Tuesday Morning Bible Study

August 1, 2023, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

Romans, Chapter 7 deals with the freedom of the law. Chapter 6 dealt with freedom from sin. This chapter teaches that deliverance from sin is not enough, but that we also need to know deliverance from the law. Paul asserts that faith into Messiah and His Holy Spirit is all that is needed to please God irrespective of the Judaizers argument of continued submission and bondage to the law.

In Chapter 7, we will consider two related purposes:

1. God’s eternal purpose which is the motive and goal of our walk with Him.

2. The Holy Spirit, who supplies the power and resource to bring us to that goal.

Galatians 5: 16-25: But if you are led of the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings and such like…

Let’s recap our spiritual journey through Romans.

We have settled by Faith our forgiveness of sin through the blood; justification by faith; our resulting peace with God; our imputed righteousness by faith; and in chapter five Paul dealt with our root trouble of being a sinner. Chapter 6 was our deliverance from sin by the same faith whereby we received Christ as Savior.

Ro. 5: 1,2,5: Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Messiah, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand…the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

1. Chapter 1 – seals our forgiveness of sins. Many a Christian is truly saved and yet bound by sin, not necessarily living under the power of sin but struggling to overcome.

2. Chapter 2 – seals our justification by faith. We then learn that Jesus not only died to cleanse away our sins, but he included us sinners in his death; so that not only were our sins dealt with, but we were dealt with too.

3. Chapter 3 – seals our peace with God.

4. Chapter 4 - seals our righteousness in God by being justified by faith in Christ.

5. Chapter 5 - seals our new identity free from the Law of Sin and Death.

6. Chapter 6 – Deliverance from sin. Then comes the reckoning. After a man knows he has been crucified with Christ, He reckons he has died and risen with the Lord. This is faith-righteousness.

7. Chapter 7 reveals that through the life of Jesus Christ, we are delivered from the bondage of the Law.

Then here comes a biggie---very strange. Many times before we reach the point of victory, we are conscious of defeat. So we pray for the desire to do the will of God which is contrary to the flesh and the power to do it. But we scarcely get up off our knees before we fall again.

We have the total assurance as over-comers in the outcome and we must not lose heart in the fight if we suffer temporary defeats.

1. Will of the flesh: John 1: 10-13: As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even that that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

2. Works of the flesh: Galatians 5: 16-25: But if you are led of the Spirit, you are not under the LawNow the works of the flesh are manifest which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings and such like

3. Desires of the flesh: Ephesians 2: 1-10: In time past you walked according to the course of this world according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind…

4. Sins of the flesh: Colossians 2: 11-23: In whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.

5. Filth of the flesh: 1 Peter 3:18: 4:6: For Christ has suffered for our sins once and for all, the just for the unjust...

If we put ourselves in the “I” of the carnal man in this chapter, we will see he is the man who tries in the flesh to do something for God. As soon as we try to please God by works of the flesh, we again place ourselves under the law.

Romans 7:1-3: Do you know brethren (for I speak to them that know the law) how the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? For the woman which has a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he lives; but if the husband is dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she is married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband is dead, she is free from the law; so that she is no adulteress, though she is married to another man.

This passage is not dealing with the subject of divorce. This is presented as an allegory to show a Christian’s relationship to the law. This example is solely to show us how our legal death separates us from the dominion of law---re-emphasizing Romans 7:14: “For sin shall not have dominion over you.”

Paul has just finished saying in chapter 6 that the Roman Christians are not under the law. Then he told how Satan had deceived them with sin. Up until now, no one had been able to defend the idea that Christians were free from the law. The only bible they had was the Old Testament. Paul is here giving the first clear teaching that all the external requirements of the law had no claim on them.

This again is an allegory using a woman and her husband and the Christian and the law. The law is pictured as a husband to whom the believer was bound in his old life before salvation. The law is pictured as a husband to whom the believer was bound in his old life before salvation. A Christian is free from the Jewish Law. Jesus fulfilled all of the righteous requirements of the law. (Ro. 8:4) Paul is comparing the law to a husband who is overly strict, hard to live with, and makes his wife miserable, only death could free her from his rigid demands. Our Adam nature is legally dead (by faith) because it is declared; just as we are saved because it is declared!

Christians are not saved by law keeping. We are saved by our union with Christ. Those who teach law-keeping in any form, lead believers into legal bondage. (Gal. 5:14). It is our relationship to the law that is broken. We are guided by the Law of the Spirit (Law of Faith) written on our hearts. The Holy Spirit rules us from the inside. The Law rules from the outside.

The righteous live with greater concerns, deeper levels of commitment and sensitivity to the will and purpose of God than people of religion. Our prayers are pro-active. Our work redemptive. Our yearnings creative (calling those things into being which are not). Our prospective is broader (often worldwide). The light of Christ makes our vision clearer. Our path productive. We are led by the Holy Spirit. Our progress is set and assured.

7:4: My brethren, you also have become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that you should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit to God.

When Paul says, “you should be married to another”, his analogy is marriage to Christ. Our death in Christ separates us from the law so completely that we are now free to be the Bride of Christ. There is one who died and One who rose. In one we died that we might marry the other who rose to live forever. Our death in the first severed us from the law. With that bond dead, we are set free to a new bond with the One who lives forever. It is up to Jesus to lead our lives from now on. Any husband would resent his wife trying to carry over the demands of a former husband into a new marriage. The former husband in this passage is the law.

We have a new marriage, a new relationship, a new name (Christian), and a new home (heaven). We share in our husband’s work (building his church); and we live on his income (resources). From this new union we bring forth fruit to God that could never be produced with the old husband: “Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.

7:5-6: When we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit to death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of Spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

Our Adam nature (human spirit) rebels against God. The human spirit prefers the way of Satan. This is why God had to crucify that old nature. Our new nature aches to serve God with the same zeal with which we once served sin. Life in the Spirit is a life without rules. The law demands. The Holy Spirit gives the believer an invitation. The Holy Spirit gently leads the new nature into doing what is pleasing to God. This is what it means when we come under conviction. It is very personal between each of us and the Holy Spirit. The new way of the Spirit leads us into Life in the Spirit.

We find ourselves following the sweetness of the Spirit and His way is much higher than the way of religion.

The Pharisees tried to get away with everything they could and yet stay inside the law. They used it to make themselves appear righteous. When you love someone, you seek to please him/her. We’re in love with Jesus and He with us. Rules would spoil our delight in each other. The Law of Love is described in the Song of Solomon.

7:7-8: What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. No, I had not known sin, but the law; for I had not known lust, except the law had said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of sin. For apart from the law sin was dead.

Paul is vigorous here with this reply. “I SHOULD SAY NOT!!!!” He will debate the next few verses showing that the law is good and serves a Holy purpose. The principles of Godliness written in the Holy Bible are to be respected and maintained. Individual freedom of rights can never take precedence of the Law of the Lord’s Love for Christians through His Holiness.

Lev. 11:44: For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy.

Holy is the pervasive link between the Old Testament and the New Testament.

“Deep inside the true believer, when holiness bears its fruit and the soul reaches forth to produce what the epistles call for (Jesus revealed)---in that moment righteousness affirms: It is “holy!” The foundation of all acceptable action for the believer is holiness and righteousness. Love becomes an expression of Holiness, so does wrath.”

All of God’s laws work two ways. If we co-operate with His righteousness, it blesses us. If we violate it, it punishes us. Paul uses a personal experience of breaking the moral law. The literal law on covetousness specified a neighbor’s house, wife, cattle, ministry, land, possessions, etc. Coveting in the Greek is a wide word covering all kinds of wrong desires. The desire to have anything forbidden by God broke the law.

Sin is the violation of God’s law. Ask a five-year old if he is a sinner, and he doesn’t know what you mean unless you speak within his small knowledge of right and wrong.

7: 9-11: For I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be to death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment deceived me and by it slew me.

Here Paul is using himself as an example to all believers. He is referring to a time after his salvation. A few days after Paul met Jesus on the Damascus road, he was filled with the Holy Spirit and his heart exploded with boundless joy. He really had life, but it came from meeting Jesus, not from keeping the law. (Col. 1: 16-18). The Lord sent Paul into the Arabian desert for three years. In that wilderness school, he learned the true meaning of the law---that it was Spiritual and was not limited to keeping a specific set of rules. This is the commandment he refers to here that the law forbids every carnal desire. For the first time, he saw himself for what he really was, still a sinner. It was because he had the Holy Spirit that he came to this realization. So terrible was the picture he got of himself that for a time Satan had no trouble convincing him that he wasn’t even saved. That is what he means when he says sin deceived him and it killed him.

The first lesson in the wilderness was that the Spirit demanded righteousness beyond the letter. His second lesson was that he was righteous through faith in Christ, and that he had a new and Holy nature which fulfilled all the requirements of the Law of the Spirit.

At this time, he dropped his own righteousness and rested in the righteousness of Christ. Once he did that he saw himself as alive in Christ and Christ alive in him. He returned to Damascus to begin his public ministry. This work took three years in the wilderness school of Christ. Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit before he went into the School of the Wilderness. If we are to be used of the Lord, we will all go to that school. Mine lasted four years from 1973-77.

He saw what was required went beyond an act of murder and even forbade getting angry with another person. The law forbade adultery, but the Spirit forbade even the desire for such a thing. The Spirit forbids even the carnal desires which prompts us to sinful acts. Paul beheld the deceitfulness of sin. It had fooled him. this is a common crisis for most Christians.

7: 12-13: Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death to me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

Is God unjust to impose a perfect standard on imperfect men? It was never God’s intention that His law should kill people (exclude them from heaven). Had that been so, He would never have provided the sacrificial system with His own Son as the ultimate way of escape.

It is the mark of a true Saint to say, “God’s law is Holy and Good”. Satan deceives people into thinking they are better than they are or they can somehow get away with sin. Satan can also use the law to do his dirty work. Laws have to do their work regardless of who uses them or why. Satan uses the laws of mental and physical health to make people sick, so does he use God’s moral law to bring spiritual sickness.

7:14: For we know the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin.

Jesus Christ fulfilled the righteous requirement of the law. He is the Passover Lamb. His Blood was the Blood on the door post. He is the great High Priest. Teaching the people the difference between the holy and the profane was tantamount to priestly duty in the Old Testament. Jesus restored Holiness in his new found Body, the Body of Christ, the Bride the one new man.

God has established laws to regulate our body, soul and spirit. Physical laws have to do with a man’s body. Mental laws have to do with him, a thinking being. The highest laws are Spiritual, for these have to do with His Holy Spirit. It sets forth the kind of nature man must have to be like God. the Pharisees missed God. They were concerned with outward show and appearances. When a Christian chooses to resist evil, the power of God moves to help him Overcome.

2 Pet. 2:9 – ….the Lord delivers us from our temptations,

7:15-17: For that which I do I allow not; for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that I do. If then I do that which I would not, I consent to the law that is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me.

Amplified reads, “I do not understand my own actions”. He again is not speaking of acts, but desires to sin. He also found that when he had the desire not to sin, he did so anyway. Young Christians are startled when they become aware of this paradox. One of the errors taught young people today is that the standard to the law is so rigid and unyielding that they give up because they can’t measure up. It seems Paul had the same problem under Judaism.

How can this conflict be reconciled? Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul makes a wonderful discovery. “Hey I must have two “I’s”!!!!! The carnal “I” and the “I” to be Godly. There are ten “I’s” in these two verses.

7: 18-20: For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing; for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me.

This sounds like he is repeating himself. The plain truth is one of the hard facts of the Christian life. The old nature can seem to be more powerful than the new nature. It does not want to lose its power over the soul. Why? The perfectly formed new creation in us is just a baby. It has to be fed, exercised and trained. It needs time to grow, develop and gain strength.

Paul says sin dwells in me. This is another hard fact especially if one is trying to present themselves as super spiritual. The devil has a legal right to approach us through the old man. However, the Holy Spirit has a legal right to approach us in the new man. Jesus was born with two natures. His human nature never got a head start on the nature he received from the Holy Spirit.

As we mature, we sin less and less. God is aware of our handicap. In fact, he planned it. Our weaknesses are part of His plan for bringing us to maturity. We learn our best lessons through failures. Like babies we will fall, stumble and cry until we learn to walk. Using our weaknesses to build strong Christians is the genius of God.

7: 21-23: I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Here Paul has come to a settled conclusion. As to why he sinned so consistently. It is a law that we cannot escape as long as we are in these bodies. There is false teaching that has wrecked thousands of lives claiming that Christians are sinless and the old nature has been eradicated. There is also false teaching that Christians can’t have demons. Too late---I have seen them in too many Christians.

The Holy character of the “new man” delights in God’s law. Christ’s own nature is Holiness.

7: 24-25: O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

This is a cry of hopelessness. The dead body he refers to is a Roman custom of chaining dead bodies to criminals. They were made to carry a corpse on their backs wherever they went.

He then triumphantly goes into a crescendo of victory and praise. “I thank God.” God not only gave him a new nature. He also gave him a way to break the power of sin. As the new man grows in the Word, Faith, and Prayer, he gains strength and he is able to resist and defeat the old nature. Salvation is free, but it is not cheap. Paul has been delivered from Satan’s grasp. The new nature guarantees victory--- if we want it.

As usual, the plan is ingenious. Just as God didn’t destroy the devil when he fell, but uses him, neither does he destroy the old nature---He uses it. Stretching exercises the soul. The human soul, like muscles in the arm needs stretching to develop. The reason we are told to resist the devil is to exercise our spiritual muscle.

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

Eastgate Ministries Church, 10115 West Hidden Lakes Lane, Richmond, TX 77406

Scripture from K.J.V. I entered into the labors of C.S. Lovett’s Lights on Romans; F.F. Bruce Bible Commentary, Leslie C. Allen, Matthew Henry’s Commentary; Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible. Holiness and Righteousness, by: Dr. C. R. Oliver. I saw written on one of my study sheets the date of August 20, 1987. This would have been the first time I prepared these notes and taught them.

I. The way of an eagle in the air. The way of a Cherub with commandments. The way of Cain in uncovering sin. THE WAY OF ABRAHAM in uncovering FAITH TOWARDS GOD. THE WAY OF JESUS in unearthing THE FAITH OF GOD which later became THE FAITH OF THE SON - the only way to God (Prov. 30:19/Ps. 103:20/Jude 1:11) Tayo Fasan

In the house of the righteous there is much treasure. Prov. 15:6

The mouth of the righteous is a well of life. Prov. 10:11 The labor of the righteous leads to life. Prov. 10:16 The righteous shows mercy and gives. Psalms 37:21

The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in the time of trouble. The LORD shall help them and deliver them. He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in Him. Ps. 37: 39-40

Mat 10:41:"... He that receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward." It is Jesus Christ who gives the Gift of Righteousness (Ro. 5:17-18);--- through faith in Jesus Christ (faith-righteousness). Who among us would presume to judge a man by our own faith experiences, Holy Spirit giftings, and callings.

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