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3. God Raised Us Up With Christ

 

(2) By dying to the law, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code: Romans Chapter 7

 

    

In the previous lecture we discussed what “God raised us up with Christ” means, that is, Lord Jesus Christ not only completed the “crossing over from death to life” salvation plan, so that we could receive life through faith, he also called for us to take up our cross daily to follow the Lord.  When we are faced with our cross one after another, we should acknowledge the Lord, exalt the Lord, surrender everything into his hands and say, “Oh Lord, I will surly acknowledge and follow you, and I am handing over everything to you, they are all in your hands”, when we do that, we will experience dying and being raised with the Lord.  “God raised us up with Christ” means that the great power of Christ’s resurrection will manifest in us, so as to make us continually “lose our old life and gain new life, taking off old-selves and putting on new-selves, to gradually grow our new lives.”  For example, when my children complained about me, my husband criticized me, or co-workers had issues with me, in the past my old corrupt self would refute and strike back, but thanks to the Lord, after I understood “the way of the cross”, and by the mercy of God, more and more I was willing to practice “taking up the cross and following the Lord”.  “Oh Lord, I thank you, I surrender myself to you, I look up to you to free me from my old nature.”  Two things happened when I was able to surrender myself to the Lord without refuting:  (1) my heart was filled with joy; (2) my old corrupt nature of wanting to refute died a little.

We have also mentioned previously that Christ is the wisdom of God, he is the power of God.  Hallelujah!  God’s wisdom and power, indwelling in Jesus Christ who had become flesh on earth, enable us through faith to die and to be raised with Christ, and to draw on the wisdom and power of God.  Hallelujah!  “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’  Where is the wise man?  Where is the scholar?  Where is the philosopher of this age?  Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.  Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” (1 Corinthians 1: 18-25)   

Prayer:  Dear heavenly Father, we give you praises, the means you used was deemed foolish by man – that Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross so meekly, and yet because of the great power of God, he is still alive; you use such an amazing way to save us so that through faith, “I no longer live but Christ lives in me.”  Oh!  Hallelujah!  God’s salvation is amazing, precious, and glorious.  Christ is the power of God and Christ is the wisdom of God; the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.  “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”  Amen.  Oh Lord, you have fulfilled the salvation of “I no longer live but Christ lives in me”, and we have discussed the fact of “anyone who has died has been freed from sin – dying to sins and living for righteousness”; today we are discussing “by dying to the law, we have been released from the law so that we serve not in the old way of the written code but in the new way of the Spirit”; Lord, we earnestly ask the Holy Spirit to open our hearts so that we may really know you, in Lord Jesus’ name I pray!  Amen!

Today we want to study Romans 7: 6: “But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”

Adam brought sin into the world so that all of us were “dead in transgressions and sins” and separated from God.  God so loved the world that he wanted to save all the people in the world; he prepared for us the plan of “salvation through cross” (crossing over from death to life) – A plan to recreate the human race, so that people will be freed from the control of the sin nature.  Praise God, Jesus Christ completed this salvation plan, so that all men, by grace and through faith, may receive new life; and by faith from first to last, the new life may grow.  We have discussed quite a bit about receiving new life, now we are discussing “taking up one’s own cross daily and following the Lord, continually dying with the Lord and being raised with the Lord so as to gradually grow the new life.”  So we take up our own cross daily to follow the Lord, what is the next step after we acknowledge the Lord?  Romans Chapter 6 says “anyone who has died has been freed from sin”, because when we are dead, sin (or the sin nature) can no longer control us.  Romans 6: 14, “For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”  Romans Chapter 7 talks about that although “sin” tries by all kinds of ways and deceits to lure us to live under law so as to control us, but the law of the Spirit of life has set us free.

1.      What is the meaning of “the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives”?  (Romans 7: 1-3)

      “Do you not know, brothers – for I am speaking to men who know the law – that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives?  For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage.  So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress.  But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.” (Romans 7: 1-3)

      This scripture passage states that the law has authority over a man only when he lives.  Let me ask you this:  Can the law make demands of a dead man?  Or put it another way:  Who will fulfill the requirements of the law, a living person or a dead person?  Of course it’s a living person.  The law can pursue a person until he dies.  A dead man need not and cannot fulfill the requirements of the law.  In other words, the law has authority over a man when he lives, a dead man is released from the requirements of the law, so the law has no authority over a dead man.   

2.      How is it possible for us to die to “the law that once bound us”?  (Romans 6: 3-6; 7: 4-6)

      “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.  If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.  For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” (Romans 6: 3-6“So my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God.  For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death.  But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not the old way of the written code.” (Romans 7: 4-6)

(1)   All people in the world are born “in Adam” and “under law” (see 1 Corinthians 15: 22; Galatians 4: 4)

(2)   Differentiate the terms “law” and “under law”:

·         Law:  The law is the righteous requirements of God to the world.  So the law is spiritual, holy, good, royal, and cannot be abolished. (see Romans 7: 12; James 2: 8; Matthew 5: 18)

·         Under law:  Living under law a man must rely on his own effort to attain the requirements of God.  If one is able to keep the whole law, then “the man who does these things will live by them.” (Galatians 3: 12)  But no one can attain the requirements of the law, so “all who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” (Galatians 3: 10)

(3)   Since no one can attain the requirements of the law, so it becomes the law that binds us: “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” (James 2: 10)

(4)   Christ saved us so that we are dead to the law that once bound us:  We have talked about God’s salvation over and over again, so briefly:  Lord Jesus kept the whole law his entire life and was crucified on the cross to die for us; through faith we are united with him like this in his death.  Since the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives, now that we are dead (with Christ), so we are dead to the law that once bound us.  In other words, I die through the death of Jesus.  Jesus kept the whole law and died on the cross, he paid off the requirements of the law for us.  Therefore, when we call on the name of the Lord, we die with the Lord and we die to the law that once bound us.  Hallelujah! 

3.      What does it mean to “die to the law”?  (Romans 7: 4)  How do we die to the law?

(1)   What does it mean to “die to the law”?  As described above, because we believe in Jesus Christ, we are united with Christ and we have died with Christ; and since a dead man is freed from the law so we are dead to the law.  On one hand, the law no longer has authority over us, we have no obligation to fulfill the requirements of the law (brothers and sisters, do not think that we can behave lawlessly, never!  God gave us another new law); on the other hand, from now on “I no longer live but Christ lives in me”, “I” need not and should not rely on my own effort to attain God’s requirements any more.

(2)    How do we die to the law?

·         It is through calling on the name of the Lord that we are united with him in death and thus we are dead to the law.  We will expand on this later.

·         God works in us to make us give up on ourselves:  we human beings, by nature are very used to relying on ourselves to get things done.  In order to die to the law, we must first give up the hope of relying on ourselves.  God works in us so that more and more we realize that we cannot count on ourselves to be good; and ultimately we totally give up on ourselves, and are totally convinced that we must never try to rely on ourselves to please God.  In our daily lives, we still always try to be our own master, hoping and struggling to succeed but always failing in the end; causing us to often sigh and say: “Why am I so weak?”  When we sigh like this, it indicates that our flesh is still trying to gain an upper hand.  It means that we are still not quite to the point of giving up on ourselves or believing that we can never accomplish anything by ourselves.  The Lord allows us to experience many situations to make us realize just how weak we really are; until one day we realize that we are completely hopeless; then God’s work in us is done.   

4.      Since we don’t serve the Lord in the old way of the written code, then in what way do we serve?   (Romans 7: 6)

“But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” (Romans 7: 6)

      Praise the Lord, Jesus completed the salvation plan for us – the plan of crossing over from death to life, and because of our faith we have died with him and are freed from the law; we have also been raised with the Lord to live under the law of the spirit of life.

(1)   Christ is the end of the law (Romans 10: 1-4)

      “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.  For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.  Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.  Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” (Romans 10: 1-4)  In this scripture passage, the Holy Spirit through Paul points out:

·         Be zealous for God, but it should be based on knowledge; that is, do not think that your zeal is automatically what God desires; rather your zeal should be aligned with God’s will.

·         The zeal for God based on knowledge is knowing what God’s righteousness is and knowing how to attain God’s righteousness.

·         Christ is the end of the law. (Romans 10: 4)

o   Christ kept the whole law, fulfilled every requirement of the righteousness of the law:  Throughout his life, Christ obeyed the whole law.  He was born under law (Galatians 4: 4); yet he was without sin (Hebrews 4: 15).

o   Through death, Christ assumed the punishment that men deserved for sins against the law.  Therefore, when sinners accept Lord Jesus Christ as their own personal savior and are united with Christ in death, the law can no longer make any demand on them, because (a) Jesus Christ had paid for our debt of sins; (b) We have died with Christ – “our old self was crucified with him” (Jesus Christ); (Romans 6: 6) and the dead “have been released from the law” (Romans 7: 6), so believers have nothing to do with the law, they need not and should not try to be justified by law or attain the righteousness of the law through their own effort.

o   Christ’s law:  Through death Lord Jesus ended the requirements of the law so we are released from the law.  But Lord Jesus didn’t stop at his death; rather he was also raised from the dead to complete a new law – the law of the Spirit of life (also known as Christ’s law) – to replace the old law to govern our hearts so that we may attain the requirements of the law.  Lord Jesus completed the salvation plan for us, rose to high heaven; Father God in Christ Jesus’ name gave us the Holy Spirit to implement the salvation plan.  Through our calling on the name of the Lord, the Holy Spirit causes us to be born again with a new life; he also becomes the law of the Spirit of life in the hearts of all believers, using anointed teachings to lead and guide us in all things.  All we need to do is to trust and obey the Holy Spirit’s guidance so “that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8: 4)

o   “Christ is the end of the law” has two meanings:  (a) Christ ended the demands of the law on us and we no longer live under law; (b) Father God gave us the Holy Spirit, and the law of the Spirit of life is working in our hearts (replacing the law), so that through our following the Spirit only and not the flesh, we are able to meet the requirements of the law, and thus are living under grace.

·         “So that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes”: Praise the Lord, Christ ended the law’s demand of us; we no longer live under law, no longer rely on our own efforts to meet the requirements of the law so as to please God; in fact we will never be able to attain the requirements of the law on our own.  Give thanks to the Lord for giving us the law of the Spirit of life, so that we no longer rely on our own efforts; rather it is through faith, “in order that the righteousness requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.”  “By faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.” (Galatians 5: 5)  Hallelujah!  “Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”          

(2)   We serve in the new way of the Spirit (Holy Spirit), and not in the old way of the written code:

·         To serve in the old way of the written code is to serve under law and “I” receive credits for my work:  meaning when we serve under law, we rely on our own efforts (i.e. the will, perseverance, and abilities of our flesh) to carefully act according to the law.  In order to meet the requirements of the law we even set up rules like, “Do not handle!  Do not taste!  Do not touch!” to govern our actions (see Colossians 2: 21); in reality, “these are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings.  Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” (see Colossians 2: 22-23)  Serving in the old way of the written code often make one feel that he deserves a lot of credit:  When we are fruitful in serving the Lord, on one hand we will try to promote ourselves and be boastful (although on the outside we say that it was all because of God’s grace, but on the inside we are secretly pleased with ourselves and deriving a lot of pleasure from it; we don’t like ideas that are different from ours, and we hold grudges and grievances); on the other hand, we criticize and judge others for not doing a good job.  If our work has not borne any fruit yet, even if it’s only temporarily, we become discouraged and despondent; when people question our work, we become irritated and begin to grumble (either showing outwardly or keeping it to ourselves), feeling that we are unappreciated, not getting the credit we deserve.

·         To serve in the new way of the Spirit (i.e. to serve under grace), and not in the old way of the written code:  Praise the Lord, the righteous requirements of the law must be met.  Christ is the end of the law, he died on the cross and ended the demands of the law on us; therefore we need not and should not live under law any more.  Since “I” am of the flesh, it is impossible to rely on myself to meet the requirements of the law, so if we live by observing the law then we are under a curse because our sinful nature does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.  Give thanks to the Lord, Christ died and rose again to heaven and God sent the Holy Spirit to earth to implement the salvation plan.  The Holy Spirit dwells in the hearts of all believers and becomes the law of the Spirit of life.  This law of the Spirit of life (to be discussed in detail in the next lecture) replaces the laws of the Old Testament and takes charge of our hearts to guide us.  The Holy Spirit (the law of the Spirit of life) makes demands of us and guides us depending on the degree of our individual life growth; in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.  When we are faced with the requirements of the law, our prayer should be:  “Oh Lord, I no longer live, but Christ lives in me; oh Lord, in the face of this requirement, I ask you to lead and guide me so that I know what I should do.”  We should keep on praying until we have peace in our heart (this is the peace from Christ), indicating that we have turned over this matter to Christ and he is in charge; then all we have to do is to obey Christ through the Holy Spirit’s guidance in our heart to act.

      We can summarize “serving the Lord in the new way of the Spirit” like this:  To serve the Lord is not by the life of my flesh, rather it is by the life of Christ in me – “I no longer live but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2: 20); it is not according to my will, rather it is by obeying the will of the Holy Spirit – “not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26: 39); it is not by my power, rather it is by the mighty power of the Holy Spirit – “’Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” (Zechariah 4: 6Psalms 127: 1 says: “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.  Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.”  All things are accomplished by grace; we deserve no credit at all.         

5.      What is the meaning of: “For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death”?  (Romans 7: 5)

(1)   The law has authority over a man only as long as he lives (Romans 7: 1):  If a man is alive he must fulfill the requirements of the law.

(2)   The meaning of “we were controlled by the sinful nature (or flesh)”:  That is, although one may have been saved and born again but he continues to live by relying on his own ability, following his own will, and using his own reasoning and analysis to act.  When one relies on “oneself” to act, he is living in “self” indulgence, or he is being controlled by his sinful nature.

(3)   “The sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies”:  A person who is under the control of the sinful nature is living in a state of self-centeredness so he is subject to the authority of the law.  When a situation arises, he will live under law and be controlled by sin, and the evil desires of the flesh will start to work in his body.  Though the law is holy, good, and righteous but once we live under law, for sure we will be controlled by sin and have evil desires.

(4)   “So that we bore fruit for death”:  Once we are living in the state of “under the control of the sinful nature”, we are living under law, controlled by sin, and producing evil desires that lead to death (temporary separation from God).  Brothers and sisters, didn’t we used to criticize people by saying: “You shouldn’t be like this or like that?”  As a matter of fact when we were saying (or thinking) “you shouldn’t be like this”, we were already living in the state of “self-centeredness”.  Using the word “should” implies the requirements of the law, so when we say or think “should be this way …”, we are in fact controlled by sin which leads to death, or temporary separation from God.  Isn’t our experience the best proof of this fact?  When you felt that someone wasn’t making sense in what he was saying, or that he shouldn’t have done that, then the level of anger inside would begin to rise; when you were muttering to yourself with all the bitterness in you, would God answer your prayers?  When God wouldn’t listen to your prayers you are temporarily cut off from God.  There is nothing wrong with the law, the problem is that I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.  Therefore, when the law presents itself, I immediately fall under the control of the sin nature, producing evil desires of the flesh and bearing fruit for death.  This is the meaning of “the sinful passions aroused by the law” and our bodies become the instruments of sin.    

6.      What is the meaning of: “For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death”?  (Romans 7: 11)

(1)   We must have a firm grasp of these facts:  The law is holy, good, and righteous; the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives; all men are controlled by sin, and the law is powerless to do in men who are weakened by the sinful nature; when a man has been saved and born again but still lives in “self-centeredness” (i.e. relying on himself, or called “of the flesh), he is controlled by the sinful nature; etc.

(2)   The salvation plan completed by Jesus Christ nailed our old-self to the cross with the Lord, we are already dead and have been freed from sin and the law.  That is, because we are dead so sin shall not be our master; after we have been saved and born again, we take up our cross daily to follow the Lord and by dying with the Lord, sin can no longer control us.

(3)   The sin is “utterly sinful” (see Romans 7: 13):  Sin did not put me to death through my sinful acts, rather it seized the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. (Romans 7: 11)  What opportunity did sin seize to hurt us?  When we unknowingly failed to meet the requirements of the law (see Romans 7: 7-9), sin would point out the commandment that we failed to obey and deceived us into relying on our own efforts to fulfill the requirements of the law.  For example, a newly converted couple who followed the current culture trend and lived together before getting married; people from church told them that they shouldn’t be doing that (this is a commandment).  This couple, after being made aware of what they shouldn’t be doing, also had the heart to please God, but sin would seize this opportunity to tell them to rely on their own will power and perseverance to come up with ways to stop sinning.  In reality, when you sprang into action to rely on your will power to stop living together, though meant well but were on the wrong path, and sin would control you and put you to death, so in the end you would fail.  Either you would stop living together but were miserable, or continue sinning by living together.  We discussed previously that we should not live in the old way of the written code, but in the new way of the Spirit; so in this example we should take the path of calling on the name of the Lord:  “Oh Lord, it was wrong for us to live together before marriage, Lord, we ask that you forgive our sin and save us from relying on ourselves, Lord, you save us, save us from living together before being married, …”

(4)   Give praises to Jesus, Christ ended the requirements of the law for us, we no longer live under law but under grace; sin shall not be our master.  However, sin devised all kinds of schemes and through the law to entice us to keep the law.  When we unknowingly failed to meet the requirements of the law (see Romans 7: 7-9); sin would point out the commandment that we failed to obey and deceived us into relying on our own efforts to fulfill the requirements of the law.   

7.      What does it mean to say: “I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin”?  (Romans 7: 14)

(1)   Romans Chapter 6 tells us that a dead man has been freed from sin, so sin shall not be our master, because we are not under law, but under grace.  Romans Chapter 7 tells us that a dead man has been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.  But sin will devise all kinds of tricks to entice us through the law to fulfill the requirements by our own efforts, so that our old-self conditions come alive and we are once again under the control of sin.

(2)   “I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin”:  What sin did Adam commit before God?  Disobedience!  Breaking the covenant!  From a different perspective, we can say that Adam entered into a “covenant of death” with sin (see Romans 6: 23), and sold his offspring to sin as slaves.  After Adam’s fall, sin entered the world through Adam and controlled Adam’s offspring (all mankind), so that we are all born old-selves – slaves of sin.  A man who has been saved and born again, his old-self has been nailed to the cross with the Lord – has died.  As we have discussed before, “I was controlled by the sinful nature (of the flesh)” describes someone though has been saved and born again, but still lives by relying on his own ability, by his own will, and depending on his own reasoning and judgment, then his old-self conditions will resurface.  When you live in a state of “relying on yourself”, you are controlled by the sinful nature and are of the flesh – unspiritual and sold as a slave to sin.  Sin, through the law, makes us live in our sinful nature and thereby controls us.  Whenever we live by relying on ourselves, we are under the control of sin.      

8.      What is the meaning of: “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out”?  (Romans 7: 18-24)

      Romans 7: 18-24: “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing.  Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.  So I find this law at work:  When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.  What a wretched man I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?”

(1)   When we read this scripture passage, we should also refer to Figure 3.  In Figure 3 the two paths mentioned: “rely on myself” and “trust in God” are in fact the two roads of “living under law” (relying on oneself) and “living under grace” (relying on God).

(2)   This scripture passage can be explained using these facts: “the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives”; “I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin”;  and “For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.”

(3)   “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.”  This passage talks about the condition of living in the sinful nature; and Paul summarized it this way:  if we live in our sinful nature, then although we have the desire to do good (meaning to obey the law), but in the end we cannot do it – what we do is not the good we want to do and the evil we don’t want to do, we keep on doing.  It is sin living in us that does it.  So it is clear that when we live in the sinful nature, we are controlled by sin so that we cannot do the good that we desire.

(4)   Why can’t we get the result that we want?  Paul told us clearly:

·         So I find this law at work (Law A – the law of sin):  When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  When I want to do good (i.e., to rely on my own efforts), immediately I am under the control of sin (evil is right there with me), this is an unchanging law.

·         For in my inner being, I delight in God’s law (Law B):  The newly created being in us delights in God’s law.  God’s law means the Holy Spirit, through God’s word, working in our hearts to move us.

·         But I see another law at work in the members of my body (Law C):  In my inner being I delight in God’s law, so what should my next step be?  As we said before, we should be on the path of calling on the Lord and relying on the Lord.  The struggle experienced by Paul:  If you try to do good by your own efforts (obeying the law), then sin will control you; when sin controls you then you will follow the evil desires of your flesh (another law at work in the members of my body, Law C).

·         The law of sin at work within my members (Law D – the law of death):  When we are under the control of sin (Law A), it also controls our flesh’s evil desires (Law C), so we cannot obey what the Holy Spirit is trying to move us (Law B), and on the contrary we obey the law of sin within our members (Law D) so we have no choice but to sin.

      What Paul discussed above is also the steps involved in the battle between the sinful nature of the flesh and the Holy Spirit.

      Brothers and sisters, through Romans Chapter 7, we see that the requirements of the law must be met, right?  Right!  Absolutely!  Until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the law.  But the problem is that no one can attain the requirements, so through the salvation plan of Jesus Christ and our faith, “I no longer live but Christ lives in me”, we let Christ in us to fulfill the requirements of God’s law.  Sin uses all sorts of tricks and the law, to entice us to live by relying on ourselves and therefore creating the battle between the sinful nature and the Holy Spirit.  Give thanks to the Lord, God gave us the law of the Spirit of life to free us from the laws of sin and death, hallelujah, amen.

            Prayer:  Lord, we thank you wholeheartedly.  You explained and revealed to us Romans Chapter 7, I ask that Lord, you talk to us and save us from living by relying on ourselves.  Whenever we put the law in front of us, sin immediately controls us, makes us follow the evil desires of our body and bear fruit of death.  Oh Holy Spirit, open our hearts, continue to save us from living under law, so that we may live under grace.  Move us to come to God through praying, supplicating, and thanksgiving for all things that we desire.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen!     

 

 

 


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