Freedom is a coveted word. We all desire it but life on earth keeps us bound in one way or another. We have have been learning in Romans how sin entraps us. We live in bondage because of it. We know that Christ came to set us free from this enslavement; see Galatians 5:1 and 2 Corinthians 3:17 for added insight.
Let’s see what Paul wants us to learn in Romans 7. I want you to get a wee bit excited! The more we realize who we are in our sinful nature, the easier it is to believe and follow after Christ. We become freedom fighters!
We are after the most coveted prized possession available to man, Jesus Christ!
Read Romans 7. Paul continues to show us how who we are in our sinful nature and why Christ needs to become our Savior and Lord. In verse 1, we see how Paul may be a bit frustrated in how slow people are in understanding the difference between following the law versus following Jesus. It’s like he is saying, “Don’t you understand yet?”
The law refers to the religious things we do or don’t do for God. Religious people trust their own thinking and what they were taught by the denomination they grew up in or what their parents taught them. Paul is wanting us to realize that it’s time to let go and learn what the Bible says so we can come and believe the truth for ourselves. We tend to trust laws, science, our feelings and thinking over God’s Word and what the Spirit is telling us.
Verses 2-6 gives an illustration of marriage. Paul uses this analogy to help us understand how the law compares with Christ. A wife is bound to her husband in marriage. In the same fashion, we are bound to the law. If the husband dies, a wife is set free from her marriage. Christ sets us free from the law and sin.
At the cross of Christ, we die to our sins. What bounded us has now been cancelled. The rules of marriage don’t apply to the wife any longer. In Christ, we become married to the Son of God, who takes away our sins; see 1 John 3:5. This is the ultimate marriage that we so thirst for. Jesus truly is our perfect Prince Charming.
ASK YOURSELF: What happens to us when we die to Christ, see verse 4? What is the result of this happening?
ASK YOURSELF: What happens when we do not die to Christ and remain in our sinful state, see verse 5?
We have been released from the law.
This is good news everyone! We are not longer captive to its power either. We are free!
ASK YOURSELF: What are we free to do; according to verse 6? How do we accomplish this?
We live in a new way in the Spirit.
STOP here and ask God to show you what He is trying to tell you. When we come to Christ, we change the course of how we live, move and think. We become Christ’s bride. He leads us forward from now on. We are not dictated by what we have been taught previously.
BE ENCOURAGED: God will not have you forget your family or your heritage. Your past makes you who you are. He wants you to take the good from your family and cherish it. He also wants you to learn from the negative stuff and not let it dictate who you are. Who we become in Christ sets the stage for the rest of our days.
Paul asks another question in verse 7, “Is the law of God sinful?” No, it is not. The law of God shows us how sinful we are. It’s like looking in a mirror. We can see the dirt on our face or food in our teeth when we see our reflection.
ASK YOURSELF: Look up Hebrews 4:12 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17. How do these verses reveal what Paul is saying?
The law, also known as scripture, reveals clear insight into why God sent His Son to die for us. Our sin runs deep and we need help.
ASK YOURSELF: Verse 9 reveals a grave danger that many face, “At one time I lived without understanding the law.” Why is this dangerous?
When you don’t remain in Christ and abide in His Word on a daily, moment-by-moment basis, you fall into the trap of thinking everything is fine.
This is the easiest ploy of the enemy.
In verse 11, Paul says that sin takes advantage of us. Sin is deceptive and ugly. Look at verse 13, “Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation to death. It uses God’s good commands for its own evil purposes.” Hang tight, for when we study chapter 8, we will see how we are not condemned when we follow Jesus!
ASK YOURSELF: We know the law is spiritual and good according to verse 14. Paul says there is a problem. What is it?
The troubles we face are not from rules, regulations or laws but they lie within us. It began in the Garden with Adam and Eve. Refresh your memory and read Genesis 3 to see how easy it was for Satan to deceive Adam and Eve. Man nor sin has not changed and we never will. God knows this and Jesus will be returning to end the domination of sin.
EXERCISE TIME: In your Bible, I want you to circle all the I’s you see in verses 15-25. How many are there? What does this say about human nature?
ASK YOURSELF: Why do we do wrong, according to verse 20? What is our predicament, according to verses 23-24? Paul asks, “Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?”
“Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
And with that, nothing more is needed. This is why Jesus’ last words on the cross before He died for you and me was, “It is finished.” (John 19:30)
Jesus is all we need. In Him we are made whole and new.