Understanding biblical theology is of paramount importance for shaping our minds and directing our actions and activities. In this message, we will continue to unpack the importance and implications of being freed from the law and being bound to Christ from Romans chapter 7.
Romans: The Glory of the Gospel Part 16
New Life by the Spirit – Romans 7:1-6
Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – January 21st, 2018
- Review the two paths illustration from last week.
- The path of law: Sin/Disobedience – Moral Impurity – Greater and Greater Lawlessness – Eternal Death – Bad Fruit – Encouraged by Satan
- The path of grace: Obedience – From the Heart to the Pattern of Teaching – Righteousness – Sanctification – Eternal Life – Good Fruit – Provided by Jesus
- The truth is all of us are walking down the path of disobedience; bound to serving sin and judged by the law. We are destined to this path because we are of the line of Adam. The only way that we can be freed from sin is to walk in obedience and be born again in Christ by the power of the Spirit. This is what the Holy Spirit reveals to us through Paul in the passage we are studying today from Romans chapter 7.
Rom 7:1-6 ESV
Or do you not know, brothers —for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? 2 Thus a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. 3 Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.
4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.
Freedom from the law
- The law is binding on a person only as long as he lives. Paul uses the example of marriage to clarify and illustrate this point.
- We are married to another until “death do we par.” If someone is still married, the spouse is still alive and they are living with another as a married couple, they are living in adultery outside of the covenant, blessing and protection of God.
- Divorced person is not a married person – the contract has been made void by hardness of heart through “marital unfaithfulness.”
- In order for us to be freed from the law, we must die. We can only do so through the body of Christ so that we can have the freedom to belong to Christ.
Gal 2:20-21 NIV
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
- All the Law could do is set the standard and clearly communicate what is right and wrong, what is lawful or lawless, what is “in bounds” and what is “out of bounds.” The law is the result of eating from the tree of “the knowledge of good and evil.”
- The effect these boundaries have on our flesh will awaken the desire for us to want and do those things that God said is sin. For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. (Rom 7:5)
- We are now “released from the law” because we have died in Christ, so we can serve in the new life of the Spirit.
Belonging to Christ
- Once we have given ourselves to Christ, we have “died” – “having been buried with him in baptism” (Col 2:12). We have died -our bond to sin has been broken and we have been set free to belong to another and to the one who has been raised from the dead: Christ (the only one who has been raised from the dead).
- Paul teaches these same things in the book of Ephesians:
Eph 2:1-10 ESV
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Bearing fruit for God
- While we were living our lives in sin apart from Christ, we were bearing “fruit for death.” We now have been set free from the bind of sin and now belong to Christ in order that we may “bear fruit for God.” This is the result of belonging “to Christ” and being “in Christ.” It is the reason we are saved or “grafted in” to the vine: to bear fruit for God. “We are the vine, He is the branches” (John 15).
- Your good fruit matters. Your good works matters. This is what you were created in Christ Jesus for . . .to produce good fruit resulting in good works. We do this not to be saved, but because we are saved. This is what you were created and redeemed for – and in these things God is glorified.
- This is why Paul, in the power and prompting of the Holy Spirit, prays for us this way in Colossians 1
Col 1:9-14 ESV
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
- Hopefully you see what God has done for us in Christ. Through Him we have been set free from the law of sin and death, and have been made new by the power of the Spirit through faith, by His grace, that we can walk in newness of life bearing fruit for God both now and forevermore.
- Communion, or the “Lord’s supper,” has been set up as something that should be observed until He comes again. We must understand the importance and significance of what was done for us through Christ. When He died, we were forgiven. When he arose, we were made new. When he returns, we will be rewarded. In Him we are justified, through Him we are sanctified, with Him we will be glorified to the praises of God the father.
Questions for the week ahead
- What have you learned from the message today?
- Now knowing these things, how will this impact your thinking and in turn, impact the way you live?