Romans 7:1-25 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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The Righteous Will Live By Faith
Comments for Study 6

Romans 7:1-25
Memory Verse: 25a

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I. A New Life in Jesus (1-6)

>1. To whom is Paul speaking in these verses?

* Romans 7:1 "Do you not know, brothers--for I am speaking to men who know the law--that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives?"

* "know the law" -In Paul's day the Jews knew the law. Now this applies to anyone who studies the Bible.

* "brother" -Paul reminds them that he is their brother by blood. He is a Jews, a man who knew the law and studied it well.

* Verse 7 is another, continual, aspect for we grow spiritually just as a baby grows.

>What does it mean to be committed to the law?

* To make a vow. The make a agreement to be loyal.

* Make a heart decision.

* When a man and woman share wedding vows they are vows of commitment to each other. Thus a person committed to following the law is like being married to it.

>What are the limits of the law's authority over a person?

* "only as long as he lives" -using the example of marriage Paul explains this.

>2. Read verses 2 and 3.

* Romans 7:2-4 "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 of marriage. So then, if she marries 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, even though she marries another man. So, my brothers, 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 to God."

>Why does Paul use the law of marriage as an example?

* It is a lot like making a commitment to the law.

* In marriage we make a commitment. This commitment is only for life. After death the commitment breaks.

* All are married to the law. But when they die in Christ their bond to the law is broken. Now we are married (betrothed is a better term) to Jesus, the great bridegroom.

* If it is a bad marriage then Mrs. Law condemns us and/or visa-versa. Then we have a low self esteem for the other and ourself. This is our conscience.

>In what sense had he been married to the law?

* He agreed to be loyal to it.

>According to the law, how can the bonds of marriage be dissolved?

* When one of the two dies.

>3. How is it that we have died to the law? (6:2)

* Romans 7:4 "So, my brothers, 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 to God."

* Romans 6:2 "By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?"

* We died through Jesus' death and resurrection.

* This is also in 6:3-4.

* We died to the law, to sin, and to slavery under Satan.

>In what respect are we free? (6:15)

* Romans 7:6 "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 6:15 "What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!"

* We are free to serve God without fear in righteousness all our days. (Luke 1:74)

* We are no longer condemned by the law. Our conscience is freed from condemning us. The Holy Spirit reminds us of our new relationship in Christ. when the old marraige partner reminds me in my conscience of sin and says I'm guilty I throw the sin on the cross of Christ, repent, and move on in a holy life of faith.

>To whom do we now belong?

* To him who was raised from the dead.

>What is the nature of our new relationship to Jesus? (Isa. 54:5; 2 Co. 11:2; Rom. 8:38,39)

* Isaiah 54:5 "For your Maker is your husband--the LORD Almighty is his name--the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth."

* 2 Corinthians 11:2 "I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him."

* Romans 8:38-39 "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

* Our relationship with Jesus is a love relationship like between a wife and a husband.

* We have a new commitment in Jesus.

* Jesus is the bridegroom and all the members of the church (congregation is a better translation since church means so much these days) are his loving bride. (John 3:29, Hos. 2:14-23) When Jesus came in the flesh two thousand years ago the Jewish marriage practices were different then the practices of marriage in much of the world today. In those days when children were very young the parents of two families would decide who their children's prospective spouse would be. The children were too young to know what was going on. Then when the two children became of a certain age they would be betrothed as bride and bridegroom for one year. Today's engagement time is similar to the betrothed year, but there are distinct differences. (Ex. 22:16, Deut. 22:13-30, Matt. 1:18, Luke 1:27, 2:5)

During the one year the betrothed bride and bridegroom were considered legally married. Yet they would not live together, nor have sex together. They would not leave their parentsí families until the year was concluded. Before they were married they were to be sanctified as Israel was sanctified before they married the Lord at Mount Sinai. (Ex. 19:10-14) The brides became sanctified by having the ceremonial mikvah (water immersion). While they were betrothed the couple must remain pure and devoted to each other. The bridegroom would prepare a house for them to raise a family in, and the bride would take care of the bridegroom's needs. At any time during the betrothal year if the bride decided that she didn't want to be married to the bridegroom, she could call the marriage off and there would be a legal separation. When they were finally married there would be two witnesses, friends of the bridegroom. Their role was to prepare the bride and escort her to meet the groom underneath the chupath (wedding canopy) where the marriage would occur. Moses was the witness who led Israel to the Lord at Mount Sinai where a canopy of smoke circled the mountain top. (Ex. 19)

When they married they would have a ketuba (marriage contract/covenant) which states the terms and conditions of the marriage; the Lord and Israel's is Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26. During a traditional Jewish wedding they couple would state their love for each other as the Lord and Israel did at Mount Sinai. (Ex. 19:4-8) The marriage was completed (kiddushin meaning sanctified) when the bridegroom gave something of value to the bride and she accepted it, usually a ring that had a precious stone on it if he could afford it. Then there would be a great wedding banquet, a feast which was held which lasted several days. (John 2:1-11)

>4. Why did Jesus save us and make us his own bride? (4b)

* Romans 7:4 "So, my brothers, 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 to God."

>What is the fruit of the new union? (Rom. 5:1; Gal. 5:22,23; John 15:16)

* Romans 5:1 "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,"

* Gal 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

* John 15:16 "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name."

* We must remain pure in our heart and from that springs fruit of the heart which is made perfect in a life filled with the Holy Spirit. We walk by faith, by the Spirit.

* The fruit within bears fruit of action.

>How does Psalm 1:2-4 describe the committed life?

* Psalm 1:2-4 "But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away."

>The uncommitted life?

* They are blown about, bending to every teaching and idea that comes their way. They do not hold onto the gospel.

>5. What kind of fruit did we bear when we were under the law?

* Death (5)

* Condemnation

* Hate of self. Hate of others. Hate of God.

>Why?

* Romans 7:5 "For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death."

>What is the difference between serving in the new way of the Spirit and serving in the old way of the law?

* Romans 7:6 "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."

II. Faith Grows Through Spiritual Struggles (7-24)

>6. Is the law sinful? (7,12)

* Romans 7:7 "What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "Do not covet.""

* Romans 7:12 "So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good."

* No.

>What is its function? (7,13,3:20; Gal. 3:24)

* Romans 7:7 "What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "Do not covet.""

* Romans 7:13 "Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful."

* Romans 3:20 "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin."

* Gal 3:24 "So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith."

* So that we will know what sin is (7).

* It produced death in us (13).

* Sin became sinful. This means law shows how bad sin is. It deserves death.

* Functions are:
    1) law condemns us,
    2) we condemn others,
    3) our passions are aroused,
    4) we sin,
    5) we are guilty,
    6) we are and will be punished

>Which commandment defeated Paul?

* "Thou shall not covet"

>Why did he say that the commandment brought death to him?

* Romans 7:8-9 "But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died."

>How is the ten commandments different from the others?

* It deal with the inner mind and heart. It deal with the motive of man.

* Its a desire whereas others are obvious.

* Outwardly we can seem good, but inwardly we can be selfish.

>7. Read verses 14-20.

* Romans 7:14-20 "We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it."

>What is the struggle that goes on inside one who wants to do what is right? (Heb. 12:4)

* Hebrews 12:4 "In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood."

* Things needed in struggle: 1) want to do, 2) good motive, 3) not give up.

* Sin is alive and active.

>Why is it good and necessary to struggle with sin? (Rom. 7:8a; Gen. 4:7b)

* Romans 7:8 "But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead."

* Genesis 4:7 "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

* Human nature is good and evil. We were made in the image of God, but through Adam's sin we are naturally distort the image of God through our sin.

* Before sin appeared we were utterly good, but later when sin arrived we thought we were utterly bad.

* This cold tear down or grow.

* It remains even in even though we are in Christ. As long as we are in this body of death and decay. That is why we should put on the armor of God; live by the Spirit of God.

* In Christ we are more than conquerors. We should not give up.

* Our battle is not against flesh and blood.

>8. What does these verses teach about the nature of man?

* Even though we know what is good we do not do it outside of Jesus.

* We need to be more than mere man to overcome sin.

>About why Paul speaks of life as a spiritual battle? (1 Tim.1:18, 6:12, 2 Ti. 4:7)

* 1Tim 1:18 "Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight,"

* 1Tim 6:12 "Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses."

* 2Tim 4:7 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

>Why is it important to struggle with God rather than with men?

* Sometimes when we struggle sin we struggle with men.

>9. Read verses 21-24 and 25b.

* Romans 7:21-24 "So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?"

* Romans 7:25 "Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin."

>What are the two spiritual principles at work within us?

* Evil and good.

>Why does Paul delight in God's law?

* It is good. It is from God. The good nature compels us.

>What is the war that is going on inside him?

* The struggle to do good.

>What is his cry? (24)

* Romans 7:24 "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?"

* We need to be reminded of this over and over again.

>What does he realize? (25b)

* Romans 7:25 "Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin."

* Jesus is the exit to the vicious cycle of death.

III. Jesus Christ, The Only Salvation (25)

>10. What is the only way out of this defeated situation?

* "through Jesus Christs our Lord"

>What is Paul's cause for thanksgiving?

* God made a way to have victory-through Jesus.

>What can we learn here?

* To come to God from strength through Jesus.

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