Chapter 10 - The Christian's Struggle with Sin (Part II)
A. Last week - Struggle with Sin Part I covered Romans Ch. 6
1. must die to sin
2. allow the Holy Spirit to fill us, draw on His strength to keep us from sin
B. This week - Struggle with Sin Part II covers Romans Ch. 7
1. my opinion...much easier to understand what Paul is saying in Ch. 7 than in Ch. 6
2. scary thought...being able to understand what Paul is saying without reading two or three commentaries!
3. Schaeffer says there has long been a debate as to whom Paul is directing this passage.
4. Schaeffer believes passage directed at both believers and unbelievers.
II. Chapter 7 can be broken out into three sections
A. 7:1-6 An Analogy from Marriage
B. 7:7-13 - The Law and Sin
C. 7:14-25 - The Inner Conflict
III. An Analogy from Marriage - Paul begins using analogy of a woman, marriage, and the Law
A. According to the law - a woman could not remarry as long as her first husband lived or she would be considered an adulteress.
B. However, if her husband died she was free to remarry.
C. Paul says when we accept Christ as savior we 'die to the law through the body of Christ' (v. 4) and the law no longer has a hold over us.
D. Schaeffer - "Two things happened when we accepted Christ as our Savior: We became dead to the law, and we became married to Christ."
E. Our first 'husband', The Law is gone and thus we no longer have to answer to it
F. Our second 'husband' is Christ and we are free to accept His love and His laws.
G. Barclay - "When that happens (accepting Christ), Christian obediance becomes not an externally imposed obediance to some written code of laws but an inner allegiance of the spirit to Jesus Christ...The motive of our lives is not law, but love; and the inspiration of love can make us able to do what the restraint of law was powerless to help us do."
H. Schaeffer reminds us of Jesus' own words - "If you abide in me, you shall bring forth much fruit." As we give ourselves up to Christ we sin less. Christ brings out the best in us if we will only let Him!
IV. The Law and Sin
A. Paul then asks a provocative question, "is the law sin"
B. No! Of course not.
C. Schaeffer says Paul recognizes that the law is good because it shows us how far short of perfection we fall.
D. Schaeffer also says Paul is saying that it is through the law that man comes to realize his guilt and therefore his need of a Savior.
E. Barclay - "The law is devine and has in it the very voice of God. It is just...It is designed for nothing other than our highest welfare."
1. God loves us - He gave us the law because He knows what we need to be happy and fulfilled.
2. If we would but trust wholly in God and follow His word the world would be a much better place.
F. Paul however says that the law is the source of sin. How can this be?
1. It defines sin
2. Forbidden things hold a strange fascination with us. They draw us in like bugs to a light.
G. Paul says sin deceived him. That is so true.
1. We are deluded as to the satisfaction to be derived from sin.
2. We are deluded as to the excuse that can be made for it.
3. We are deluded as to the probability of escaping the consequences of it.
V. The Inner Conflict
A. Paul, like all human beings wants to do what is right but finds he is often unable to do so.
B. The mind is willing but the body is weak.
C. Schaeffer - "Through Christ we have become justified before God. His Word informs, calls, corrects, and encourages us. Yet, in our body, we are still part of a fallen world."
D. Barclay calls this passage a "demonstration of inadequacies"
1. Inadequacy of knowledge - "if to know the right thing was to do it, life would be easy."
2. Inadequacy of human resolution - "to resolve to do a thing is very far from doing it."
3. Limitations of diagnosis - doctors often can accurately diagnose a disease but is powerless to prescribe a cure.
1. The Finished Work of Christ, 1998, Francis Schaeffer, Good News Pubishers, Wheaton, IL
2. The New Daily Study Bible - The Letter to the Romans, 1955, William Barclay, Westminster Press, Louisville, KY