A Few Thoughts From Romans 7

Paul begins to break this down further. As one chooses to obey a particular one (including the doctrine) that one whom he chose he becomes a slave or servant to (6:16-17). Under the authority of the Law of Moses, Paul illustrates with regard to marriage (7:1-4). The law (Law of Moses) is no longer alive; it no longer has power (sway, influence) over a person (in our case, a Christian) – all because one the law is dead (cf. Colossians 2:11-17), and one chooses to no longer serve a “dead law”, but a living Christ. Those who were under the law were bound to that law of sin and death (7:4-6). Since the Law of Moses had brought death, what could resurrect? Jesus. As one chooses between two options (life in Christ, or not), with the proper choice made, there is servitude toward righteousness which brings life.

The Law of Moses fulfilled its purpose, and that purpose was to make sin known to the person who lived under its authority (7:7-12). Was that all that the law was supposed to do? No, it was to promise life (7:10, ESV). How could it promise life when Peter (Paul) made clear that it could not justify anyone (Acts 15:10, cf. 13:39). Since sin destroys and the Law of Moses was not given to destroy (cf. Lard) it can be said that the law promised life by steering those under its authority from sin. Some try to argue that the law, if obeyed perfectly, would have given one eternal life. I am not of that opinion because of what Paul said in Acts 13:39. However, we read that it promised life, so what of this? I suggest that it corresponds to Leviticus 18:5, Psalm 19:7-11, and even Romans 10:5; in other words, as one lived under its authority and obeyed the Lord from the heart (cf. Deuteronomy 10:12-13), then that one who so obeyed would be pleasing to the Lord.

Paul illustrates how the law worked in his (or any other’s life). Sin was now alive since the Law of Moses was given to the nation, and the sin that people have in their lives is continually at odds with the Lord’s spiritual law (Law of Moses). Thus, sin (personified) made every effort to prevent one from meeting the demands of the law which was to steer one from sin. This failing brought one to the point of recognizing the good and just standard of God’s spiritual law. Even under God’s spiritual law (7:14) sin brought one into bondage; it is evident, then, that the law could not release one from that bondage. What can? Jesus (7:24-25)!

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