he didn’t want me to carry. He never intended for me to live a life with that kind of burden.
Church, God is the same way. He never intended for us to carry the weight of the Law. It was a lesson for a season. The end of this season does not negate the spirit of God’s commands that are our witness to the world. Rather, we are liberated from the authority of its regime. We have died with Christ and therefore have been released from the Law. We now belong to Christ and have been given a new life in Him.
Many of us, struggle here because we gauge our own value by what we think we can bring to the table. Men especially, we value our worth by our ability to provide or in some other way. Here it the truth, there is nothing you can do to be good enough for God. You will never be able to earn your way to heaven. Here’s the good! The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that God is good enough for all of us. And he loves us enough to apply His grace to all that will call on His name. Here’s the question again. Will you choose life in the grace of God through faith in Christ Jesus or will you choose to live in the fruit of death? Many of us today think that we are safe in God but we still dwell in the area of trying to earn our salvation. If that’s you today I urge you today to turn from these works and turn to faith in Jesus Christ. The new life in Jesus Christ has way more to offer us than the ability to boast over our great accomplishment. Instead we can share in what God is doing and bring Him glory.
Will you open your hearts today and receive what God has for you? Will you call on him today? Will you ask Him to Help your unbelief today? Many of you need a fresh touch from God today, Is there some form of hindrance or bondage in your life or your relationships today? God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life? He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today. You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today. He wants to bring healing in this area today. There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late. It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today? Will you bow your heads with me?
Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here. Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life. If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here.
Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family and you can repeat after me. Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.
“‘“The Lord bless youNumbers 6:24-26
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’