Romans Chapter 7

"Identification with Christ in Life and Death. [1-6]"

"Sin is in Us though We Have Risen with Christ. [7-25]"

"The Law. It's Conflict with the Old Nature. [7-12]"

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription/ location is provided by http://www.theseason.org

Romans 7:1 "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 liveth?"

Chapter seven continues the subject of Romans 6, and this chapter will help us have peace of mind when we sin and repent, because we will understand better our position in Christ, before the Father.

Paul is speaking here to those that know the Word of God, and know the law. The law does have dominion over each of us, as long as we live. Paul uses marriage to explain this position, and he shows where through death there is a legal release to someone that has been committed to her mate for her entire life. Why? Because when one is in the spiritual body, they are no longer bound to the flesh partner, and also the flesh is not bound to the spiritual.

Romans 7:2 "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."

The law is given to the flesh that is under the law. When the husband is dead, the wife is free to remarry. What this is leading to is also applied to divorcees, and the law should be applied properly there also. This is part of the law, as Paul was a student of the law, and it comes from the Old Testament.

God himself divorced the House of Israel, for we read in Jeremiah 3:8; "And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also."

Though God divorced Israel for her idolatry [spiritual adultery is idolatry], in Jesus Christ's death on the cross Israel could be brought back to God. In fact that is what Hosea is about. In Hosea 1:10 we are told about Israel's return to God in the latter years.

Hosea 1:10 "Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured no numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, `Ye are not My people,' there it shall be said unto them, `Ye are the sons of the living God'. "

We are in the latter years and that House of Israel doesn't even know who they are. "The place where it is said of them..." is in America, England, Europe, Asia, or wherever a Christian nation exists, there they call themselves "sons of the living God". Christ is the living God that came out of the tomb, and those that are the sons are called Christians after the bridegroom. The Christian is the virgin bride of Christ, waiting for her groom to return.

Though this verse is a play on spiritual Israel, it also applies to your own life in the flesh.

Romans 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 the law; so that she is no is no adulteress, though she be married to another man."

What did Christ crucifixion have to do with this? Jesus death on the cross is what this is working to. Remember here in this verse the wife is spiritually alive, and the husband is spiritually dead, under the law.

Romans 7:4 "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 risen from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God."

We become "dead to the law by the body of Christ". But the law is Old Testament law and is of the flesh. When a woman repents and she is baptized through faith and she understands the Word, her flesh body dies unto the Lord, and she is raised a new creature, and is free to remarry.

Remember that God divorced Israel, yet upon His death on the cross in the flesh, we are in turn able to partake in the wedding feast, and become part of the bride of Christ. This is a spiritual thing, and applies to both the men and the women. When there is repentance for what ever sin exists in the divorce, and their is true repentance to the Father "in Jesus name", then God doesn't want to hear about that sin any more because it is blotted out. So then where is the sin?

When Paul speaks of the death it is applied not only to the physical but also spiritual, and many have difficulty in understanding. Being in Christ and in the faith, we have freedom from the law. The law still exists, and divorce is not good, but when repentance for sin is made, even divorce is blotted out. Divorce is certainly not the unforgivable sin, and Christ's death on the cross includes the forgiveness of this sin also. The gift of God of forgiveness is the "freedom from the law".

If there is a humor in Christianity it comes from the fact that the same churches that wants to brand all divorcees under the law, is the same church that states that Christ destroyed the law. Friend, this is ignorance to the highest degree. They use the law that is supposed to be gone [according to their teachings] to brand the divorcee who has repented of their sins. You know it is NOT the Spirit of God working there, for the Spirit of God does not violate the Word of God, and when God says repented sin is blotted out and is guiltless, it must be the accuser doing the accusing, and we know him to be the devil.

Divorce is bad to all concerned, but Christ paid the price, and forgiveness is there for all that will accept. Don't let any group rob you of that price that Christ paid so you can have total remission for all sin.

Romans 7:5 "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 death."

When there was sin, the law let us know that we were sinning. When we did sin, while we knew what we were doing, the fruit of the act of our sin brought death: spiritual death.

Romans 7:6 "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."

This is applied now in the New Testament times, and after Christ has been crucified. We have a new written code because when we do break that law [code] we are delivered from the law. This is because we are baptized in death with Christ, and raised in the spirit with Christ. It doesn't mean that we will stop sinning, but thank God that we can repent when the law shows us of our sins. Then we are forgiven of all our sins.

If you falter four hundred times a day, then that is the number of sins that need repenting. That is the freedom that we have in the law.

Romans 7:7 "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."

The law is important, for with the law written in God's Word we have the standard to know when we fall short of the law, and it is that knowledge that allows us to repent of all of those sins. In Paul's example, I had not known covet [lust] except the law had told me, "Thou shalt not covet". [Exodus 20:7]

There is nothing new here, for our whole lives are governed by the law, and even the Constitution of our land is based on the Law of God's Word. When the law is broken, then repentance is required from the heart. The fruit of your breaking the law is trouble.

Romans 7:8 "But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead."

"Concupiscence" is "the act of doing something that is illegal, or not allowed". That is what the law does, it shows you limits and the manner that we live our lives in peace. Without the law there is no violation because there are no limits, and sin was dead. If you didn't know the law, you would not even know that it existed. Sin apart from the law is lifeless, because there is nothing in it.

Romans 7:9 "For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died."

Paul was alive and very zealous of the law, and it was in him. With the law Paul was destroying the Christian churches and killing Christians. But when the commandment came to him, then Paul died to that old man [creature], and became a new man with new spiritual life.

Romans 7:10 "And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death."

Paul is saying that he knew the law, and he used that law for the wrong purpose, just as many churches misuse that law today. The law can destroy a group if the Word of God is misinterpreted to the point of placing bondage on your life, rather then freeing you from sin. God's Word will set you free, and that freedom we have in Christ is a wonderful thing. Learn the truth and the truth of His Word will set you free.

Whenever someone uses the Word of God to place you in bondage, they are misinterpreting the truth. There is no way that you can be in bondage when you are in Christ.

Romans 7:11 "For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me."

By me misunderstanding that law and commandment of God, and taking and using that commandment in the wrong way, I became deceived by the church, or teachers that taught it.

Have you ever criticized someone that had repented for a past sin that Christ had forgiven, and do you realize what that makes you? Even the church itself is guilty, if it participates in placing a person in bondage to the law when the person is in Christ, and that sin has been repented.

Romans 7:12 "Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good."

There is nothing wrong with the law, or the commandments for it is man that misinterprets the law and commandments. It is man that sins and not good, not the law or commandments. The law is just, and by following it we can keep ourselves out of trouble.

Romans 7:13 "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."

When I allowed sin to become deception to me, it became my master. Whenever God speaks in the Bible and gives us direction that something is forbidden, it becomes "the Law". When God spoke to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, that became the first law. When they broke that commandment, sin entered into them and the world. Other commands were given concerning the mixing with the angels and those laws were also broken when these fallen angels came and took the daughters of men, as recorded in Genesis 6. That was a commandment or law, and all those that took part in those marriage and condoned it also sinned. The punishment for that sin was a physical death by the flood.

When God gives the laws, and commandments then Satan comes along and twists the law to make it confusing and acceptable to him. Then Satan uses that law to tempt you to break that law or commandment, or stretch it beyond God's limits, and that then is sin.

Paul is saying here that he took that which seemed good to me, and had I kept going in the same direction it would have brought me spiritual death. Because I was deceived in my interpretation of the commandment itself. This is not to say that the commandment was bad but that I was misled.

Some day there are many that call themselves pastors and teachers that are going to have much to answer for their teaching errors. It is time to do your home work. When you teach error and your instruction is followed, then you automatically accept the sins of those that error by your teaching. Their blood then is on your hands, if you are assuming the role of leadership over others in teaching.

Romans 7:14 "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin."

Paul is saying, I know that the law is spiritual, but I am in the flesh body and I don't understand my own actions and words at times. Do you? Those times do come when we say and do things that afterwards we wonder why we did such a stupid thing, or said such a cruel thing to a person. Have you ever said something that you would like to take back, and wish had never been said? This is what is carnal, and it is why we should strive to avoid self-righteous trips, because they end in a big fall.

Romans 7:15 "For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I."

At times I do things that I simply cannot explain why I did it. Sometimes what I know I should do, I just don't do it. Sometimes the very thing that I hate, I end up doing. Does this sound like you at times? If we were honest, I think it applies to all of us. To the person that would not face up to this, there is a word that applies to them; "Self-righteous".

We are not trying to excuse sin, but if you are in a humble position before God, and being in the flesh, and able to face reality, you know that all sin must be repented in Jesus name, and if it isn't you are headed for a big fall. This is Paul speaking, and even he knew that he fell short, but it was through the Word and Paul's repentance that all of Paul's sins were washed away, and freedom came to him.

Romans 7:16 "If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good."

This is saying that everytime we admit to those things that we do not want to do, but do them and sin, we are admitting and consenting that the law is good. When you repent of any sin, you are consenting that the law is good. The law is our guide to let us know when we step out of God's commandments, and by repenting we free ourselves for the act that we had just committed, and that sin is not binding to us before the Father.

Romans 7:17 "Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me."

We are in our flesh bodies, in the carnal, we will continue to sin while in the sin. This is not an excuse to sin, while in the flesh, but Paul is letting us, the saved of God know that as we try to live for Christ, in the flesh, we still have that old nature with us. Friend, this is reality and we must be aware of our condition while in the flesh, so we can be on guard and try to control that flesh nature that we have.

Romans 7:18 "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."

Notice here that Paul is relating to being in the flesh "(that is, in my flesh,)" because there are two of us, the spiritual and the flesh. This is Paul the Apostle of Jesus Christ speaking and saying that there is no good thing in his flesh body and his old flesh nature. "To will is present with me", means that Paul wants to do what is right, but it seems that I just don't have to power within me to always do that which is right.

If you can come to the point of understanding what Paul has just said in these past few verses, then you will see what a blessing we have in seeing our shortfall, and sins, even when we do not know why did the thing; in our ability to repent to the Father, and apologize to those that we have hurt, and by faith in Jesus make it right eternally.

Our Heavenly Father understands you just as you understand and forgive your own tiny child when that child comes to you and says "I'm sorry mommy, or daddy". What do you say to your small child? "That's okay, I'll take care of it," and you do. It is forgotten, even though you know that it will probably happen again. That is how our Heavenly Father takes care of His children, you and I. He knows you are not perfect, for He created your flesh body in a manner that you can hear His Word and chose to follow Him and trust Him, or reject Him.

Romans 7:19 "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do."

Paul says that even against his own wishes it seems that I continue to sin and fall short.

Romans 7:20 "Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me."

If you don't realize that you sin, and that in the flesh body you have that sin nature, sooner or later sin will overtake you. You had better see it for what it is when it does come. If you sit back and say that you don't sin anymore because you are saved, friend, you are in serious trouble and the direction you are heading is straight to hell.

Romans 7:21 "I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me."

"I find then a LAW". Paul is saying that I try to do right, but wrong is all I can do.

Romans 7:22 "For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:"

I delight in the new man that is within me. I delight in the truth, and the Word and law that God has given me.

Romans 7:23 "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."

There is a war going on within my body over two laws, one governing my flesh and carnal mind, that would bring me into the captivity of sin. That law that leads me to sin is there, and within my body [members].

Romans 7:24 "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"

I hope by the time we have reach this point in Romans you know exactly who it is that can deliver Paul and you and I from the body of this spiritual death.

Romans 7:25 "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 sin."

We have the victory under the blood of Christ, and it is through our faith and trust in Jesus Christ that we can be free from all of our sins. We can not avoid sinning while in the flesh body, or while in the flesh, we will always have that old nature with us. But we also will have the victory when we see our sin, through the law that was given for our guidance, and be freed from that sin we have done, by our repenting in Jesus name, and our trust and faith in Him.

Don't let anyone chain you to a repented sin that you have committed and truly repented to our Heavenly Father for. We all have this carnality, you as well as those doing to finger pointing, and those that can't see it do sin worse of all, for they are in self-righteousness, and that is one thing that does not allow repentance. For self-righteousness is allowing yourself to overlook the sin that is in you, thus you don't repent for that sin. It draws one to the same state of mind that the religious leaders had that crucified our Lord.

Many churches will even go so far in their self-righteousness to accuse one of sinning just by not attending their church. Friend, they are playing mind games with your soul, and they will get away with it, if you let them. Once you have repented of any sin, in Jesus name, that sin is blotted out from the "Lamb's book of life", and you will never be judged for it, so don't let anyone throw it in your face, for it is not of the Spirit of God, but from the accuser of the saints, the devil. The Holy Spirit does not work against what God's Word promises, but in support of it.

See the beauty of the freedom that Jesus Christ brought us, when He died on the cross, and paid the price once and for all times. Even though we fall short, when we mean well and repent when we sin, He is there to forgive us and give us the freedom from those sins we have committed.

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