Preached @ Anchor Community Church on July 20th, 2014
“…by making life easier for ourselves in minimizing the nature and seriousness of our sin, we become greater victims of it. We are in fact not healing ourselves. Those who say that they already feel bad enough without being told about the corruptions of indwelling sin misread the path to peace. When our people have not been taught well about the real nature of sin and how it works and how to put it to death, most of the miseries people report are not owing to the disease, but it’s symptoms.” John Piper
We are currently in a study of Romans 6-8 which has a lot to say regarding a believer’s walk and growth toward holiness, which is the end result of the gospel in our life. The gospel (God’s story) changes people and transforms people from the inside out. We see this in Romans 12:2 describes our minds as being “Transformed,” which comes from the idea of being “Morphed” or changed. The chapters we are looking at helps us understand that process, and our place in our own sanctification.
Romans 6 describes some incredible truths of our new identity, while Romans 7 takes a look at the Law, showing us that it is not a solution to deal with the deep “Splitness” of the human heart, while Romans 8 practically applies this great truth of God’s love and transformative power in our lives.
The Big Picture: The Law makes a horrible spouse, but a beautiful guide; Part 1
We will be taking 2 weeks to see how the law is not a solution for our sin, but it is a great demonstration of God’s will in our life. If we see the law as our savior it will crush us, ut when we see it as a picture into the heart of our God, through the lens of the cross and God’s grace, and gives forth life.
Paul is attacking two errors when it comes to the law. We saw in chapter six that Antinomianism is not a proper response to the grace of God, nor is Legalism the proper response/solution for the major problems of the human heart. Grace cuts across both of these errors. Paul’s solution is not less grace, but more grace, which changes lives.
What we see this week in our six verses is a metaphor for change. The question is who/what are you married to?
We will take a look at 2 Aspects of this metaphor.
From the Head…
There are many parallels as you see below between Romans 6 and Roman 7:1-6
Romans 6 Freedom from sin Romans 7 Freedom from Law
Romans 6:2 “Died to sin” Romans 7:4 ”Died to the law”
Romans 6:3 Died to sin through union w X Romans 7:4 Died to law through “Body” of X
Romans 6:7, 18 We are freed from sin Romans 7:6 We are released from the law
Romans 6:4-5 We share in Christ’s resurrection Romans 7:4 We belong to Him who was raised
Romans 6:4 We live in the “Newness of life” Romans 7:6 “Newness of the Spirit”
Romans 6:22 Fruit leads to holiness Romans 7:4 Bear fruit to God
The Metaphor’s Principle (Romans 7:1-3)
Romans 7:1-3 shows us that the law (Concerning Marriage) has authority only when both partners are alive. It is death that is the only thing that biblically separates a couple; otherwise the consequence is adultery.
He uses this analogy, because marriage is a great metaphor for our relationship with God and one He uses quite a bit throughout the Old and New Testaments. When you marry someone, you place all others aside forever. Also marriage gives us a great picture of love, intimacy and the fact that once united, everything that is part of that other person before marriage becomes true of both.
The question is to whom are you married to? Who or what is your authority? When we covenant to the law as the means of our salvation, we have hooked our spiritual wagons to the wrong horse. Paul is reminding us that the law, and ultimately legalism, is not a good solution for our sin and guilt (See Colossians 2:20-23).
How does grace knock out sin?
The Metaphor’s Application (Romans 7:4-6)
Death frees you from Law (V. 4)! See too Romans 6:2, which says, “You also have died to the law through the body of Christ.” You’re free from the cycle of “Doing More!” Being “In Christ” frees us from the Curse of the Law. We need not get caught up in who died in Paul’s analogy’ his point in this analogy is that “death” is what frees us from our “Obligation” to keeping the law for our salvation. With that Romans 6 reminds us that it was Christ’s death, and our union in Hid death frees us from sin, and sins consequences because of the law. Since we have already died in Christ, we need not die as the result of the law.
Verse 4 tells us that because we have died, we are now “Belong to another.” We have a new identity; we are new creatures! We are no longer “Owned” by sin and the law, but by God. In a sense we have a new spouse. We have certainly married up and enjoy the benefits of our “marriage” union to Christ.
And it is because we have this new identity, and are free from the tyranny of the old master that we can now bear fruit to God. We do this, because we have been released from the impossible task of religion and performance. We can bear “Fruit!” God doesn’t save us to become nicer people, or stop doing something “Bad.” His goal isn’t Stop; His goal is Do now that you can, not because of the law, but because of the Spirit. God wants to produce positive fruit (Love, Peace, etc.) in us. He desires to take a person who hates, and not stop him from hating as the goal, but start him/her as one who now loves, even our enemies. God’s grace changes lives completely!
…to the Heart
We are freed from the tyranny of performance. In Christ, we have married a new, loving spouse and enjoy all of the benefits of marrying up. Christ death has freed us from our sin and our obligation to a hard taskmaster; the law! While the law works well in congruence with our pride/sin, it’s authority is broken, and sin’s power is thus broken, allowing us the freedom to obey God’s will, because our new spouse is gracious, glorious and loving!
Questions For Study
1. What does it mean to be “Married” to the Law?
2. In what way are we married to Christ?
3. What significance does that have for us?
4. How is our union in Christ given us a new identity and purpose?
Books For Further Study
NT Commentary on Romans, William Hendricksen
John MacArthur NT Commentary, Romans 1-8, John MacArthur
Encountering the NT Series: Romans Doug Moo
Romans, Martin Luther
Romans: God’s Good News For the World, John Stott
Romans, R.C. Sproul
Romans, John Calvin
St. Paul For Everyone: Romans, N.T. Wright