Romans Chapter 7:1-25
Memory verses for this week: 1 Pet 3:4 But let it be the
hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the
ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of
Introduction: Last week, in the
chapter 6, Paul explained how we have a changed nature once we are
saved, and that we should turn from sin and walk in the newness of
life that Christ gives us.
The Law of Marriage
Limited by Death
Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the
law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he
For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to
her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is
loosed from the law of her husband.
was speaking to the Jews who knew the law.
The law that Paul refers to in verse 1 is of course the 10
are to follow the 10 commandments even today even though we live in
what is called the dispensation of grace.
Christ came to fulfill the law which He did to every jot and
tittle, and while the law does not bring us to righteousness, it
does teach us how to live. Many worldly teachers who do not know Christ as Savior
will tell you that to follow the 10 commandments would do people
good. God gave them to
give us directions on how to live.
The bible truly is a road map to the child of God in so many
ways. In verse 2,
we see that a woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he
lives. Once he dies,
she is no longer bound to him.
7:3 So then if, while
her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be
called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from
that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to
find the ten commandments in the book of Exodus, and the seventh
commandment is found in verse 14.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
world is not very fond of the teachings the bible has about the
institution of marriage. Our
worldly marriages should be a picture of the great love that Christ
has for the church. We
know that one day the church will be the bride of Christ.
The great love that He has for us should be an example of
what men and women should show between husband and wife.
The choice of a mate should not be a quick and hasty
decision, because once it is made, we should stand by that person
for all of our life. Verse
17 of Exodus 20 tells us that we are not to covet.
Once a man and wife have married, this is a holy institution
of God that should be honored. God set up the family long before he established the church.
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and
shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not
The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying
unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he
which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother,
and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What
therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
long as our mate is alive, we are to be bound to the one to whom we
married. Once one
member dies, the other is freed from the bounds of marriage and is
free to marry another or to live as a single person for the rest of
their lives. When
we marry, it is important that we do it “only in the Lord.”
God’s will for every person who marries is to seek out
another Christian. He
warns us to not be unequally yoked.
I know God has used situations and turned bad things to good
where the saved has married a lost person, but for every success
story you hear you find many that ended in failure.
1 Cor 7:39
The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth;
but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom
she will; only in the Lord.
2 Cor 6:14
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what
fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what
communion hath light with darkness?
2 Cor 6:15
And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath
he that believeth with an infidel?
says that if a woman leaves her husband and remarries, she shall be
called an adulteress. It
sounds like there are no exceptions, but it is permissible for a
person to put away his wife or husband if they have committed
fornication or adultery.
Mat 19:9 And
I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for
fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso
marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
think it is important to realize that we are not commanded to
divorce the unfaithful member, only given the option to do so if we
choose to do this. I
believe that every effort should be made to keep marriages together,
no matter what the situation.
If God is in the very center of our lives, I believe we can
overcome whatever obstacles are placed between us.
Christ Frees Us from the Law
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by
the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to
him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit
uses the example of husband and wife to make us understand how that
we should be married to Christ.
Because of what Christ has done for us in paying for our
sins, we are no longer under the condemnation of sin.
Because of Jesus Christ, we are free from the law and the
penalty of sin. In
verse 2, it showed that the wife is freed from the law of her
husband when he dies. The
believer becomes dead to the law through the body of Christ.
Because we are dead to the law, we have the freedom to be
“married or joined” to Christ in order that we might bring forth
fruits unto God. We
seek to please our worldly mate, and we certainly should be involved
in God’s work that we might bring honor and glory to Him with our
For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which
were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto
But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead
wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and
not in the oldness of the letter.
we lived only our physical lives (before being born again), we
served the sinful passions of our members.
And sin brings forth death.
But now, because Christ has delivered us from the law, we
serve God in newness of spirit.
We are not hindered and burdened down with the old letter
of the law, but given freedom to serve God with determination and
John 8:31 Then
said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in
my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you
They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in
bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the
Son abideth ever.
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free
The Law is Good and Holy
What shall we say then? is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I
had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except
the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me
all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
starts verse 7 with a question like he did in Chapter 6.
Is the law sin? Absolutely not… God forbid as is stated in the verse.
J. Vernon McGee had this comment on these verses:
me try to bring out the meaning a little more clearly: What shall we say then?
Is the Law sin? Away
with the thought! On
the contrary, I should not have been conscious of sin, except
through law; for I had not know illicit desire (coveting).
But sin, getting a start through the commandment, produced in
me all manner of illicit desire.
For apart from the Law sin is dead.
Paul, you recall, began his argument way back in the sixth
chapter of Romans with this expression. “What shall we say then?
Shall we continue in sin?”
Now again he says, “What shall we say then?
Is the Law sin? In
the first part of this chapter Paul seems to be saying that law and
sin are on a par. If
release from sin means release from law, than are they not the same?
Paul clarifies this. He
says, “Perish the thought”.
Paul will now show that the law is good; it reveals God’s
will. The difficulty is not with the Law; the difficulty is with us.
The flesh is at fault.”
law had a special ministry but it was not to give life nor to
deliver us from sin. It
was given to condemn us and bring us guilty before God.
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith
to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and
all the world may become guilty before God.
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be
justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
For I was alive without the law once: but when the
commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to
be unto death.
For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and
by it slew me.
Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and
just, and good.
Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid.
But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which
is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
gets very personal in his teachings through the rest of the chapter.
He talks about how he would not have understood not to covet
had it not been for the law. At one time, Paul thought he was truly alive to God,
but then the commandment came and he saw himself for what he was.
A guilty sinner standing helpless before a Righteous God.
When he realized there was no law that could give life, he
know that he was dead in his sins.
Every man and woman needs to realize the seriousness of sin,
and let this schoolmaster bring us to Christ for salvation.
We all inherited the sin nature of Adam, and only through the
second Adam, Jesus Christ, can we ever come into the presence of
God. We will not
stand there in our own righteousness, but we will stand in the
imputed righteousness of Christ.
He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but
was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was
able also to perform.
And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was
imputed to him;
But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe
on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for
The Struggle Between our Two Natures
For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold
For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I
not; but what I hate, that do I.
If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law
that it is good.
Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no
good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that
which is good I find not.
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I
would not, that I do.
Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but
sin that dwelleth in me.
don’t know of any verses in the bible that comfort me when I fail
like these verses. The
apostle Paul talked about how he had a great desire to do the will
of God and do good, but yet he found himself doing exactly the
opposite. Have you ever
experienced this? You
may be on a trip to do something for the Lord, and Satan sets up a
roadblock and instead of doing good and blessing someone, we tend to
fall for the trickery of Satan.
God help us all to overcome this flesh that drags us down.
These verses are not talking about the lost man, but the
saved man. (Verse 22
talks of the inward man that is alive to God.)
If we are not careful, we will become carnal and not living
for God, but serving the flesh.
The soul that is born of God always desires to do the will of
God. But the old
fleshly man wants to serve Satan, so there is a battle deluxe that
goes on inside of the Christian every day.
God wants us to sanctify (effectively setting apart) our
fleshly body for His use. But
this can only be done by the grace of God.
2 Cor 12:9
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my
strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I
rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest
2 Cor 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in
necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for
when I am weak, then am I strong.
Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him
that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman
and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the
son of the freewoman.
Gal 4:31 So then, brethren,
we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
the verses in Galatians, Paul used Isaac as a type of the inward man
who was born again.
Ishmael is the other type, typifying the flesh and this shows
the great battle that goes on between the flesh and soul of the
I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is
present with me.
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
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.
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body
of this death?
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
talks of how when he desired to do good, evil was present with him.
His question of “Who shall deliver me from the body of this
death?” is answered in one name… Jesus Christ.
the his book on Romans, J. I. Packer had this to say about the
deliverance we have in Jesus Christ.
the burden of sin is the great evil under which the apostle and all
other believers labor, form which no efficacy of the law and no
efforts of their own can deliver them, their case would be entirely
hopeless but for help from on high.
“Sin shall not have dominion over you” is the language of
the grace of God in the Gospel. The conflict which the believer engages in does not result in
the victory of sin but in the triumph of grace.
In view of this certain and glorious result, Paul proclaims:
Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!
This is evidently the expression of a strong and sudden
feeling of gratitude.”
we are saved, Christ delivers our soul from sin.
The flesh will battle us every day we live, but when we die
or Christ comes back, then the flesh will be delivered.
The flesh is against the soul, and is never redeemed while we
are in our natural bodies. The
only way we can walk the separated, victorious life God would have
us is to look to Him for grace.
We need to start every day in prayer and ask God to give us
victory over the flesh this day.
Things may look hopeless at times, but we need to remember as
Paul did, that Jesus is the answer.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
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Prov 4:18 But the
path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more
unto the perfect day.
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