Read Romans 7:1- 6
Most Christians ignorantly will state that the law has nothing to do with then since they are under grace. But, according to the Bible, this is not the case! The Christian's relationship to the law is still in an active state, "the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives". This means we are united to Christ so that we may serve and glorify God "in newness of Spirit." The law as Paul continues to express has not gone away! The law has the purpose to show us His Holiness and our depravity (sin), this shows us God's standard, our standing and why we need our Savior. Through the depravity of our sin, the moral law, though "spiritual, holy, just, and good," The law is good. It gives us the ultimate benchmark to holiness and virtue. It tells us who we are and why we are, and why we do as we do. So we know what sin is and how we can please the Father to which is our main purpose in life (7-13). The agonizing conflict of our sinful nature and what we are saved to do we can learn in the law. So when we "delight in the law of God," we need to know we cannot keep it, but Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit will give us the means to persevere and overcome through our deliverance by Christ, (14-25).
· As Christians we still have a relationship to the Law! We cannot say because I am a New Testament Christian the law has no effect or bearing on me. Yes, we are saved from its punishment; we do not even need to follow it. But, we need to realize that the law is active, real and necessary.
· Why is the Law necessary, because it uncovers who we are in sin, our motivations and depravity. It is why society needs law and order, why churches need discipline and how much we have been saved by our Lord. It will show us where love is not at work, where we are failing our church and community.
· We can produce His spiritual fruit and not just more sin. We must be praising God for His grace, which we are under Him, and not left to ourselves.
· The law was to inform right from wrong. Until we acknowledge our helpless state, we will have no desire for the Lord's work. We are married in and to love, not to compulsion and dread. Then our resurrection will give us a new relationship, and only then will the law be void. The law was not a means for salvation, but a preparatory means to educate us on our need for Christ and point to the cross.
· Paul in this passage uses the term Death this refers to the complete change of things, such as a relationship. That relationship is severed at death, it does not go on. The law's power to condemn us is longer a problem, and has no hold on us! Paul also uses classic philosophical arguments of good verses evil as reason being good and passion (sexual, self centered) as being bad.
· We have a new life with a new Master and a new purpose and love. We are to serve God from the motivation of love, not law. Being a Christian is not a license to sin, because we are not under the law. The law caused human motivation to rebel, grace causes human nature to obey.
· The purpose of law is not to motivate or change us, but rather to reveal sin and our need for Christ. If we base our life in Christ as a marriage by law and not by love, we will be unfulfilled and unhappy.
· Fruit, is a result of an action! Fruit of the Spirit are the result of the Spirit working in us (Gal 5:19-22)! The question by God is, Held by this refers to what holds us back in life and that is sin! Newness of the Spirit, the point that as Christians that the Spirit is here to stay and we have the Spirit and are responsible to allow Him to infuse us and use us!
· In the flesh, means for us not to be controlled by our desires of sin and seek rebellion, living a careless life with a disregard of truth or consequences! It is our natural sinful nature to desire what is wrong and to destroy.
The fruit this passage calls us to produce the fruit of holiness. This means to be separated unto God for His purpose and glory as Israel was (Jos. 24:19; Hab. 1:13; 1 Pet. 1:15). It comes from the result of our relationship with Christ that produces faith, commitment, trust and obedience. The further result is the endeavor for moral purity and virtue. This is the seeds that produce a growing Christians also produce a loving Church and an affluent society, affluence in character and care, the real true wealth. We have to ask as Paul did, what holds us back in this? Yes, it is sin, but what sins, what influences, what means keep you from your spiritual growth? Why does your church not do as it is called in holiness and care? What about you personally? Unless we find this out, how can we continue our development into maturity and faith! The book of 1 Peter is all about pursuing holiness, with encouragements and instructions on this much needed Christian endeavor. Make a commitment to read it fully and carefully! The make the commitment to apply it to your life and church!
1. Have you viewed something real negative, until you realized it was positive? Such as discipline when we were children we hated it, then we became adults and now see how necessary it was. What is an example from your life?
2. Have you ever saw the 'Law' as a relationship? How can the 'Law' be a relationship?
3. What did the law produce for the Romans and those who tried to live it?
4. How did Jesus change the Law? Because of the law your life is_____________________?
5. How can you know what it means to be released from the law? How will the Law be voided in the future?
6. What can the Law do for you today in your life?
7. We must be praising God for His grace, so how can you do this?
8. What do you need to do so your will is under Him, and not left to yourself?
9. We are to serve God from the motivation of love, so how does the Law come in to play?
10. Being a Christian is not a license to sin, because we are not under the law, so why do some Christians live their life without regards to it? Such as the Christian divorce rate is 50%, just 1% less then the secular rate.
11. We have a new life with a new Master, what is your new life?
12. What and where is you primary purpose and love directed too? To find this answer check your checkbook register and date book!
13. Have you ever considered that as a church, Christ is our husband and we, the church, are the bride? If so what difference would it make in the daily operations of your church from the committees to the pulpit to the neighbors if we had the view of being His bride?
14. If you are married what is the foundational principle and covenant in your marriage? If you are not married what will it be? His grace plays what (or what will it) role in you marriage? Conceder all possibilities. In you 'marriage' to Christ (union) would you feel closer to Him by a 'code' or by a 'relationship'?
15. Have you experienced a difference between the law and the relationship?
16. How can righteousness be the fruit in your marriage? (Fruit = result) If we base our life in Christ as a marriage by law and not by love, we will be unfulfilled and unhappy, why?
17. Why did the Law cause human motivation to rebel? How can grace cause you and the people in your church to be people who obey?
18. How can the Law reveal sin and our need for Christ in your daily life?
19. How can you be a person who is committed to a life that bears fruit (Gal 5)?
20. What would this fruit be like? What would it mean to your church? To your community? How will you make this so?
© 1998, R. J. Krejcir, Into Thy Word Ministries http://www.discipleshiptools.org/