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January 30, 2013

That One Last Verse

Romans 7

What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”[b] But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.

The law is good. The law is to be obeyed but to find life in the law is futile. The law was made to show how sinful we are. We all have fallen short from the glory of God.  That is why boasting of our good works is nonsense. All of us have one time in our life at least disobeyed the law. There is no such thing as a clean record. If somebody would do a background investigation about me, I will be ashamed of all the wrong things I have done.

So to boast about how good I am is laughable. That is why being religious does not guarantee salvation. How religious can we really get compared to the record of sins we have because we have disobeyed the law?

13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

Because if the law, I know that I have sinned and sin brings death. And this is actually good news. Because if I am not dead, then I don’t need saving. But we all need a Savior to save us. We can never save ourselves.

14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 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.

It will be a continuos cycle of sin for all of us if we try to measure up to the law. Imaine the burden we carry when our life’s motivation is to be really good and holy in our own works. We call it works righteousness – trying to attain righteousness through our good works. It is a futile exercise.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?

Knowing all this we have to come to the point where we would see our wretchedness. That apart from Christ, we are garbage, cow dung, useless, helpless, needy, parasites. It gets pretty discouraging when you read Romans 7 till you reach that one last verse…

25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

I have been delivered from the crutches of sin. I no longer am subject to the law. I have been redeemed from my sin through the work of Christ at the cross. Thank you Jesus!!!