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September 2, 2018 1:52 pm
Will this morning we, as we open our Bibles to Romans chapter 7 Romans chapter 7 of your visiting over going consecutively through the book of Romans and I find a fascinating study but this morning we come to one of the most debated and challenging passage in passages in all of the New Testament of your visiting with us 15 minutes from now you may wonder what an active I come to well we are attempting to study and understand that the Scripture and in this passage that were looking at Romans seven from verse 13 through 25 volume after volume 1, page after page is written by the commentaries on the subject and I read a number of them have studied this passage over the years, read a number of them this past week, and that therefore I want to issue a disclaimer.
I'm not positive. My interpretation is right, of course, I think it is right, as some of you are going to disagree with me. That may mean that you are right and I'm wrong or I am right and you're wrong. So to minimize the emails of those of you who loves to tell me when I'm wrong.
I admit I may be wrong, better minds than mine have studied this passage and try to exegete these words but I have come to its and if what I say is true to the text, except that remember as I prayed, their authority is not in Calvary church that authority is not in John Monroe. The 30 days not in the commentaries of authority is in the word of God and so I passed my test my privilege is to open the word of God. That's why I want you to come with them unable I know somebody fashionable used to be the people would quickly happy would walk to church with her Bibles and I think what's happened to us in just about got it on my little iPhone but when I see you looking-I wonder is that the Bible in front of them or their checking their Facebook or Instagram or something. How would I know, but I see your Bible I know your reading your Bible, or whatever you are using and whoever is speaking to you with this myself or the like group leader or whoever you listen to make sure it conforms to Scripture.
This is the inerrant word of God. So if I have strayed from the text today.
Please rejected. What is clear in Romans seven verses 13 through 25 Paul is describing a struggle. I struggle between good and evil, and we all experience that struggle. Don't wait between wanting to do good things and then finding ourselves doing bad things. Some of you yesterday as I did listen to the funeral service of John McCain and that one of the many speakers quoted from Scotsman Robert Louis Stevenson from his epitaph home is the sailor home from the sea. The well-known pulling by Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Louis Stevenson also wrote a fascinating book with some of your bread and it is called the strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I hope you read that you've seen the movie I have seen the movie but have read the book and in that book the strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Robert Louis Stevenson graphically portrays one man's struggle between good and evil.
Sometimes that he is Dr. Jekyll was a very good and the respectable man. At other times, he is Mr. Hyde and he's a vicious evil man journey.
Do you know anyone like that sometimes we say people think of us with a personality as an individual you may live with someone like this who sometimes is very nice, very charming but helpful very loving and then sometimes something seems to snap at the time to be very mean very violent.
That is, I think you would admit to that is a dark side to all of us, which is capable of saying and doing horrible and evil things. Lord willing, next week were going to study David, a man after God's own heart and that is we study him over going to be amazing what a surprise at some of the very evil and horrible things. King David does. Yes, there is a site of us which is caring, loving and kind but is also assigned to us which can be very very evil. What struggle is Paul describing in the closing verses of Romans chapter 7 is he describing a struggle that every follower of Christ should expect he is, after all, writing in the present tense and, therefore, in the view of some.
In fact, in the view of the majority of the commentators I read this week seems to be describing his present Christian experience but has not.
Paul said earlier in chapter 7. Certainly in chapter 6 that the Christian has been freed from the power of sin and online so is Paul referring to himself as a believer in Christ, or is he referring to a time when his experience when you before he was converted when he was under the conviction of sin is he trying to keep the law in his own strength or is it referring to some other time. Let's read the text and try and understand that it is the word of God to us. Romans seven verse 13 did that which is good. Bring death to me. The context is the law remember the context number one principle of interpretation of Scripture is context.
In about the law that which is good.
He said in verse 12, the law is holy member last week. The commandment is holy and righteous and good so did that which is good, namely the law bring death to me by no means it was Satan producing death led me through what is good in order that Satan might be shown to be sin and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I'm of the flash sold under certain I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want but I do the very thing I hate.
No, I do what I do not want.
I agree with the law that it is good.
So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me, for I know that nothing good dwells in me that is in my flesh but I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to counter it hurts fried for I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing now. If I do what I do not want it is no longer I would do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that what I want to do right evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my interbeing and I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members wretched man that I am who shall deliver me from this body of that. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
So then I see this is a summary of the verses you may see differently so that I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh serve the law of sin that we have no these verses and answering the question of verse 13, Paul loves to ask questions is a good teachers and the ghastly questions I was giving the answer to that which is good that bring death to me is the law blame for our death. The law center and lay as we saw last week, reveals the true character of sin. So the problem is not the law allows only the laws just as good. The problem is ourselves sin, not the law is the cause of death and then what Paul does. I believe in verses 14 through the end of the chapter gives an explanation of the statement in verse 13 knifing verse 13, Mary fed back to verse five of chapter 7 where Paul deals with the unbeliever look back at verse five of Romans 74 while we were living in the flesh are sinful passions of riders by the law. What work in our members to bear fruit for that. So, in my view, verses 13 through 25 are dealing with an individual with her saved and unsaved who is trying to please God by following the law, or by his or her own efforts probably mask it is ever made resolutions and then experienced a real struggle in keeping the like.
A woman who was a little overweight and made a resolution that she would only eat a doughnut from this particular doughnut shop which she liked was in the busy part of time and she was only going eat the doughnut. She resolved that if when she passed the doughnut shop. There was an empty parking spot right in front of the doughnut shop because it was rarely rarely an empty spot there was such a busy store and sure enough after the 10th time run the block there was an empty spot would all away around way of the internal struggle. What is the struggle with the nature of it. Some say this is a compelling argument. I think some say the past tense of verses seven through 13 referred to Paul before he was saved and then when he writes in the present tense as he does from verses 14 through 25 is referring to his present experience as a Christian, but I must say it's difficult for me to see the verses that I read as a description of the normal Christian life. I believe by using I. Paul's focus is as the as the representative of the religious yet unregenerate person including the Jew. In fact, he may be using the personal Paul pronoun I in the universal sense of someone which is grammatically possible. That is, anyone believe it ought unbeliever trying to please God by following the law trying to be that do the best they can experience is the struggle that Paul is enumerating an end of these verses, particularly the person before they come to Christ who is under conviction of sin. Have you ever been under conviction of your sin. I remember I was for a year or two prior to my conversion when I was 12 years old. Dickens is a boy of about 11 or 12 in the conviction of sin absolutely.
How can you see your need of a Savior. Unless you're convicted of your personal sin. I knew the gospel on you. The Bible says I love the Bible I had memorized many, many verses in object growing the little brother and assembly with my parents, listening to different preachers, but I do remember one preacher who, in a sense I like the visiting preacher. I like them. In one aspect, I didn't like him another because he was a very passionate preacher of the gospel and a very interesting preacher. I find them very compelling. As I sat as a wee boy. Listening to him. But why didn't like what I type. I felt terribly convicted given to the preacher like you feel convicted because he was telling me that I needed Christ that I needed to be saved and I was convicted and it presented to me. Great tomorrow I great struggle between wanting to trust Christ.
On the other hand, for some reason now, which I wondered about feeling to do so. What is clear is that there is a contrast between Romans seven and Romans eight.
In Romans seven we have the law and Roman elites. We've got grace in Romans seven we got a lot about the flashing Romans eight with a letter by the Holy Spirit. So in these verses Paul is dealing with the law that the clear context and its inability to save us so as we go through it were trying to answer the question, is this the struggle of the believe it or unbeliever or what kind of believe it or what kind of unbeliever.
In verses 14 through 17 we have the condition in verses 18 through 20.
The proof and then the verdict in verses 21 through 24. So I want us to think of it in the simple ways the condition, the proof and then the verdict.
First of all, the condition what is the condition of this person here sold under sin. I'm arguing that Paul gives us a description of the unregenerate person is and why do you say that while this is the description.
First of all verse 14 he says I am of the flash for we know that the law is spiritual. No problem with the law is a problem me.
I of the flesh. I believe that Paul is looking back prior to his conversion is demonstrating the weakness and inability of the law to save anyone know these verses are not describing someone who is living a spirit filled life. Some translate the word flashier as carnal or unspiritual as the NIV does the Greek word is something on us, choose only three times by Paul in his writings is used for example in first Corinthians 3 verse one where Paul refers to the Corinthians, and he says, in a sense that they are carnal there unspiritual they are baby Christians. It's time for you to grow up is what he saying he uses this word start to notice, but if Paul is writing as a Christ follower writing two or three years after the first Corinthians is in I was saying that he has reverted to spiritual babyhood that seems difficult to accept sources. First of all, I'm of the flash.
Secondly, in verse 18 he refers to in my flesh. Verse 18 for I know nothing good dwells in me that is in my flesh expression in my flesh is equated with me. The Greek word here is starts sometimes translated as sinful nature and the phrase in the flash refers not to believe her but don't unbeliever. For example, chapters 7 verse 54 while we were living in the flash that is when I was unsaved. Chapter 8 verse nine. Those who are in the flash cannot please God says in verse nine of chapter that you're not in the flesh within the spirit and the flash is a reference to the unbeliever third. The first I'm of the flash. Second, in my flesh. Thirdly, says, and perhaps most challenging for those who believe that Paul is writing of the normal Christian life.
In verse 18 of S14. Rather, he says, sold under sin description of the believer that were sold in percent. I don't think so. Verse 14 for we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flash sold under sin.
NIV says sold as a slave to sin.
Other translations say sold into bondage to sin. That's a picture of an unbeliever or someone who is a slave to sin that held captive by Satan, but Paul's argument in Romans six has been has in their that the believer is no longer slaves to sin no longer a prisoner to sin. Verse 14 of chapter 64 Satan will have no dominion over you since you're not under law but under grace. Verse 17 of chapter 6 but thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of said for your converted you would once slaves of sin have become a region from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed and having been notice this is glorious truth said free from sin, having become slaves of righteousness.
So these three expressions. I'm sorry I'm of the flesh in my flesh, sold under sin indicate that these verses are not referring to an authentic follower of Jesus Christ as the one who is held captive to the law of sin. The unbeliever verse 23, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. I ask you is a believer in Jesus Christ captive. The word is as a prisoner of war.
Someone who is a prisoner to the law of sin is true of the believer. Well look what Paul says in chapter 8 verse two for the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. We've been set free from this captivity. Once we were in the clutches of the enemy. Once we were slaves of Satan but now, through the glorious pilot of the gospel we been set free. All we are certainly still pressured by Satan were influenced by Satan tempted by Satan, and in fact we do sin, but we are not slaves to sin. The unbeliever is a slave to sin, you would be here today.
You may be a very good person compared with other people.
Paul has reminded us that all of us come short of the glory of God.
Apart from the intervening grace of God, you will never ever keep the law of God, you will never please God, you'll never have the victory over sin in your own strength. You are a slave to sin so I believe the person near the end of Romans seven is sold under sin is defeated by sin and therefore is not a true believer in Jesus Christ. Here is our condition, then apart from the grace of God. This is what you are apart from the grace of God sold under said it was a proof that secondly it was a proof that were sold under said apart from the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. We cannot have victory over said apart from the grace of God and apart from the power of the life-giving spirit in your life you will never have the victory over sin or struggle with sin always ends in defeat is not what Paul is saying in verses 15 through 20 that by ourselves were always defeated. We want to do good and then we find ourselves doing evil. We want to wanting to obey the law is very different from actually obeying it, wanting to please God is very different from actually pleasing God. John Stott in his commentary says the will is there but the ability is no. Yes, the laws good about yourself, you can't do good. Not only are you unable to refrain from doing bad things we cannot apart from the grace of God in the part of the spirit, we cannot do good things in this struggle, as we try to please God by conforming to the law by doing the best we can inevitably ends in frustration, despair, and ultimate death. Paul is an unbeliever was under the conviction of sin number.
What he said he thought it would be all right until he read the commandment you shall not covet that which should have been life to him because it came from the life-giving guard and identified to be decked in the wages of sin is death, and apart from the grace of God and apart from dependence upon the Holy Spirit sin sin indwelling sin in this rules.
So this is not the normal struggle of the authentic follower of Jesus.
The Christian life is not one of pessimistic frustration and defeat in these verses that I read. Sin always wins.
Exhibit John, I am a follower of Christ, and I experience a struggle. Yes, a very real struggle, but that struggle that we experience a followers of Jesus is not been described in Romans seven as described in Romans five a in Galatians 5, in a sense is going to be described by Paul in Romans eight what is the struggle that the believer has between the flash we still have sinful desires. Once we come to Christ. There still there but we also have the spirit. So Paul says in Galatians 5 that is the flash sometimes translatable not too happy about it. The sinful nature that is the flash and there is the spirit.
But Paul is not describing a struggle. In Romans seven was no mention of the Holy Spirit in Romans seven.
Other than the reference in verse 640 says we sad of not under the old written cord within the new life of the spirit and that is I believe the precursor to what is going to develop in Romans chapter 8, as we will see next week and the following week. This is the struggle of the religious person, particularly June. One of the law particularly in the little body as I was brought up in a Christian home, knowing the Bible being told the commandments of the Lord in one way wanting to do what is right, but find myself totally unable to do so until God in his grace safely wanting to do good and finding ourselves doing evil. Remember the moral person Paul describes in Romans to memory talks about the person who doesn't have the law, but the end but he says, in a sense they do have the law because the law written on their hearts, and even unbelievers of the conscience realize through the log written on their heart, what is good and what is evil. Paul refers to the unbelieving Jews and in Romans chapter 10 he says that without zeal for God, they have the law that God was wonderful heritage.
There's zealous for God.
They want to do what is right to sinners totally unable to pay the law. The law that in a sense they love totally unable to obey the law because they do not have spirit and good moral people do have a repugnance of sin. They do struggle to do that which is good.
Paul is an unbeliever delighted in the Mosaic law, but he failed flash dominates the mind of people so that, although with her mind and recognize the moral character of God's law. And then I sense applied the law and say that is a good way to live there unable to please God, because we do not know the grace of God and the Spirit of God was a verdict. The condition, the proof now.
The verdict the power of sin is too great for us to cook, you find that your own experience the power of sin in your life is too great for you to conquer the law cannot give you the power to obey his commands. Though the problem isn't with the law. Problem is with yourself. The Lord tells you what you must do but doesn't give you the power to do it on the power of sin in our lives is so strong that apart from the grace of God we are unable to obey the law. Justification by the law is impossible, as Paul has said earlier that we are justified not by keeping the law but would justified apart from the works of the law and were justified by faith in Jesus Christ. Sanctification by the law is also impossible. Who can deliver us from this frustration who can deliver us from the condemnation of the law who will deliver me. Paul asks at the end of verse 24, 20 find it strange if this refers to Paul, describing the normal life of the believer. Don't you find it strange that Paul in Romans haven't written so much about peace with God having written about freedom having written about the fruitfulness of the gospel never says in verse 24 wretched man that I am his writing as a believer in Christ. Paul, you said chapter 5, verse one. Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, you said in chapter 6, verse 14, that sin will not have dominion over you, you're going to say in Romans eight verse one there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Seems to me that I in Romans seven as a person trying to please God by keeping the law in his or her own power as an unbeliever, or if it is a believer, someone who is saved but they're still trying to please God by obeying laws or legalistic regulations. We do not have that have not entered into the freedom which God's grace in which the spirit of God gives us member I said last week that the law is like a motor law. Paul has said that Linda reveals said so again this morning. You got up and you look, the number and it gives you a perfect image of you and perhaps you don't like what you see, you wish your nose wasn't as big or wasn't a small or your ears look differently or you don't like the shape of your your face matter give any foolish person who got angry with the murder wouldn't the murder. The function of the matter is to reveal reality to you, you meant like you may wish to look differently, but it's a matter that's a law. This is what you are is what you must do and mustn't do.
But the matter is totally unable to effect any change in you, the law reveals truth, but it is unable to effectively change with is necessary for you to live to the glory of God was practicing law, I represented a young lady who was newly married when she was about a member right, but in any event she was in a very serious car accident and her face was absolutely you deleted remember her coming in with her with her mother looking for legal remedy because of his other drivers fault – she could hardly look at me in the face was disfigured really badly. But you know over the months, wonderful thing happened this young woman who looked so badly with the scars and disfigured I should gone through a horrific accident. Her face began to change what was she originally could hardly look at herself in our matter. Because she saw itself is so ugly because of the scarring and the disfigurement's but bit by what it week by week, month by month and after the year two something it happened, what was happening. She was going to see a plastic surgeon at that plastic surgeon with great skill gas and compassion was reshaping her face was conforming. Her face was changing her face so that we could say that by the touch of the Masters hand. This woman whose could hardly look at the murder was being changed the matter could do nothing to help the Miller. The mirror reveals the condition what she needed and what you need and what I need as we look at the law is the touch of the Masters hand. Someone who comes from outside of our universe, but God in his grace comes into our world into our brokenness with our scholars and our best farmer tape because of sin. Some of it inflicted by others but much of it self inflicted on however try hard we try we cannot get rid of that sin. Some of you know that very, very well. Don't you were a mess you're making up your life because of the sin you try and say what I'm going to change things and get some console and the counselor may give you good advice, but usually sing yes I'm going to change, but you go back to your old ways. Where is the picture that is 25. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord, not the law, not self-help, not looking within for self enlightenment, but you need help and I need help from outside of ourselves from our Lord Jesus Christ usually left to yourself, you will never please God, salvation and deliverance from sin's power from Simpson's captivity. I find not in this world, not in ourselves but in Christ and Christ alone and Paul could say I'm totally wretched but thanks be to God for this deliverance for this rescue through Jesus Christ our Lord. This cry, who will deliver me from this body of death is a cry for salvation because the Lord neither justifies us nor sanctifies us and so we recognize the struggle we have between good and evil to recognize that you can't get the victory with the struggle when you can clean your life. Some behavior modification some counseling some help some some visible or not. I realize that you can improve your law but you will never get the victory over that struggle with sin apart from the Lord Jesus Christ see the Christian life lived by our own strength is utterly impossible. It is utterly impossible. We need a greater power to know that a fully loaded 777 aircraft, 777. It weighs 775,000 pounds. That's 387 US tons.
I flown off an aircraft in this together and don't you wonder how can this huge thing with some of these people who let's face it don't way very much and think of all of the baggage and think of all of the fuel that is needed for this claim to have the flight 3000 miles or 4000 miles over to Europe or whatever you think you have come this huge machine with all of us in it with 300 people in it with all of our bags, and with all of our fuel.
Can this thing ever take off. We want about his weights and what about the powerful law of gravity. The reality is I flown many times how is it possible or there's another law enforce the law of aerodynamics asked me to explain its but I know it works. I know the plane gets up, but it stays up wonderful, isn't it.
I know that these huge aircraft can fly because of a greater power a greater law who will deliver us from this bondage in captivity of said it's interesting the word that Paul uses here in verse 24. Four. Deliver one commentator says is the word used for the act of a soldier running at the comrades cry to rescue him from the hands of captivity to get a picture you're at war in one of your commenters is captured by the enemy and is crying or she's crying for help and you go to deliver that person to rescue that person from captivity from possible. That's what Paul is saying who could rescue us, Jesus Christ our magnificent Savior to realize that God knows the mess up.
You make of your life. He knows that struggle that you have in his great love comes to you today. The Bible says that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. Here is deliverance here is rescue heroes entrance into a totally different life life of the spirit of the life of grace alive where we have the wonderful experience of this new power, the power of the spirit of God, says Paul verse two again captivate for the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death part of living a life of bondage and some of you are followers of Jesus. I don't doubt your salvation within this come into your life you're living the Christian life in your own strength and wondering what's happened you're getting frustrated under a tremendous struggle you'll always have that struggle, you'll always have that frustration until you live a life of the spirit that those who live by the Spirit will not gratify the loss of the flesh stop trying to live the Christian life or your own strength, and receive once again the magnificent Savior, who through his spirit as we yield to the spirit as we depend upon the spirit more and more frees us to live a life to please him next week will think of the power of the life-giving spirit to enable us to live this life of fruitfulness is life of freedom. This life of pleasing God this morning as we close in witnessing about the only one who can rescue us will ask you to sit there we bow your head some of you have never yet received Christ you know about the struggle we cry out to Christ say deliver me, save me. I believe that you're the son of God, who died for my sins, was buried, and you're alive forevermore, and save me weed believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved if you hear John followers of Christ. Send this comment your life. We confess that sin no wonder you are struggling your compromise with sin, confess that sin to the Lord and asked for his cleansing from his precious blood, which cleanses you live a life of the spirit help us her father under God to do that, we thank you for the supernatural deliverance we freely confess we could never deliver ourselves, we could never rescue others, but we thank you that in the fullness of time you send forth your son, your magnificent son is given this wonderful name Savior, for he shall save his people from their sins. Father, there are those here today who have never experienced in their hearts. The salvation may they cry out to Christ.
Your spirit reveal their sin. The exceeding sinfulness of sin, then show them the beauty and the perfection of the holiness of the love of the Savior so the go cry to him and be safe.
Help us know as we sing this him about rescue that we will be inspired to live a life pleasing to you. In Christ name we pray