Romans Part IV
Chapters -- 7 & 8
The Book of Romans -- “Quick review”
Romans Part IV -- Chapters -- 7 & 8
The eighth chapter of Romans begins with one of the greatest promises in the entire Bible.
The significance of the fact that in spite of our sin, God doesn’t condemn us is overwhelming in and of itself. But the truth of the matter is, when you read that verse in light of chapter 7, the personal application of its truth is even more invigorating.
You see, chapter 7 is one of the most powerful statements about struggling with sin in the history of all literature.
What makes it so powerful is that it is Paul providing us a glimpse into his own struggle. For me that is encouraging.
Often when I think of the apostle Paul, I think of somebody who is bigger than life. I see him standing up and defending his faith in front of the Roman governors and even the emperor.
We have all read the scriptures as he instructs the churches to be faithful, and as he encourages Timothy and Titus to remain true to their calling. Probably most of us have put Paul on some form of a pedestal.
But when we come to the 7th chapter of Romans, we get a peek behind the eyes of the apostle, and he’s a lot more human than we might have first thought.
Romans 7:14–15 (NKJV)
14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.
Romans 7:18–19 (NKJV)
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.
Did you notice what is going on here? Paul is honest enough to recognize within himself a tendency to get caught into the stranglehold of sin. This is not Paul talking about the way he used to be sinful before he became a Christian.
This is Paul saying, "Just this morning, I gave in again. It happens to us all. Earlier in his letter he has proclaimed "No one is righteous, not even one." Later he stated matter of factly.
"All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." But now he states it even more personally. "I struggle with sin, and sometimes I lose." Finally, the frustration of losing seems to break through to the surface as Paul proclaims in 7:22-24
Romans 7:22–24 (NKJV)
22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 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. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
How many times a week could you just kick yourself for failing?
Don’t answer that:
And now all you feel is stupid, filthy, wretched to use the language of Paul. But hear where Paul goes from here.
Romans 7:24–8:2 (NKJV)
24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 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.
8 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
You see, I told you that promise was even more grand when you know Paul’s train of thought. You see, Paul admits that there is a struggle going on within every human being, and when we try to win on our own strength we often get pinned to the mat.
But the greatness of the promise of God’s grace is that even when we fail again, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. There is security in our relationship with God. If we are in Christ, we don’t need to wonder if God is angry with us.
If you have a personal relationship with Jesus, you don’t need to fear God’s wrath.
"There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." When God looks at you, He doesn’t see a wretch; He sees a son or daughter.
If we are deceived into thinking that we are not what God says we are, then we are going to keep on acting that way.
That is why the way to break the power of the most vicious and evil habit is to see yourself as God sees you. Then you begin to act that way.
Now, how many of you believe the Bible to be true? I want to find out. Remember, when you say the word "Amen" you are actually saying a Hebrew word that means "That’s the truth!"
In a minute I am going to read a promise from God’s Word, and I want you to respond. If you believe the truth of the promise, then respond by saying "Amen." (Not a wimpy amen) Are ready – ok - God’s Word proclaims --
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." – Somebody say Amen!
Do you believe it?
Somebody say Amen!
The challenge that we face is not to just say that we believe it, but to live like it. Don’t let anything that you have ever done, or will ever do to separate you from God.
IN fact a little later in Romans 8 Paul asks a very important question that at one time or another is on the mind of every Christian.
Romans 8:35, 37–39 (NKJV)
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
You see, none of those things can separate us from Him. But when we are foolish and fail, our tendency is to turn away in shame.
All that we have covered today and over the past few weeks can be summed up in 3 parts:
“No one is righteous; all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 --
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:8 (NKJV)
“The wages of sin is death. In our natural state we get what we deserve. Imperfection brings death.” Romans 6:23
“The gift of God is eternal life "in Christ Jesus." Romans 7 & 8
The bad news is that everyone outside of Christ will suffer the consequences of their sin. They will die.
The good news is that God has made a provision for us to come "to Christ." His will is that every person will come to Christ. But God does not force His will on us. He gives us free will.
Now we must choose who must guide our lives. Will we live by our own standards and suffer the consequences. Or will we turn our lives over to God and receive the promise of –
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
The final victory is declared in –
Romans 16:20 (NKJV)
20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
I hope – NO I pray –
That our quick journey through the book of Romans these past few has been helpful & as encouraging for you that it has been for me.
I am so thankful that to be a Christian/disciple of Christ doesn’t mean I am perfect but forgiven as I “Press on towards my goal to be like Christ.”
I will close today w/ another favorite scripture inspired by God & written by St. Paul –
1 John 1:9 (NKJV)
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”