We go on to Romans 7:7-14
Do we have a proper and Scripturally based understanding of the law of Moses? Many people do not. They think the Spirit leads in one way and the law in another. However, this is not the case. The Spirit and the law are not in conflict with one another (Roms 8:4).
v7: What shall we say: Based upon what we have learned what should our conclusion be.
- Is the law sin: Paul is asking if this is the correct conclusion or the right understanding that we should reach regarding the law. As a New Testament believer, we want to get rid of anything having to do with sin. Does the law fall into that category?
- Certainly not! A very strong word in the Greek meaning ‘absolutely not’ or ‘G-d forbid’.
- Would have not known sin except through the law: We are all born with a conscience, and so can understand truth to a certain degree. But it is only through the law (G-d’s written Word), that we can know and understand the full impact of sin. The law teaches us what sin is. It teaches us that we are breaking the rules of G-d. It teaches us truth.
v8: Sin, taking opportunity: The problem is NOT with the law or the commandment. The commandment is good. The law is Scriptural. It comes from G-d. Sin is the problem. Sin is an opportunist and will take any opportunity or foot in the door that it can get.
- Sin… produced in me: Our fleshly natures are such that if G-d says something we rebel and want to do the opposite. When G-d says “Do not….” we say: “We will….” Sin utilizes that which is good to arouse in us our passions which are, by nature, against the truth of G-d.
- Apart from the law sin was dead: Sin within us appeared to be dormant until that commandment came about. Why? Because sin is by nature defiant and rebellious and rears its head when told what to do or what not to do. G-d commanded Adam not to eat from the tree of knowledge. Before the command, if Adam had eaten of that tree, it wouldn’t have been charged to him as a sin (Romans 5:13). Although he wouldn’t have been eternally punished for it, there would have been earthly consequences. After the command it became sin. Yeshua, knowing the commandments, did not (unlike Adam) give in to sin. He obeyed…even to the point of death (Phil 2:8)
v9: When the commandment came: When the commandment of “Thou shalt… and thou shalt not…” came into effect.
- Sin revived: Sin came alive. The sinful desire was birthed within us.
Note: If a society was not governed by laws or standards of morality they could not be accused of rebellion (because there would be nothing to rebel against) but they would do whatever they felt was right in their own eyes. Although this behaviour might be sinful, they would not know that it was sinful because they would have nothing to measure it against – for them, there is no standard of behaviour that shows that they are falling short. For us the law is good. It revealed to us that we are sinful and has given us time to repent so that we do not have to face eternal death. If we did not have the law, we would never know that we were sinners headed to death.
- I died: Sin, alive in my life, brought death to me.
v10: The commandment was given to me for the purpose of bringing about life in me.
- (It brought about) death: Although this commandment was given to bring us life (spiritually we were dead and headed towards G-d’s judgment – the commandment was given in order to show us this) it showed us that we were sinners and were in fact dead (spiritually).
v11: Deceived me and … killed: The commandments show us our sinfulness. They show that we are heading for death if we don’t find forgiveness for our sins. The commandments proclaim the judgment of G-d upon us because we are transgressors. This is a good thing for the commandment to do, but it can also be seen as a source of death because it pointed out our sinfulness.
v12: Therefore: This is a term of conclusion.
- Holy: Set apart for a purpose.
- The commandment is holy and just (righteous) and good: We must not think that the law is improper for us as believers. The law is NOT against faith.
- Good: This means ‘in accordance with the will of G-d’.
Note: If we apply the law to our lives as unbelievers the outcome is death. It manifests our rebelliousness, and it will lead us into transgression. When we understand why the law is holy, righteous and good it is going to cause us to seek forgiveness through a Redeemer or Saviour.
v13: (That which is) good become death: Paul wants us to think about the purpose of the law. He wants us to reach a conclusion about the law. He is asking us if that which is good (ie the law) has become death to us. Should this be the way that we perceive the law?
- Certainly not: Paul uses the same strong term: Let it never be. May G-d forbid.
- Sin: Sin is in all of our lives. G-d gave us the law to reveal this sin to us.
- (That which) is good: We must never think that the commandments are not good. The law is good, righteous and holy.
- Producing death: The law showed up or manifested what was present within us (for example: like an Xray machine shows up our bones, so the law shows up our sin).
- (Shown to be) Exceedingly sinful: The law was given so that we could see that the sin living within us was excessively sinful and it is something that we need to absolutely deal with. If we do not know about the presence of sin in our lives then we do not know the power or hold that it has over us and, therefore, we will not deal with it correctly (viz to receive the gospel by faith – to invite, into our lives, the One who died on our behalf. Yeshua is the only One who can deal with our sin. Not us. We are simply the recipients of this magnificent work that He did for us, and we can only simply receive this free gift from Him by faith).
v14: We know: True believers know or understand the Word of G-d.
- The law is spiritual: Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is teaching us that the law is of G-d. There is nothing problematic with the law. Paul has already told us that it is holy, righteous and good. The law is the truth of G-d. The law sets forth the righteous standards of G-d.
- I am carnal: The law is not the problem – we, sinful men and women – sold under sin, are. When the law is put into human flesh it brings about death (the consequence of G-d’s judgment). This death is not only physical, but it is also spiritual – eternal death. As humans we have a choice. We can choose this eternal death and just carry on living in the way that we are living. OR we can choose life (Deut 30:19) – accepting what Messiah Yeshua did for us on the cross (John 3:16), and that G-d raised Him to life and gave Him victory over sin and death (Roms 10:9-10).
- Sold under sin: This is our natural human nature. BUT faith can bring about a great change or transformation to this carnal nature of ours. We do not need to be people who have sin ruling over our lives. Our problem is sin. Our solution is redemption. Redemption is a purchase – we have been brought with a price (1 Cor 6:20. That price is the blood of Messiah). We are no longer our own, but we belong to G-d. As such, we are given victory – victory to walk in obedience to the truth of G-d.