Romans Message 5, Romans 6-7

Romans: The Gospel of God

Message 5: Liberty from Sin and the Law (Chapters 6-7)

Dr. David Shumate

Problem: Christians often fail to live victoriously.

Theological Truth: Justification by faith necessitates a union with Jesus Christ that liberates us from the dominion of sin and law.

Our Response: We must consider ourselves the way God considers us.

Paul expands on the fundamental changes that have taken place in our standing as a result of our justification by Faith. No longer are we the servants of sin and in bondage to the Law. Instead we are the servants of righteousness with the liberty to serve God freely.

I.    Our justification provides the proper motivation to live free from sin (Ch. 6).
A.    Living in sin is inconsistent with our union with Christ (6:1-14).
1.    Our justification demands our identification with Christ’s death and resurrection (vs. 1-5).
2.    Our death and resurrection with Christ frees us from the dominion of sin and places us in the dominion of righteousness (vs. 6-10).
3.    Our new standing requires us to think and live differently (vs. 11-14).
“reckon” – logizomai – (Basic sense: 2:3; 8:18; 14:14 [“to think or consider something to be so”]. Theological sense: 2:26; 4:3-11, 22-24 [“God legally declares considers something to be so”). God considers us to be dead to sin and alive to Him; therefore, we should consider ourselves to be dead to sin and alive to God.)
B.    Living in sin is inconsistent with our decision to follow Christ (6:14-23).
1.    When we trusted Christ we chose to stop being the servants of sin and to become the servants of righteousness (vs. 15-18).
2.    When we trusted Christ we were free to bear a different kind of fruit (vs. 19-23).

II.    Our standing has changed in relationship to the law (ch. 7).
A.    We are free from the bondage of the Law (vs. 1-6).
1.    The illustration from marriage (vs. 1-3)
2.    The application to the believer (vs. 4-6)

The fruit of our union to the Law was death whereas the fruit of our union with Christ is true obedience to God (vs. 4, 6)
Key verse (vs. 6): “the newness of the Spirit versus the oldness of the letter.”
B.    We are free from law keeping as a system of righteousness (vs. 7-25)
•    Paul is here speaking the language of subjective experience primarily. It is very important to understand this.
•    Paul is demonstrating why the law is incapable of justifying the unbeliever or of sanctifying the believer. Instead the law shows the unbeliever and the believer alike their need for Christ.
1.    The law was designed not to justify sinners but to show them how sinful they really are (vs. 7-13).
a.    The Law itself is not sinful. Rather it exposes sin (vs. 7).
b.    Sin used the commandment to provoke me to sin even more (vs. 8).
Without the Law sin lay dormant.
c.    The result was that I became aware that I was a sinner (vs.  9-10).
d.    Sin deceitfully used the commandment, making me think that the law would give me life when in reality the law condemned me to death (vs. 11).
e.    Conclusion: The commandment is good and it eventually served its purpose by showing how sinful sin really is (vs. 12-13).
2.    The law was designed not to sanctify believers but to show them their total dependence on Christ (vs. 14-25).
a.    The believer has a fundamentally different attitude toward the sin and toward the Law (vs. 14-16).
b.    The believer has a fundamentally different relationship with sin and the Law (vs. 17-23).
c.    The believer is driven to depend continually on the Lord Jesus Christ (vs. 24-25).

Concluding Questions:
1.    If God has reckoned you to be free from sin, don’t you think that you should do so also? If you are a believer you don’t have to sin.
2.    How do you respond when you are faced with a scriptural duty?
•     Do you tend to trust yourself to fulfill it?
•     Do you ignore it because you know you can’t fulfill it?
•     Do you realize that you must rely on Christ to grow just as you had to rely on Him to be saved?

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