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Romans 7:7-13


Intro: Since it has been several weeks since we looked into the book of Romans, I will refresh your memories concerning what we have been learning from this book. We have learned the truth that all men are sinners before the Lord and that men are in need of a Savior, chapters 1-3. We have learned that true righteousness, and salvation come only through the exercise of faith, chapters 4-5. We have learned that in Jesus Christ, we are dead to sin and to the Law, chapters 6-7a. Most recently, we discovered that we have been liberated from the Law of God by our death with Christ on the cross and that we are no longer married to the Law, but are married to Jesus and are free from the Law. These are blessed truths!

In the verses before us this evening, Paul is going to illustrate his teachings about the Law of God by sharing with us an intimate look at his own life. In these verses, and through to the end of the chapter, Paul gives us his spiritual autobiography.

Now, when someone testifies in church, they usually paint the good picture. However, imagine someone standing in the congregation and saying, "Folks, I want you to know that I am saves, but that I have been sinning. In fact, my heart yearns for sin, and even though I know it is wrong, sometimes I still give in to my desires. Please pray for me, because every time the Lord tells me not to do something, I want to do that thing more than anything!" Nobody would do that, but if we were honest, most of us would have to say, that is just where I am tonight.

In these verses, Paul is going to reveal a side of himself that most of us try to keep deeply buried. He is going to share with us his Spiritual Biography. Verses 7-13 tells us of the days in Paul's life before he came to know Jesus. He is taking us back to a time in his life when the Law ruled everything he was and did. He will share with us what he has learned about the Law of God. It isn't pretty, but it is teaching that every person in this room needs to hear this evening!

Let's join Paul in his 2 part exodus from darkness into light and from self-righteous Pharisee to God conscious saint and learn the lessons that we need for our own journey.


A. Paul opens this section with a question: "Is the law sin?" Of course not! The Law came from the Lord and therefore cannot be evil. However, while the Law is good, it is also vital to a proper understanding of the nature of sin.

B. Paul reveals to us the truth that it was the holy Law of God that taught him what he came to know bout sin. He mentions the sin of lust and tells us that had the Law not said, "Thou shalt not covet", he would have never known what lust was.

He isn't blaming his sin on the Law, he is merely pointing out the truth that the Law made plain exactly what sin really was. The Law identifies sin!

(Ill. Paul had lived his life trying to keep the letter of the Law so precisely, that he missed the whole spirit of the Law. He had been trained to believe that sin was something a person did in the physical realm, but through the ministry of the Spirit, Paul learned that sin was something that began in the heart.

This is what Jesus taught - Matt. 5:21-48. Yet, the lost man can never see this truth until it is revealed to him b the Spirit of God. Perhaps this is what Paul is referring to here. Maybe he is remembering that day when he held the coats of the men who stones Stephen. Maybe it began to dawn on his mind then that his religion was pretty small after all. Maybe it was that day in the road to Damascus when the Lord Jesus spoke to him and he knew that his self-righteousness would never be good enough.)

C. The bottom line of all this is that the Law reveals the sinfulness of human flesh through our actions, but it also reveals the wretchedness of the human heart!)

I. The Law Reveals Sin


A. Paul tells us that sin takes the Law as an opportunity to tempt us to evil. The word "Occasion" literally means "opportunity". The word refers to a "beachhead", or "the starting point for an expedition." Sin sees the Law as its opportunity to create in us a desire for sin.

B. Paul tells us that the sin caused him to lust because the Law had forbidden covetousness!

(Ill. We see this same truth all around us and in us all the time. For instance, When you see a sign that says "Keep Off The Grass", there is a part of you that wants to step on it. When we see a sign that says "Speed Limit: 55" we want to do at least 60, just to show we can violate the law and get away with it. The Law always reveals an attitude within the sinner that wants to try to get away with breaking it. This is exactly the process that brought sin into the world to begin with. God made man in His image and placed him in a perfect environment. God gave man access to every things in creation, with the exception of one tree, Gen. 2:17. Yet, when that Law was given, there arose an opportunity for sin to come to live. This Law proved to be the springboard Satan used to entice man into sin, Gen. 3:1-7.)

(Ill. Wealthy man and curious servant! Exploring Romans by John Phillips, pages 114-115)

C. The last part of this verse does not attempt to teach that before the Law there was no sin. From reading the Bible it is plain to see that sin was as rampant then as it is now! What this means is that where the Law does not exist, the full knowledge of what is wrong does not exist either. When the line is drawn by the Law, the rebellious spirit within man wants to immediately to step over it.)

I. The Law Reveals Sin

II. The Law Revives Sin


A. V. 9 In this verses, the Apostle tells us that there was a time in his life when he felt alive. When he was following after the Law and was keeping it externally, he did so because he thought that it was the means to his salvation. He kept the Law in an effort to gain eternal life. And, he was doing quiet well, **Phil. 3:4-6**;**2 Cor. 11:18-29**. However, when the Spirit opened his eyes to the fact that the Law could be broken just as easily in the heart as it could in the flesh, Paul died! He came to realize that all his effort, all his righteousness and all is hopes and dreams were just so much dust in the wind. Paul learned the harsh reality of Isa. 64:6 first hand.

(Ill. It works the same way in you and me. When we see ourselves as we really are, through the eyes of God and through the eyes of the Law of God, it has a way of shattering your self-image. In fact, the knowledge of the reality of sin is devastating! However, it is the first, essential step to salvation in Jesus! Before we can ever be saved, we must first become lost!)

B. V. 10 Paul is telling us here that he had trusted the Law to give him eternal life, but in the end, all the Law could deliver was condemnation, death and an eternity in Hell! The Law cannot save! Keeping lists of do's and don't's cannot save. The Law can be the instrument God uses to bring us to life, but the Law itself can never give life!

(Ill. This is a lesson that many in our day need to learn! Many are trusting some religious work or activity to get them to God. Friend, they will all fail! Nothing can save he soul but Jesus! Acts 4:12; Eph. 2:8-9)

C. V. 11 Sin had taken the opportunity the Law had given it in the life of Paul and had lulled him into believing that a life lived keeping the Law was a life that would be saved. Paul came to realize that a life lived under the demands of the Law was nothing more than a living death.

(Ill. When Paul saw the truth of his situation, he did what many need to do this evening. He threw off his dependence upon the Law and embraced Jesus as the only means of his soul's salvation, Phil. 3:7-11)

(Ill. If you are anyone is trying to good their way to God, you need to know now that it will never work! The Law must be abandoned for the Prince of Life!)

I. The Law Reveals Sin

II. The Law Revives Sin

III. The Law Ruins Sinners


A. V. 12 Paul's conclusion is that the Law is holy, just and good. If there is a problem, it is with the offender and not with the Law!

(Ill. There are those in our day who do not like the Bible to be preached in its entirety. They are opposed to preachers naming sin and holding people to God's standards. Friends, there is nothing wrong with our Bible, and they need to be preached, The problem is with those who are hearing the Word of God preached. Their hearts are evil!)

B. V. 13 Here, Paul tells us that the Law was given to reveal the truth about sin. You see, sin is so deceptive that it can take the Law, which was given as an instrument of life, and twist it into an instrument of death. The Bible is clear that the Law was given to us to point us to Jesus, Gal. 3:24. It was given so that man could see his need of a Savior and then turn to Him and be saved. It was never given as a means to righteousness or salvation! It was given as a signpost to point out the oath into life.

The Law can never save the soul, but it can point us to the One Who can. It cannot get the job done, but it can make us so miserable in our present condition that we want to find something better. That better thing is a Person and His name is Jesus. He died on the cross for our sins. He fulfilled the Law and the righteous demands of the Law. Now, by placing our faith in Him, we can be eternally saved by grace through faith!

(Ill. This is the reason why the Bible must continue to be preached in its entirety and why sin must be named from the pulpit. Men need to see the truth about their sin and their condition. Until they do, they can never be saved!)

Conc: I hope you can see that the Law can do many things with sin. It can Reveal Sin; Revive Sin; Ruin Sinners and Reflect Sin. But, there is one thing the Law can never do with sin. It can never Remove Sin. For that we need the blood of Jesus! Where do you find yourself this evening? Trying to do good by keeping the Law? Or, are you trusting Jesus alone for salvation?

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