Romans 7 : 13 – 25 Verse by Verse Bible Teaching
Romans 7 : 13 – 25 New King James Version (NKJV)*
13 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.
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.
16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.
17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
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.
20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.
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?
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.
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Audio Podcast Version of Romans 7 : 13 – 25
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Transcript of Romans 7 : 13 – 25
Welcome to Calvary Chapel, Newcastle verse by verse study of the book of Romans. For other studies from the book of Romans, go to our series on firstname.lastname@example.org/Romans. Join us now for this week’s message from Pastor Terry Martens as he teaches from Romans. All right, Welcome to Calvary Chapel online. Before we get into our study of Romans, which I’ve titled, our continuing battle with the law in chapter seven, verses 13 through 25, I want to share a few announcements with you before we get into that study. So welcome. I hope you had a great week. And I hope you have a great week next week. So some of the announcements that I want to share with you is what I’ve discussed with the elders in the last week concerning fellowship and getting together and how we can kind of I don’t know if reinvent the situation but to explain to you exactly what going on with the COVID-19 issue.
First of all,I wanted to say that if we meet in the church building, we have some difficult issues that we face in regard to no singing. We’re not allowed to sing together, we have a maximum of 36 people that can meet, which includes kids, and there’s going to be no coffee or biscuits. And that essentially means that we have to spend about two to three hours preparing and wiping down everything before we start and before we leave, and so the effort is quite large. And it requires an incredible volunteer effort, and most likely, it’ll only end up being done by a few people.
So for that reason, we’re going to try and do something that I think will bless everybody that is looking for more fellowship. And that’s this, we plan on finding host homes, whether it’s three or four, or five or six, depending on what the need is to host, the four o’clock service in their home with a maximum of 10 to 20 people. So we’re going to get you to sign up as a volunteer, whoever is interested in opening up their home, whether that’s consistently or if you want to open up your home one Sunday and then rotate it with other people. We’ll figure that all out. We’ll come up with some sort of a signup system. And then if you want to come and join that group of 20 people, you’ll also get the opportunity to sign up and slot yourself into one of those host homes, so that you can come at about quarter to four, get settled in, and then as we start worship and study and all of that, you’re ready to go and there’s minimal distraction with people coming we’d prefer that you’d be right on time so that there’s just not a lot of disturbance, with people wanting to hear the introduction to the study.
Now, with that said, I’ve just lost my notes here, hold on a second. There we go. So that’s, that’s something that we’re going to do. We’re also talking about the church purchasing a live streaming system. So that we can do away with the pre recordings, and actually record directly into the homes of the host families. And if obviously, you can’t make it because of sickness or if you’re feeling a bit ill we again, we encourage you not to attend. But if you’re feeling healthy and well attend, get that fellowship, get to know people intimately in that setting.
Then when we go back to the regular church services, we, we can kind of, you know, go with what we’ve been doing in the past. The reason that we want to purchase some live streaming equipment is so that we can continue with it once we go back into the regular church building, and it also allows me to teach in front of, you know, 15 or 20 people here at Sherwin’s house, we’ll set that up here. And, and it’ll make it a lot easier for me and my family since I pretty much spend all day taking care of the situation to provide a feed at four o’clock. It’ll minimise effort and maximise fellowship, which is really what we want. That’s what we’re looking for. And I know some of you guys are starving for that fellowship where you can take your families and have church together. And I believe that this is really going to solve that problem.
I know other churches have tried to go back to doing it somewhat. Normally under limited capacities and they’re finding it really difficult from what I’ve heard, some have started have continued for three weeks. And at the end of it, they’ve just canned it and ended up going back to the same way that we’re doing it here at Calvary Chapel. Others have continued, and yet it’s been quite difficult in allowing intimacy to take place, and we really don’t want that we want intimacy to take place. And that’s why I think the combination of a live feed and homes that are filled with people that are a part of our local fellowship will recreate that specialness that we enjoy at Calvary Chapel here in Newcastle. So I hope you’re blessed by it. Certainly the wisdom of Paul, James, Mick, others has really supplied the direction for where we’re going, and I really have a peace with it. I think the Lord is in it. And we’re going to go forward with that, especially as we look to the near future. We’re going to try and get something sorted in the next couple of weeks. Once Dave and Julie move back to Newcastle in October, we’re going to look at getting this streaming thing sorted out, so that we can do this live feed, and then just go forward with that until the COVID restrictions ease and were able to function with normality.
Now with that said, let’s get into our study. I hope you’re blessed with the book of Romans. I’ve certainly been incredibly blessed in my study. And it’s always a joy for me to share with you on a Sunday. So before we do that, let’s pray.
Lord, we thank you so much for your word. We thank you for the way that you lead your people. The way that you guide us the way that you remind us of your holy and perfect law, but you always leave us with a remedy concerning the guilt that the law produces. And that is the good news of Jesus Christ. That you are the fulfillment of the law and when we find ourselves in you, we are complete. We are made righteous in Christ. And Lord, we pray that this study would be a blessing, not only to me, but to Sherwin and to Lindy and to my children and to your children and to your families. Wherever you are, as you listen, God do your work, your perfect work in all of our lives as we look at these verses, one at a time, line upon line, precept upon precept that would be built up in the one true faith, and that at the end of the day, you would be well pleased with us as you’re equipping us for the work of our ministries. Wherever we find ourselves throughout the weeks ahead. We asked us in Jesus name, amen. Amen.
All right, we are in Romans chapter seven. Our plan is to finish Romans chapter seven today, there’s a lot in it. Again, I’ve titled verses 13 through 25. Continued battle with the law. And Paul really lays his heart open in this passage concerning the law and what it was in his heart and how he wrestled with the law. And we’re going to look at that quite carefully. I’ve got an outline for you, if you’re taking notes or mental notes, it will go something like this in verses 13 through 14, the purpose and character of the law in verses 15 through 23, the struggle of obedience in our own strength. And at the verse at verse 24, and 25, we’re going to see that our victory is found in Jesus Christ. Now let’s read the text. Once I read the text, we’ll get into our outline, and we’ll look at some of the sub outlines as well. Moving along. In Romans chapter seven, verse 13, we read to the end of verse 25.
And it says this has then what is good become death to me. Certainly not. But sin that it might appear sin was producing death in me through what is good. So that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal sold under sin, 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. If then I do what I will not to do I agree with the law that it is good. But now it is no longer I who do it but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me that is in my flesh, nothing good dwells. For to will is present with me how to perform what is good, I do not find for the good that I will to do. I do not do but the evil I will not to do that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do is no longer I who do it but sin that dwells in me. I find then in a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good, for I delight in the law of God according to the inward men, 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, all wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death. 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.
So first of all, in verses 13 through 14, we’re gonna look at our first point in the outline edit is the purpose and character of the law and specifically in verse 13. The law exposes and magnifies sin, in Paul’s life, in your life, and in my life. Let’s look at verse 13. closer. In verse 13, it says, This has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not. There’s that word again that’s been used in our previous studies last week. It was rendered really this way with the idea of understanding. Of course not, of course not, certainly not, has that which is good become death to me. Certainly not Paul says, but sin that I might appear sin was producing death of me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. We need sin to appear, so that it is shown to be sin, so that it is exceedingly sinful, because it wants to hide and conceal itself in our lives. Sin wants to hide and conceal itself, so that it won’t be judged.
Clarke notes this, the law is the grand instrument in the hands of a faithful minister to alarm and awaken sinners. That’s why it’s absolutely critical when we share the gospel that we include the law. How so Terry, how do we include the law when we are sharing the gospel with people or we’re in a conversation articulating the graces of Jesus Christ? Well, one of the ways we can do it is by asking an individual, have you ever disrespected your parents? Have you ever stolen anything? Maybe when it was fine when you were five or maybe when you were 12? Or maybe when you fudge the paperwork in your taxes? Have you ever stolen? Have you ever had less than your I? Have you ever had a strong desire for someone else’s holiday that’s not yours, or their financial situation? Or maybe even the car that they drive? Have you ever covered it as Paul found himself coveting and was unstuck because of it, of course we struggle with these things.
We’re human, we’ve been born into sin. And because we’ve been born into sin, we sin and we need the law, to present the reality that we have hidden sin in our lives. And that’s what Paul is talking about. Now, sin becomes more sinful or exceedingly sinful in two specific ways when you compare it to the law. First of all, sin is in contrast to the law. And second, the law provokes sins evil nature.
It provokes sins evil nature, Warren Wiersbe in his commentary explains this very well. He says instead of being a dynamo, that gives us power to overcome that is of the law, instead of becoming that dynamic instrument, which gives us power to overcome. The law is a magnet that draws out of us all. sin and corruption. Again, this is what the text tells us, has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not.
Of course not. Of course not. It hasn’t remember. Verse 12. Take a look at your Bibles with me to verse 12 of chapter seven. It says that the law is holy, that the law is just, and that the law is good. There’s nothing wrong with the law. In fact, it’s the sin in our lives that has corrupted it. It’s the sin in our lives that has done that putrefying work and we unpackage that in great detail last week. So I encourage you to re listen to it or to listen to it again. If you want more thorough exposition of that.
Next in verse 14, and still under our first point, which is the purpose and character of law, we’re going to look at the spiritual law, that it can’t restrain, or the law itself being spiritual. It can’t restrain a carnal person. Look at verse 14 and will read it. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal. Paul says, I am carnal I am sold under sin. Those are heavy words from Paul the apostle. The word carnal simply means of the flesh, means of the flesh. What do you mean? Well, carnal uses the ancient Greek word, the carcass, which means characterised by the flesh, and in this context, it speaks of a person who can and should do differently but doesn’t. A person who can and should do differently but doesn’t he chooses to act upon the flesh or on his cardinality.
Fascinating when you see Paul referring to them the self this way by saying I am carnal. He knows that the law has no answer for his carnal nature. I am carnal. He writes here and then in verse 14 be Paul’s also says to himself that I am sold under sin. I’m carnal, and I’m sold under sin. In other words, the law can help him out. He’s buried by it. He’s become unstuck. He’s, he’s laying in the grave of guilt. And he hasn’t have the resource in the law to find resurrection from the capacities of the law. He’s like a man arrested for a crime and then thrown into jail. The law will only help them if he’s innocent. But Paul knows that he’s guilty and that the law argues against him. Not for him. Critical for us to understand this, when we’re dealing with the law, even when we share the law with people in our evangelical efforts, it’s important that we allow them to see the resurrection capacity, that forgiveness of the guilt in Jesus Christ. Now, even though Paul says he’s carnal here, he doesn’t mean that he’s not a Christian.
Okay? I’ll look at that closer. As we move along in this study, listen carefully. His awareness of carnality shows that God did a work in him. He’s aware of what’s going on. So God must have done a work in him. According to Martin Luther, he wrote this. That’s the proof of the spiritual and wise man. He knows that he’s carnal, and he’s displeased with himself. Indeed, he hates himself and praises the law of God, which he recognises because he is spiritual. But the proof of a foolish carnal man is this, that he regards himself as spiritual and is pleased with himself. He’s pleased with himself, because he has set up a system of his own measure, which he’s able to look at and say I am okay in and of myself and my own standard. That is what Paul is saying here. It’s a great insight. It’s a tremendous insight from Martin Luther is well concerning this text, second in verses 15 through 23. The second point in our outline, the struggle of obedience, in our own strength, and in the next five verses from 15 through 19. We’re going to be seeing Paul describing his sense of helplessness.
Now, I Like this, because Paul can identify with me. He can identify with you. And we can also identify with him as he pens these words on the parchment. Let’s take a look at verse 15. We’ll read from 15 through 19. And then we’ll take a closer look for what I am doing. I do not understand interesting words. For what I will do that I don’t practice but what I hate that I do, if then I do what I will not to do, I agree the law is good. But now it is no longer I who do it but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me that’s in my flesh, nothing good dwells for its will is present with me, but how to perform what’s good, I don’t find for the good that I will to do. I don’t do But the evil I will not to do that I practice. Now listen carefully here for a minute. Paul’s problem is not a lack of desire. Paul had a strong desire to do that which was right. He wants to do what is right. And his problem isn’t knowledge. He was incredibly knowledgeable, and he knows what the right thing is. Paul’s problem is simply this a lack of power. Paul lacks power in the law to accomplish what the law, asks how to perform what is good. I do not find in verse 18. b. It’s nowhere to be seen. I can’t find it. Paul says he looks at the law. He lacks power because the law gives no power. The law says here are the rules and you’d better keep them. These are the dues. Now you better keep them Paul. In fact, he finds liberation in seeing this only by knowing that it’s the Holy Spirit that can give him or give us the ability to obey the law that has now been written in our hearts. In verse 17, Paul says, it’s no longer I who do it but sin that dwells in me. Now, let’s ask the question, is Paul here denying the responsibility of the sinner?
Is that what he’s saying here? No, not at all. Paul here is not denying the responsibility of the sinner. He recognises that as he sins, he’s acting against the new nature that he has in Jesus Christ. Let me share this with you. Christian must own up to his or her sin, yet realise that the impulse to sin does not come from who we really are in Jesus Christ. Here’s a golden quote, for a guy by the name of Kenneth Weast. He says this, to be saved from sin, a man must at the same time own it and disown it. It’s this practical paradox, which is reflected in this verse we must own our sin and we must disown our sin in Jesus Christ is no longer I you do it, but sin that dwells in me. Next, as we move along into verses 20 through 23, and still under the second point of our struggle of obedience in our own strength, it’s this the battle between two selves and he tells us what his battle is in these next four verses from 20, through 23, Paul writing now, if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it but sin that dwells in me. I find that a law that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good, for I delight in the law of God according to the inward man, 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.
Now, if we really want to understand what he’s saying, I think we can by simple a realising that if anyone who has tried to do good, they are aware of the struggle in the midst of trying to do good, we never know how hard it is to stop sinning until we try. I never really know how hard something is to overcome unless I try to overcome it. In fact, CS Lewis wrote these words and it’s so fitting, he says, No man knows how bad he is, until he tries to be good.
True words from CS Lewis. Paul knows his real inward man has a delight for the love of God and His flesh is not the real Paul. your flesh is not the real Terry, your flesh is not the real person that you are. The flesh is just destined to pass away, and to be resurrected, in purity Paul’s challenge is to live like God has made them and not how sin has infected him or you. Now there’s a debate within many Christian circles, and it’s a great debate. And I’ll be honest with you, I go back and forth. I could review my notes last night, and I could hold one position and I could review my notes this morning and and shift my allegiance to a particular view. And it’s this what is Paul talking about here? The debate among Christians is, first of all, is Paul talking about his life before Christ as someone known?
Someone who knew Martin Lloyd Jones, the great theologian and pastor in England in the 18th and 1900s. He believed that Paul was talking about his life before Christ. And second, those who hold to the fact that Paul might be talking about the struggle after his salvation, is this the sanctifying work? So really, chapter seven, is it dealing with pre conversion, or is it dealing with post conversion? Now, I tend to be persuaded that this is Paul’s struggle post conversion. But then again, I read it and I study it and I go back and forth on this issue as to whether or not he was trying to be justified by the law as many of his Hebrew contemporaries found themselves wrestling with finding sufficiency in the law to please God, rather than Christ. I’ll let you deliberate that in your own mind, I’ll let you wrestle with that. I’ll let you discuss it. Certainly it is a worthy discussion. It is not heresy on either side of the position. It’s just an interesting look at what Paul is struggling with here. Certainly I know I struggle with things as a Christian. And I struggled with things before I knew Christ. Now I didn’t have the Hebrew background that Paul had, I didn’t have an appreciation for the law. Before I came to Christ, because I didn’t have that Hebrew background. Some of you might have a Christian background, but you weren’t born again. The Law of God wasn’t written on your heart, your desire, your deep desire wasn’t to please the Lord by obeying Him.
And then you came to Christ. And then you find that you’re you’re in the existence of a tension between. I’m a Christian now, but I still have the this desire to do which is evil and you have this desire to do which is good and how to harmonise that and to find it in the capacity that God really wants you to embrace. This quote from Griffith. Thomas, I think bring some clarity to this debate. Let me share it with you. The point of this passage is that it describes a man who’s trying to be good and holy by his own efforts, and is beaten back every time by the power of indwelling sin. It does refers to anyone, regenerate or unregenerate. So you can see why this debate has gone back and forth with an among theologians and Christians for many, many years.
Finally, in chapter seven, we’re going to look at verses 24 and 25, which will give us some perspective, again from either side of the fence whether you believe that Paul is talking precondition or post conversion with this wrestling match or this battle between the law and sin and grace. And the title that we have, the third point in our outline is the victory found in Jesus Christ. He says this in verse 24. Oh wretched man that I am. Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God in verse 25, 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. In verse 24, we see Paul’s desperation. He was a man on both sides of that fence who is passionate to do that which pleased God. He was a zealot as a Pharisee, a separated one, a sanctified one unto the law. He wanted to please God. And that’s why he took meticulous effort to obey the law where he could he fell short when he realised that he covered it in our previous study that we looked at, but then again as a convert, he battled with the flesh, even as you and I battle with the flesh, where we know what is right to do our conscience leads us to that which is truth, but we also have an appetite towards that which is bent. And so that tension exists. I believe, on both sides of the fence, specifically, if you come from a legislative background like the Hebrew people did, or maybe even a Sunday school background, as many of you have come from, and then you’ve accepted Christ at let’s say, 21 or 22 years old. And you’re harmonising these two realities of knowing what’s right and wrong, and sometimes failing and sometimes obeying. Paul had that same mind and he saw his wretchedness within him and he calls out passionately who will deliver me from this body of death.
The ancient Greek word wretched is more literally rendered this way, wretched, through the exhaustion of hard labour. Exhaustion through hard labour Paul is completely worn out here. He’s wretched and he lays his heart down on the paper for us to study because of his unsuccessful effort to please God, under the principle of the law was impossible and he saw his wretchedness. Morris notes very fittingly, it’s worth bearing in mind that the great saints through the ages don’t commonly say this. How good am I? Rather, they’re apt to be aware of their sinfulness.
That’s the mark of someone that’s humble and transformed. Who goes around as a godly man saying I am all that, who goes around as a godly woman presenting themselves as righteous or more fittingly, self righteous, it’s absent from those who are truly intimate with God. I believe those that are truly intimate with God and have a potent relationship with Jesus Christ are not going to be the kind of people that will raise the flag of accomplishment. They’re the people that are generally going to talk about your interest. What are you interested in? What are you doing? How is the Lord working in your life? They’re the ones that are going to be humble and quiet, but busy doing the things that please Christ, serve the body of Christ, and provide a witness of clarity to those that don’t know Christ in the community. If we’re arrogant or for self righteous, we’re going to be telling everybody what we do for the kingdom of heaven.
We’re going to be telling everybody what We’ve done how much we’ve read our Bibles, how much we’ve prayed how much we’ve street witnessed how much we’ve shared the gospel with people how much we’ve done this and how much we’ve done that. It’s really quite arrogant and it is not humble, but the truly humble, they quietly go about the business of serving God and serving his people. Legalism always brings a person face to face with their own right wretchedness. And if they continue in legalism, they will react in one of two ways. Either they will deny their wretchedness and become self righteous, or they will despair because of their wretchedness and give up following after God. Those are the two options that are usually faced by those who struggle with legalism. The entire tone of verse 24 shows that Paul is desperate for deliverance. He’s overwhelmed with this sense of his own lack of power and his sinfulness as I ought to be.
David Guzik notes in his commentary, that we must come to the same place of desperation to find victory. We must cry out against ourselves and cry out to God. In verse 24 B, who will deliver me from this body of death, Paul, the Apostle asks, his perspective finally turns to something. No. His perspective turns to someone outside of himself. And Paul finally gives up on himself. Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the great English preacher, and commentator, and devotional writer, wrote this for us to appreciate. Listen carefully. It was the custom of ancient tyrants, when they wish to put men to the most fearful punishments to tie a dead body to them. Placing the two back to back, there was the living man with a dead body closely strapped to him rotting, putrid, corrupting, and this he must drag with him wherever he went. Now, this is just what the Christian has to do. He has within him the new life. He has a living and undying principle, which the Holy Spirit has put within him. But he feels that every day he dragged about with him this dead body, this body of death, a thing as low some as hideous as abominable to his new life as a dead stinking carcass that would be to a living man. I’ve also heard other commentators state that tyrants literally sewed a dead man to a prisoner. Eventually the rot would infect the healthy man and kill him.
Now that’s heavy torture. It’s something we don’t see in our day and age. But back then man left to destroy himself and to make radical statements of, of torture that was going on. And I believe Paul has that illustration in his mind. And he says, oh, wretched man that I am who’s going to deliver me from this body of death from this stinking rotting carcass, known as the old Terry and not the new Terry, I feel like I’m strapped to the old man as I walk in the liberty of Christ. And yet I’ve got this, this this burden of the world and its appetites from the old man attached to me who’s going to deliver me from that situation, and then finally, Paul in verse 25, looks outside of themselves to Jesus Christ. Christ and He says this, I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. I thank him. I don’t think the law I think Christ, the fulfilment of the law, the one who can deliver me from that old man who rears his ugly head continually, calling me beckoning me to the old way in which I lived.
Oh I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. He’s calling upon the grace and the mercy and the resources of heaven, to say that when I am tempted, I have a resource that I can draw upon not the old man, not the old Terry, but the King of Heaven himself, the one who fulfilled the law and imputed His righteousness to me. I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind, I myself serve the law of God. I know that it is right. And I know that it is good. He serves that because the law is now been written in his heart. And the only way that it can be written in your heart is if you are a born again believer if you’re a believer in the work of Jesus Christ, that He died on the cross for you, that He resurrected from the dead, that he sits in heaven, praying and interceding for the church, that he’s with you. These left his deposit of the Holy Spirit in your life leading you into all that is right and true. Being able to parse between right and wrong, good and evil, to be able to provoke you to do that which is good and your service unto the Lord and unto his people.
That is the resource that Paul can thank God for when he believed in Jesus for the very first time they’re on the road to Damascus. That he could be excommunicated from his countrymen, from the sect of the Pharisees, even from his own family, that it was enough to have Christ. It is enough for you to have Christ. If everyone else abandons you, Christ is with you. And he will work within your heart, placing the law in your heart. How do you know in the laws in your heart? How do you transition from looking at the law and saying, I have to do that, to knowing that it’s in your heart?
Well, when it’s in your heart, you want to do it. You don’t have to do it, you want to do it. There’s a huge difference between the two. You want to do it because it pleases God and it’s your new identity. Your identity is no longer encapsulated in the appetites of the person you once were. And we all had appetites as an unregenerate person.
Now my appetite now your appetite is not to do that which is secret and hidden and clandestine. Your desire is to do that which is open before God and before all men, and it will honour it will fulfil the law by being able to say I don’t need to steal that money because God’s gonna provide for my future. That is the difference between a regenerate and unregenerate person. So then with my mind, I will serve the law of God, Paul says, and finally, but with the flesh, the law of sin, Paul looks to Jesus and he has something to thank God for.
He has someone to thank God for. He sees Christ standing between himself and God, bridging that gap. Jesus is in the right place. He’s in the centre of Paul’s affections, he’s in the centre of my affections, and he’s in the centre of your affections, and he has become the Lord and the Master of your life. Finally, in 25 b, so then with the mind I serve the law of God, but with the flesh, the law of sin, the acknowledged struggle is there, but the victory is in Jesus Christ, whether it’s before conversion, or after conversion.
In our next study of Romans, we’re going to come into chapter eight and it begins with this dynamic verse that I’m not going to teach today. But I want to give you a precursor I want to whet your appetite for what we’re going to be looking at, because it ties in with Romans chapter seven, really the whole book of Romans in such a wonderful way and it says this. There’s therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh. But according to the Spirit. There’s so much in that verse to unpackage. But we’ll leave it there. And we’ll pray. And then we’ll continue in fellowship tonight, I hope you have a great night. I hope you enjoy the company that you find yourself with, whether it’s with your wife and your children or with others that have come to your home to listen, enjoy and have fellowship, discuss the things that we’ve talked about discuss this reality that we looked at in chapter seven. Is Paul talking about our life before Christ or after Christ? Or how do we discuss it? How do we look at it? How can we think about it? Discuss it with your group. And I’d be curious to see what you think. And I might change my mind and share another perspective. If you talk to me on it tonight as well or in the future.
Let’s pray. God, we thank you for your word. We thank you so much for Its ability to search our hearts to remind us that the law is holy, just and good. But your grace and your mercy Jesus, your fulfilment of the law, is truly liberating. And is brought freedom to us freedom to say no to that which is sin. We never used to have that freedom. We would just sin, and we would be quite comfortable in it and our conscience wouldn’t be spiked because of it, but now that we have a new nature when we do wrong, our conscience is arrested and we know that we have to do business with you. We need to confess it and we need to get right with you and we need to live in the liberty that’s really ours. We need to live in that reality.
Lord, I pray that this study would encourage my brothers and sisters in the Lord, that they would continue to let go of legalism, little rules, little standards that we might have for ourselves or for other people, and that we would simply just enjoy the reality that we are yours. And in that truth we would grow, that we would mature to greater depths of humility, awareness of right and wrong, and appreciation for the faith that is precious to me and to us. Certainly, it was to Paul and the Apostles and all the saints that have gone through the generations. And Lord, it is well pleasing to you that we have embraced you.
God may we live in that grace every day. Lord, I love my brothers and sisters, I care for them deeply. Lord, may they be pleased and blessed with the direction that we’re going by encouraging fellowship in a greater gathering of 10 to 20 people that people would make the effort to mingle with those that are like minded, that there would be great food that would be shared, that there would be fun, that there’d be conversations that would bless each other. And that we could go into Monday knowing that we met with the saints, that we had a study in the book of Romans, that we’ve had to study in another book of the Bible, that we were able to be fed spiritually. We’re able to be fed physically, and we’re able to have relationships develop to great intimacy, and that’s what you want Jesus, you call us not to forsake the assembling of the saints.
Lord, it’s certainly a mark of the last days that many people will forsake the assembling of the saints might not be with us. Help us to be able under these difficult circumstances with COVID-19 to be able to to reinvent how we can do fellowship in a mighty way that pleases you, and where we would be built up and lifted up to the encouragement of the greater body, and that many people would come, Lord, that we would have a greater need for more host homes, that people who have never known intimacy in the church, maybe some who have just attended and then blown out the doors straight after, after the service ends that they would see the value of mingling with your people, seeing their children mingle with the other kids and the other adults. I think that’s something that’s really special about the church that that kids learn to socialise with people much older than themselves. I’m convinced that the most socially capable people on the planet are those that have been exposed to the greater generations within the congregation of Your church. And Lord, it’s a great blessing when my sons are able to hang out with people that are 10, 15, 20, 30 years older than them and have a conversation of value. Or may that be the case for all of our families, that we would take this unique opportunity to create intimacy. And then when we get together in a larger capacity, that there would be a real depth that maybe we didn’t even know before we had to go into this format.
Lord, we love you. We thank you help us to be flexible. Help us to be gracious, help us to be patient. We love the way that you have led the elders in this fellowship. We love the way that you have led each of us into this fellowship called Calvary Chapel people who have a desire to go verse by verse through the book of Scripture. You’ve led us to a place where we worship you in simplicity, but not stupidity. You’ve called us to function as a gathering of people in humility. You’ve called us to be mature with our finances. You’ve given us opportunity to give half of our money away and then to see it all come back.
Lord, you’ve allowed us to give away $20,000 and, and to see that 20 grand just come back within a month. You’ve allowed us to keep our eyes open for missions works. You’re providing for those that we’ve sent out on the mission field exceedingly abundantly. And yet, you know, you’re building us up each as individuals together corporately, and you’ve also graciously given me the patience and endurance to be able to study the word weekend and week out and to deliver it to my brothers and sisters. And at times I grow weary and tired. But in other times you I see you sustain me in those seasons. And you’ve been faithful to me and you’ve been faithful to my family, and you’ve been patient and given patience to those that call Calvary Chapel, their home fellowship encouraging me in building me up, providing for me, and reminding me that going through the Word of God, verse by verse is something that they desire and that I desire to do to honour you, to honour your word to highlight it above all things.
Lord, I pray for the other pastors in this city who are teaching expositionally I’m not sure who that is, but whoever they are, Lord, continue to give them the perseverance and diligence to teach the word faithfully, Lord for those that are expository teachers within country, around Asia, around the world, in North and South America, in Europe, throughout India, throughout all of Asia, Lord throughout the whole world, I pray that you would be with the pastors who are simply calling their congregations to open up their Bibles to a specific text in Scripture, and then faithfully dismantling it within the context of the Bible. So that you are pleased with what comes out of their lips. I pray for those men. May they continue to be faithful in that task, protect them from the wiles of the devil, protect them from the temptation to give up and to walk away, protect them from selfishness. Protect them, Lord from speaking sermons and messages that would tickle the ears of the people that are listening, and may their congregations find the same encouragement that I find from the fellowship here in Newcastle.
Lord, we need more men who are willing to teach the word faithfully week in and week out year after year, decade after decade. And God for our fellowship, I pray that it would continue to be one of strength, being completely build up on the instruction of Scripture into the praise of God. We asked us all in Jesus name, Amen.
* Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.