Here’s the notes from my sermon on Romans 7:1-6, preached at Cross of Christ Fellowship in Naperville Il.
Romans 7:1-6 “Released from the Law, Bound to Jesus”
Intro: On May 21, 2011 I experienced a kind of RELEASE and a BINDING that changed my life. Before that date I was free to pursue marriage with any woman who might marry me and free to pursue singleness. But on that date, the day of wedding, I was RELEASED from this way of life, the way of being single, and I was BOUND in marriage to Rachel. Until death does us part, we are bound together in a marriage covenant before God.
When we came to faith in Christ, we also experienced a release and binding: we were RELEASED from the Law of Moses and BOUND to Jesus Christ, to belong to Him and be His. We were released from the OLD way of serving God through the written code and bound to Jesus that we might serve in the new of the Holy Spirit and bear fruit for God. That is what we learn in today’s passage: in the gospel we have been released from the Law and bound to Jesus, and it is good to belong to Jesus.
-The theme of Romans is the GOSPEL
-Ch 1-4 explains the gospel: God, Sin, Christ, Response
-Ch 5 unpacks the gospel (many blessings): Reconciliation with God, eternal life, future hope, Jesus 2nd Adam
-Ch 6 addresses misunderstandings about sin (union w/Christ; transfer to new master)
-Ch 7 teaches us about a Christian’s relationship with God’s Law.
Why take a chapter to explain the Law? Paul wants to clarify some of his more provocative statements about God’s Law. In 5:20, Paul said that the ‘Law came in to increase sin,’—that is, in some ways the Law of God actually led to more sin. And in 6:14, Paul said that Christians are “not under law, but under grace.” But what does that mean? And how should we think about our relationship to God’s Law? This is what Paul unpacks for us in Romans 7. In 7:1-6, we learn about how we have been released from the Law and abound to Christ, in v 7-25 we are reminded about the goodness of the Law but our utter inability to keep it due to sin.
In the gospel we have been released from the Law and bound to Jesus, and it is good to belong to Jesus.1. Release from the Law. 2. Bound to Christ 3. The Goodness of Belonging to Jesus
I. A RELEASE (1-4a)
-When I boy I was attended public school, I was under my teacher’s authority—until summer when we were released!
-CHILDREN: Halloween candy—you are under your parents’ authority, but one day released!In our passage we learn that we as Christians have experienced a release from the Law that God gave to Moses.
A Principle about the Law to Consider (1)
Paul begins this section by giving a principle about the law. He is speaking about the Law of Moses, which God gave to Israel through Moses. (READ v 1) -The BINDING of a Law is only as long as a person lives: the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives?
-When a person dies they are no long obligated to a law.
-If you die, you are free from the obligations you once had!
Illustration of the Principle in Regards to Marriage (2-3)
Paul shows how this principle is clearly seen in marriage.
-Example of marriage: till death do us part (READ 2) -Joining with another person who is not your wife is adultery, if your spouse is still alive (3a)
-But it is not adultery to join to another after the death of spouse (3b)
-If I died, Rachel is free to remarry.
NOTE: Our culture has gone far away from the biblical paradigm of marriage.
–Children: God’s design for marriage is one man and one woman.
-Parents: Let’s be intentional in talking with our children about marriage.
Application of the Principle to the Christian (4a, 6a)
Paul now makes his point by applying this principle to the Christian in regards to God’s Law.
-A Death has occurred in conversion (4a): 4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ,
-“you also”=as the spouse’s death in marriage led to a RELEASE, so our death with Christ led to release -DIED to the Law. MOO: “Paul plainly teaches here a deliverance from the “binding force” of the law as a whole” (416)
-Through the body of Christ: In our union with Christ. He fulfilled the Law for us.
-A RELEASE (6a): But now we are released from the law,
-We are no longer bound to keep the Mosaic Law.
-New Covenant has arrived; now we are free from the demands of the Mosaic Law
-DIED TO THE LAW (6b): having died to that which held us captive,
-The Law held us captive. Gal 3:24
APPLICATION: The Christian has been RELEASED from trying to keep the Law given to Moses.
-REFORMED DISTINCTION: 3 parts of Law (Moral, Civil, Ceremonial). Moral Law continues on (Law of Christ)
-The Christian has been released from the Law, but now, in the power of the Holy, we have been brought under
“the Law of Christ” and the Law becomes a “rule of life” see 1689 LBC 19.6
WHY DOES THIS MATTER TODAY? There are sects and cults that claim we are not released from the Law
-“Restored Church of God,” “Hebrew Israelites”
-Former roommate; friend’s parent here in IL.
SUMMARY: When we came to Christ we experienced a RELEASE from the Mosaic Law.
II. A BINDING TO CHRIST (4b-6)
We have been RELEASED from the Law so that we might bound to Jesus.
-We have been BOUND TO CHRIST: so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead,
-We now BELONG to another, to JESUS. (some translation “married to another”)
-Him who has been raised from the dead: The RISEN Christ. He is ALIVE, and ever lives.
-Purpose of our Release from the Law and binding to Christ: in order that we may bear fruit for God.
-God desires us to bear fruit, fruit of holiness. Gal 5:22-23
BEAUTY OF THIS FRUIT: Fruit of holiness in singles who honor Christ in their singleness; fruit of children of love Christ; fruit of a church that holy and loving; fruit of faithful evangelism; fruit sacrificial giving.
THUMBS (use technology for glory of God), TONGUES (pray, speak truth), LUNGS (use life for God’s glory)
-Old Life (5): For while we were living in the flesh,
-“in the flesh” is shorthand for our life before we came to Christ. -Sinful Passions AROUSED by the Law (5b): our sinful passions, aroused by the law,
-Our sinful desires were actually AROUSED by God’s Law!
-This is how corrupt our situation was.
-ROTTEN FRUIT (5c): sinful passions…were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.
-Fruit of sin, leading to death (spiritual and physical)
UGLINESS OF THIS FRUIT: Children who are rude and slap their parents; Parents who neglect their children; Spouses who are unfaithful and betray their spouse.
THUMBS (impure actions), TONGUES (grumble, gossip), LUNGS (life spent for vain glory)
-NEW WAY OPENED UP (READ 6):
-RELEASED FROM LAW TO SERVE….NEW WAY OF THE SPIRIT: Explained more fully in ch 8.
-New Covenant believers are filled with the Holy Spirit
-NOT IN THE OLD WAY OF THE WRITTEN CODE: How we tried to obey God before.
-It is futile to try and serve God in our own strength, we need the Holy Spirit.
*In the gospel we have been released from the Law and bound to Jesus. We serve in the NEW WAY of the Spirit.
CONCLUSION: IT IS GOOD TO BELONG TO JESUS.
COMFORT OF BELONGING TO JESUS: There is INCREDIBLE comfort in this truth!
Heidelberg: Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?
A.: That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.
APP: Let’s lean into this truth this—we belong to Jesus, the one who rose from the dead!