About Us Services MinistriesSermon Message Bible StudyChurch Calendar Contact Us


Statement of Faith

The Four Most Important Things We Could Ever Tell You

Listen to this week's message!

Map to the Church

Prayer Requests

Enhance your daily reading of God's word. Click here for free, printable Bible Reading and Prayer Journal sheets!

Bible Study Archives


Romans 7:1-6

Wednesday Evening Home Bible Study
February 11, 2004

Paul had explained to his readers how God had brought about a righteous standing for sinners through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross; but human nature being what it is, Paul felt the need to establish that they no longer had to keep the law as a way of achieving God's favor.

But first, he has to establish that they truly are no longer bound to the Law in the way that they once were. He needed to establish that it's true: they are no longer under the Law's jurisdiction as a means of being accepted by God. His message in this passage is that we are now to see ourselves as having died in Christ to the condemning force of the Law, and raised to righteousness through the enabling of the Holy Spirit.

I. We were "bound" to the Law as long as we were alive (vv. 1-3).
A. A traffic officer would not bother to write a citation to the victim of a fatal traffic accident. This illustrates the principle that the law has no bearing on someone who has died to the laws "jurisdiction" or "dominion" (v. 1). He makes this point because, as he has already asserted, sin cannot have authority over us because we are not under law but under grace (6:14).

B. To illustrate this, he points to the example of marriage (vv. 2-3).

1. So long as a woman has a husband, she would be committing adultery if she were joined to someone else.

2. But if her husband dies, she is "free from that law"; and can now be joined to another without being guilty.

C. Dr. John Mitchell of Multnomah Bible College put it this way: "Death severs relationship". Likewise, God's Law, in the form of written decrees which were "against us and hostile to us" (Col. 2:14) only have binding authority over us as long as we live; but death severs our relationship to that Law too.

II. We've died in Christ and are "unbound" to the Law (v. 4).

A. The only way we can be freed from the Law is to die. That's why Paul spends so much time stressing the fact that we've died "in Christ" (6:3-4).

B. As far as God is concerned, when Jesus died, we died with Him. When Jesus was raised, we were raised with Him into newness of life (7:4).

1. Ordinarily, we'd say that the woman was free from her husband when her husband died. But here Paul speaks us as "the bride who died".

2. Having died in Christ, we're free; and we're raised up to be joined to Christ as "the bride who is resurrected".

C. God did not baptize us into Christ's death, and then rise us up from the dead in Christ, all so we could live the resurrected "single life". He released us by death, as it were, from the old "husband" so we could be joined to a new one - Christ. In Him, we now bear fruit unto God (see 6:20-23).

III. We've been raised to live in the "newness" of the Holy Spirit (vv. 4b-6).

A. Like the person who is driven to touch the chair that says, "Wet paint, do not touch", we find that the law arises the sinful passions in us, and cause us to bear fruit unto death (v. 5; see also 7:8-11).
1. We could never live a holy life by keeping God's law in our own power. And the problem wasn't in the Law. God's Law is holy, righteous and good (7:12).

2. The real problem is us: we're not able, apart from God's help, to even keep His Law! To even try to is to experience the frustration Paul describes in 7:13-25.

B. But when God raises us from the dead in Christ, He causes a new principle - a new dynamic - to be in operation in us (v. 5).

1. It's impossible to be "holy" before God on the basis of our works (Matt. 19:26).

2. But now we're in a new situation:

a. We've been "delivered" from the law by dying to what we were held by.

b. We've been raised to "serve in the newness of the Spirit (8:1-4). When we walk according to His leading, we find that He fulfills God's law in the way He leads (8:5; see also Gal. 2:20).

Printable Version

Bethany Bible Church, 18245 NW Germantown Road, Portland, OR 97231 / 503.645.1436

Site Map | Privacy Policy | Copyright Information