ROMANS 7 THE FUTILITY OF LIVING OUR WAY
“Only Christ can set us free”
Watch “The Bible Project. Romans” Part 2
Paul has spent 6 chapters in Romans introducing us to “The Gospel” … the good news of Jesus Christ.
The good news is simple:
• Mankind has turned away from God.
• As a result we are all broken on the inside. This brokenness is the cause of the mess this world is in.
• Only God can fix the mess … through Jesus’ death on the cross.
• As we trust in what God has done for us, rather than our own efforts, we are justified … declared to be in the right before God.
• We also have peace with God … a new relationship, a new provision, a new state and a new authority
• Those who entrust their lives to God in this way become part of a new community of faith … the Church. A family that are declared to be heirs of the Father & joint heirs with the Son!
But what about those who try to do things their own way?
What about the Jew who insists that they need to continue to follow the Old Testament law?
How is this new family related to the Old Testament Jewish family?
Paul’s answer to this is found in Romans 7.
THE FUTILITY OF LIVING OUR WAY
Romans 7:1 “for I am speaking to those who know the law”
Paul is speaking directly to Jews here.
People get confused when later in the chapter he uses “I”.
Is Paul speaking about himself?
Is he struggling with his Christianity?
Is he writing on behalf of a struggling Christian?
“I” is a common ancient literary tool used when speaking generally about a group of people (now we use “one” or “we”).
In this chapter he is once and for all dealing with the place of the law in our lives today.
The Jew cannot live in both worlds.
Life can only be found through faith in Jesus Christ!
Vs. 1-3 The illustration of a marriage covenant. When a partner dies, the covenant ceases to exist.
Vs. 4 “So …” “in the same way”
When you became a Christian YOU DIED TO THE OLD!
Vs. 6 “but now …” we have been released from the old way “so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit.”
This is the current state of anyone, including the Jew, who has received life in Christ.
Vs. 7-13 It is not the law that is bad. There is nothing wrong with the Old Testament law … the problem is how man uses it & SIN/BROKENNESS that continually works within us!
Vs. 14-24 The frustrating position of the person who tries to live by the law … or tries to do things THEIR OWN WAY!
Vs. 25 The only answer to life is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
JESUS IS THE ANSWER … for the Jew & the Gentile!
What is Paul saying to us here?
LIVING LIFE OUR OWN WAY IS FUTILE!
The old ways cannot bring life … only frustration.
We cannot produce life through human effort.
Our own effort promises much but delivers little.
ONLY JESUS CAN DELIVER US FROM FUTILITY.
How does this apply to us?
It is so tempting for anyone to start well and finish badly.
It is so tempting to start on God’s pathway of faith, and want to go back to how we lived before.
Illus: Israel. In the wilderness continually wanted to go back to Egypt.
• When things don’t go our way
• When God doesn’t seem to come through for us
• When life gets difficult or confusing
• When I’m disappointed or feel let down by Christians or the Church
… then the temptation is to look back & return to our default setting.
To do things our way again.
If we do, the experience of the legalistic Jew in Vs. 14-24 becomes ours.
Only God’s way works.
Life is only found through a genuine walk of faith/trust in God and His work on our behalf.
Only Christ can set us free!
“Trust and obey, there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey”