May 29, 2011
Romans #17

Romans 7:7-14.

As we said last time, this section is probably one of the most discussed passages in scripture. The discussion is over whether Paul is talking of himself or of others. And if Paul is talking of himself, is it before or after conversion. I have done my research, and the way I see it fit together is not inconsistent with the way other far better men have understood it.

I mentioned that Paul refers to at least four laws:

1. V. 7ff, the law of the conscience. Paul has dealt with the inborn law of the conscience in the first 6 chapters.
2. V. 12, the moral law as revealed in the commandments
3. Vv. 12, 22, the law of God.
4. Vv. 23, 8:2, the law of sin and death that wars in the members of every person.

V. 12, Law of God; that is, the general law. The commandments; that is, specific applications of the Law of God, such as thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not commit adultery.

Which law is Paul talking about as he refers to all four?

Thus far in Romans, he is confronting the Jewish false teachers who were following the preachers of the new gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Christ. We saw in Acts 15:5-11, that these false teachers were the Jewish religious leaders. Elsewhere, we find that these teachers were concerned about losing their power over the people, and of losing their very lucrative income from their position as leaders.

According to the first 6 chapters of Romans, we understand what the message of these false teachers was. It was basically that righteousness came by keeping the law of Moses. Paul dealt with this evil message of death and destruction not only in Romans, but in every letter he wrote.

We saw in Acts 15 that the false message to the Jews was that though the message of salvation through Christ was good, it did not go far enough. The new converts still had to keep the law of Moses if they expected to see God.

The message to the Gentiles was that though they had been drawn to Christ, they needed to become Jews. They needed to be circumcised and keep the law of Moses.

We see in Galatians that the Gospel church is now the new Israel of God. That is, it is the circumcised heart that makes one a true Jew. The Jewish race of Paul's day was completely destroyed by Rome in 70 AC. That which is considered Jew today is simply a religion as one is a Roman Catholic, or one is a Muslim.

We also pointed out last week that Paul, as well as all the other holy men of God who spake for God as they were moved by the Holy Ghost were men of like passions as we are. 2 Peter 1:21, Acts 15:15, James 5:17. In fact, Paul identified himself a the chief of sinners, 1 Timothy 1:15.

Paul tells us that the law of Moses is holy, just, and good (v. 12), and it requires and defines a holy walk. But though the law was given for life, it was never designed to give life. It was never meant to nor did it ever have the power to produce a holy walk before God, whether converted or unconverted.

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

The idea that was promoted among the Jews and Gentiles of Paul's day was that the law could justify. Paradise was possible through keeping the law and commandments.

So throughout the first 6 chapters, Paul has shown that though the law and commandment are good, holy and just, the law had no power to produce justification. We have seen and will see that the good and holy law that was meant for life can only produces death apart from conversion and the Spirit of God.

We need to keep in mind that the problem Paul is dealing with is not about pardon of sin, but about deliverance from the power of sin and death that continued its attempt to control him, v. 24. The situation is that the law of sin sought to control him, not that it did.

Paul presents the sin problem from a personal level, which is on the level of his readers. He offers two points of view: past and present.

Vv. 7-13, Paul considers the law and its past effect on him as an unsaved man. He starts this section with I had not known sin...

Vv. 14-25, he considers the law and its present effects on him as a saved man. He starts this section with but I am carnal...

Vv. 7-13.

V. 7, Is the law sin... Far from it. The law reveals sin; it does not cause sin. I had not known sin... Before his conversion, Paul's conscience was hardened in sin. So hard that he could murder Christians.

In fact, the first seven chapters of Romans seems to be written from Paul's personal experience, for they all fit together with this seventh chapter.

He lived a moral life according to his upbringing, even believing he was doing God a favor by killing those who worshiped the Christian God of Scripture. His definition of a moral life was not a result of the new law written within by the finger of God. It was defined by what his conscience told him, but his conscience was corrupted by his upbringing and by the society in which he lived.

The conscience:

1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

Note. Over the past 100 years, the enemy of all righteousness has worked very hard to re-educate the conscience of society from one that feared God and loved righteousness, to one that hates God and loves unrighteousness. The major instruments of change has been the education system. That system demands control of the children as soon as the state can convince the parents to release them into the state. They are kept by the state until the children are separated from their parents' old fashioned, biblical, ideas.

The final blow against the Christian God is college.

It is interesting to note that the National Guard had to be called out in New York to force the parents to send their children to the state schools.

Over the years, the public conscience has been slowly changed by the education system, the entertainment system, the political system (they are all crooks), as well as the false religious system. The vast majority of people today, including those who might attend church, think they are acting in a moral way, yet they are in opposition to the commandments.

The public conscience has been seared through the indoctrination of the world. The public conscience has been changed from one based upon God's law to one based upon how the world thinks. The public conscience now sees little or no problem with drinking, sodomy, fornication, adultery, covetousness, lusts of all kinds, murder of the unborn, lying, cheating, theft, and the list goes on and on.

Here are six areas that immediately come to mind, in which the public conscience has been changed.

First, the law is clear:

Exodus 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

Work has been replaced by welfare: It used to be a shame to live off public welfare. The once Christian work ethic is almost gone. People have been encouraged to work the system so they can survive off of the system, not off of work.

God made man to work, and women to be the help-meet. Though the conscience has been re-formulated to accept income without work, the resistance to work leads to depression.

Second, the law is clear:

Exodus 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

2 Peter 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:

World Magazine, 6/4/11, had a review of a book in which the authors claim that three-fourths of 18-23-year-old women are in dating relationships of some kind-and 94 percent of those are sexually involved on college campuses. They pointed out the problem is the abundance of females and the lack of marriage minded men. Only strongly committed Christians remained chase. They pointed out that because universities are consumer-driven, they give the students what they think they want, which includes co-ed dorms, easy access to sex and alcohol, &c.

Notice the new word now for fornication and adultery, or "shacking up" is fiancee. The word fiancee is used without any conscience to justify a very immoral life-style.

We had the car painted a few months after we got it. A few weeks ago after the snow, I noticed a rust spot which was not there before nor after we had it painted. Since the paint shop was in Winchester, it would have taken us longer to drop it off, come home, and then go back and get it that it would have to just wait there for them to paint the hood. While waiting, a man came in to pay on his bill. He was very insistent that he get a receipt because his fiancee was helping him pay the bill, and she wanted to be sure the money went where it was supposed to go.

When he left, the owner told another person in the office that the girlfriend wanted the accounting of the money.

All of that to say this. It seems that the term fiancee is now used to ease the conscience over the fact that people are "shacking up".

Women seem to be afraid of not having a man, so they sell themselves cheap.

Third, the law is clear:

Deuteronomy 23:17 There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel. 18 Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

Romans 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

 

The same World had an article about the Presbyterian Church (USA) voting to ordain open sodomites to the ministry. The sodomite agenda that has been pressed for the last couple of decades is paying off for the sodomites, as this very noisy and violent minority has put us all under some very odorous laws.

Fourth, entertainment.

The Christian God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ has been forcefully removed from public view, because he might offend someone. Not only are secular films anti-god, very few even Christian films will mention the name of Jesus, which is the name above every name that can be named. The desire is for a god that offends no one, and the separation brought about by Christ is very offensive to the world.

Fifth, actions.

Teens Riot In Manhattan Businesses, 24 May 2011

MYFOXNY.COM - It's like a flash mob gone bad. Security footage from a Manhattan Dunkin' Donuts shows a group of youths climbing on counters, throwing chairs and throwing tables in a violent attack on workers. That evil conduct is becoming more and more prevalent as young people rush into a store, grab what they can, and then trash the store.

The system, no doubt, is encouraging that conduct. The goal is to get the people to cry out for more police powers from the state.

Sixth, immodesty.

Public nakedness that was not even imagined when I was in school is now common. Many girls today seem to be in competition as to who can show the most skin, or who can attract the most lustful attention to themselves.

The public now serves many gods after their own making. The religious community in its attempt to attract the world has become like the world, as it competes with the word for attention and money.

What has happened?

The public conscience has been seared, or hardened to God and to the truth of God's law and commandments, Romans 7:12.. The sinfulness of sin and its deadly results have been educated out of the public conscience.

We know people whose conscience allows them to do about anything. They are controlled by lust and covetousness, seemingly with no conscience. Even the professed Christians have a re-educated, as the church accepts all kinds of unbiblical things, including pastoretts.

The sinfulness of sin must be revived.

Paul's conscience may have "spoken" a little at various times, but it was not that "speaking" of the conscience that led him to see himself as a sinner needing a Redeemer.

Paul says he had not know sin as defined by God's law. He only knew sin as defined by what he had been taught and by the society around him. His conscience reacted according to his upbringing. His conscience was hardened against God's commandment.

This does not mean that he acted out his lust and covetousness in ways commonly associated with those sins of the heart, but the roots of those sins were there, waiting to be revealed by the Spirit.

Note that our hearts can be given to various sins without the sins being worked out in a manner that is obvious. Look around—the conscience of society is seared against nakedness, lust and covetousness.

V. 8, unknown to Paul, he was being deceived by sin, not realizing his corrupted conscience was leading him to death.

Sin took advantage of him before his conversion, allowing him to sin even more.

Concupiscence...desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust.

Without the law as revealed by the Spirit, he did not know sin. His corrupted conscience was in control, and retained control until the Spirit revealed the true law to him It must be the Spirit of God revealing the holy law to the individual that leads to conversion and life change.

The law of sin was dead, or unknown to him until the Spirit acted to reveal the sinfulness of sin to him.

Note: How many times do we acknowledge sin with our words, and maybe even mean those words. Yet it is only when the Spirit speaks to us, that that knowledge of sin is acted on.

V. 9, alive without the law once... Pre-conversion. He was hardened in sin, seeing little or no problem with what he was doing. Actually, he was deceived by sin, believing he was alive, and even doing God a favor in his persecution of Christians.

But when the truth of the commandment was revealed to Paul by the Spirit, sin was revived, or made alive, and he realized he was dead.

Paul was alive without the law, but the revelation of the law killed him.

Note: We need a revival, a revival of the knowledge of sin as God sees it. We need to be killed by the law of God. Without the Spirit of God revealing the God's law to us, sin is dead to us. That is, we are unaware of God's definition of sin, the seriousness of sin, and the eternal results of sin.

How many are convinced they are alive because their conscience is not speaking against what they are doing? But when the Spirit confronted them with the commandments, sin was made alive, and they realized they were dead.

The Spirit works through the conscience, and makes us uncomfortable in our sin, which leads us to Christ.

V. 10, God gave the commandments for our good and life:

Leviticus 18:5 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.

Romans 10:5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

So the commandment meant for life was found to be unto death once the Spirit revealed the truth of sin.

Paul's letter to the Romans deals with those who are being taught to trust in the law for their justification. From the context of Paul's words here and elsewhere, it seems that the false teaches were ignoring the significance of the death of Christ for one's relationship with the Father, and were replacing Christ with the commandments and Jewish rituals.

Paul has argued for 6 chapters the foolishness of depending on the law for justification. Justification is by grace through faith alone. But he also makes it abundantly clear to the Romans, the Corinthians, the Ephesians, the Galatians and others, that justified will result in willing and joyful submission to the law and commandments.

Found... How did he find this out? The Spirit alone can show the sinner his sin, and the truth of his corrupted conscience that calls bad good.

Of course, people are not only deceived in their moral sins, they are deceived in about every way possible, not seeing that their living the life of approval of the world is leading to death.

Though these people think they are alive, sin has them deceived. They are in the way of death.

Note:
1. What will it take to wake up those living in sin?
2. What will it take to get the attention of those who are seeking after the things of this world?
3. What will it take to make those seeking the "good life" that the "good life" is only a facade to deceive people down the path of death and destruction?
4. What will it take to allow those deceived by sin to see the seriousness of sin, and its deadly results without Christ?

V. 9, sin must be revived. We need a revival in this nation. That is, a revival of a true realization of God's holiness and his definition of sin. We need to see the deceitfulness of sin, and its final destruciton. A revival of understanding that Christ is the only way of life. And the Spirit alone must reveal the truth. Neither sinner nor saint can understand they are on the path to death and destruction without the Holy Spirit confronting them with the true commandment in that area.

V. 11, speaking of the past before conversion, Paul identifies sin as a person in this section, the tempter. Though living a perfect example of a moral life by the world's standards, sin had him deceived. The tempter deceived him by hiding the commandment from him, and the tempter slew him by deceiving him, and sending him down the broad way that leadeth to destruction. Matthew 7:13.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (16:25)

Note: the tempter is very effective today.

Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

Jeremiah tells us that there is an abundance of false prophets who tell the people what they want to hear. They tell the people that it is OK to take the broad way, but they do not tell them the end, destruction.

Hebrews 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

The religious leaders should be warning the people for God of their sinful ways, and the destructive end. But the tempter has gained the religious leaders, and it seems they have delivered the whole world into the tempter's hands. His deceptions have the whole world joyfully running down the broad way to destruction. But God has promised a faithful remnant, and has promised the total victory of his Kingdom in his good time.

V. 12, The law is holy, and the commandment holy, just, and good, and are for the good of mankind.

Just and good because the commandment reveals the deception of sin.

V. 13, was the law described in v. 12, meant to bring death to me? Certainly not. It was the holy, just, and good law that revealed the deceitfulness of sin, and its deadly results. The law itself was not death. The law is good, for it reveals the sinfulness of sin, and the wages of sin, death.

The purpose of the holy, just, and good law was and is to make sin exceeding sinful, which is what Paul said in,

3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

The purpose of the law to the unsaved is not to destroy him, but to stop his excuses for the way he is, and bring him to Christ.

Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

After we are brought to C hrist by faith, the law changes from a schoolmaster to instructions of how to live as a child of God as explained by Paul in Romans 6:3-5.

Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Paul goes on to say that if we are sons, why do we desire to again be in bondage to the old ways?

Exceeding sinful. This seems to be the breaking point. The exceeding sinfulness of sin was revealed to him by the Spirit, and he is converted.

Acts 26:14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

 

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