Welcome home everyone! As we begin to get back to the routine of Church fellowship, more and more of you are returning. This is why I keep saying welcome home. As we are all essential members of the body of Christ, this is where we belong. We belong to Christ and we belong to each other. Amen?
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.1 Peter 5:8
The devil and his work are opportunistic to say the least. He does not care how he trips you up as long as you become neutralized. He will use what ever ammunition you give him. Just like the lion, the Devil will go for the easy kill. If you’re weak he will use that area to take you out. If you are strong he’ll use the weakness of someone you care about to bring you down. Church the enemy in all of his ways are opportunistic. In our text today the Apostle Paul shares with us a little of his journey with sin and the Law and that is what we’ll be unpacking in a moment. But first, let’s catch you up to speed.
Last week we discovered that our participation in Christ’s death actually freed us from the condemnation of the Law. We learned that this freedom granted us the ability to become His. Paul used the allegory of the 2 husbands to demonstrate how our death to the Law liberated us in the way the death of a spouse frees the other so that they may be given to another, as we are now given to Christ as His bride. Now just as a new bride would be entering a new home with her groom, we have entered a new life of grace in Christ Jesus. This week we are continuing in Romans chapter 7 as Paul continues to unpack this relationship between sin and the Law.
My prayer for us today is that by hearing this message, together you and me, will rejoice in the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and we would be empowered to resist the work of the Devil/sin and cling to faith in Jesus; our source of love, safety, provision, and salvation.
What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.Romans 7:7-12
As usual, I have broken up my thoughts into 3 parts or points in order to share them with you today. Let’s start with my first point.
God’s Law Is Perfect, But Sin Is Opportunistic
What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead.Romans 7:7-8
Immediately Paul recognizes the enemy’s tactic. He just got through saying that we have been released from the authority of the Law and are now bound to the new way of the spirit and not to the old way of the written code. Paul knows automatically, that someone is now prompted to discredit the Mosaic Law, thus God’s word. He says no! It was God’s word that informed me about who I am so that I could seek repentance and be united with God. But now as we understand that sin is the work of the Satan (the Accuser) and it is meant to put us in to harm’s way, concerning God’s wrath, and separate us from our eternal destiny with God. Now, we got the 411, Right? We are now pulling the plug on the mystery of sin in our lives. We know the who, what, where, and why about sin and its master and why we have it.
…For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”Romans 7:7
This is the point where the Law said hey, don’t do this, and the little dude inside said, Oohhh! What’s that? The defect here is not God’s word, it’s in original sin in us through Adam.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”Genesis 3:1
In this we see that his line of questioning is targeting God’s word. “Did God really say…?” This opportunistic serpent questioned the Law.
Eve responds like this,
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”Genesis 3:2-3
She clarifies the Law proving she was in full possession of the Law.
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”Genesis 3:4-5
Now, he questions God’s command again and now he rationalizes why in this case it will be to her advantage to make an exception, just this once. And she takes the bait.
This is why it’s so important for us to get this today. Around every corner there is someone or something that desires to pervert God’s word. We know the command, yet we hover around the things we desire sinfully. God’s Law is perfect, but sin is opportunistic. If Eve knew that she could not even touch the tree, then why was she even hanging around it? Why do we participate in conversations that are not of God, where we know we will only be tempted?
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,Hebrews 12:1
The Law said, “you shall not covet” and in that opportunity Paul was fill with every form of envy. (my paraphrase)
The Law Without Repentance Is Death
Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.Romans 7:9-10
The Law was part of the Mosaic covenant. This was a conditional agreement.
“You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine,Exodus 19:4-5
The sacrificial system was established for repentance and fellowship with God. The Law and repentance were always together. The law without repentance is death.
Again, for us today, we have set up institutions in our culture to help keep us from sin that we, just like them (Israelites), began to believe that we were righteous in the Law. This can only bring death. The righteous shall live by faith.
Let’s continue to my final point.
Sin Always Seeks To Pervert Truth
For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.Romans 7:11-12
From the outset of this passage Paul anticipated the distortion of God revealed word. Sin will seize every opportunity to not just twist God’s word/truth, He will do the same to each of us. Did you know church, that a partial truth is still a lie. Just as an omission is dishonest, so is not displaying the whole truth in correct context. This is how the enemy works!
He will say you should do this or that and then when you partake , he says, “I cant believe you did that.” No one will forgive you. How can you even ask God to forgive you. You are the worst sinner ever. But God… Don’t you love those, but God moments. Surely God didn’t mean love everyone. But He did. Surely Christ didn’t die for that person over there. But He did! How about this one… You don’t need anything, because you’re a good person. Oh, but you do.
This is the exact reason that Christ came to die.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Romans 5:8
Why would he do this if he already gave us the Law?
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16
It’s the Gospel church! It’s the love of Christ in us and through us that conquers all hate and deception. We must know the truth about who we are and what God has done on our behalf.
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”John 8:31-32
Church we see slogans everywhere and some of them are good in theory. Be the Change! Church, it is only through the grace of God that anything in this world will get better. In His love God has given His Son to die for or sin so that we could be united with him. Not so we could earn it, because we are incapable of earning salvation. The Law can’t save us. It is only through faith in Jesus Christ the risen Lord that we can be saved.
Will you open your hearts to Jesus, the Son of the living God, and receive what He has for you? 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.”’