Bible Study: Romans Chapter 7

Romans 7 speaks about our freedom from the Law and the relationship between sin, the Law, the flesh, and righteousness.

When under the Law, you must keep the Law (Rom. 7:1-3)
Freedom from the Law (Rom. 7:4-6)
The relationship between sin and the Law (Rom. 7:7-13)
The conflict of the flesh and righteousness (Rom. 7:14-25)

You can download the Word file for this study HERE


Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives?

Speaking to those who know the law

Paul is addressing the Jews.

The law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives

Such a person is under the Law, under the obligation to keep it.
The phrase “under the Law” occurs eleven times in the NASB. Rom. 2:12; 3:19; 1 Cor. 9:20, 21; Gal. 3:23; 4:4, 5; 5:18.

For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband.
So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man.

Ex. 20:14, “You shall not commit adultery.”
Gen. 2:23–24, “The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man. 24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.’”
Matt. 19:6, “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
1 Cor. 7:39, “A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.”

Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.

The Christian is free from the obligation to keep the Mosaic Law in order to be saved – because we have died with Christ (Rom. 6:8; Col. 3:3). This is due to Federal Headship.

Rom. 6:8, “Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.”
Col. 3:3, “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

However, we are obligated to keep the moral law. We are not to lie, murder, commit adultery, etc. This is because these laws are a reflection of the character of God. Therefore, all people are obligated to keep them.

Nine of the Ten Commandments are carried over into the New Testament. Six in Matt. 19:18, murder, adultery, stealing, false witness, honor parents, and worshiping God; Romans 13:9 speaks against coveting. The Sabbath is not carried over because Jesus is our Sabbath.

Matt. 11:28, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
Heb. 4:9–10, ” So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.

But, keeping them does not save us.

Rom. 3:20, “because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
Gal. 2:16, “Nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.”
Gal. 2:21, “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”

We are either led by the Spirit, or under the Law

Gal. 5:18, “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.”

Note on the Law and the Gospel

The Law reveals our sinfulness (Rom. 3:20; 7:7)
The Law brings judgment (Rom. 4:15)
The Law is for the ungodly (1 Tim. 1:9)
The Law is for those who are not under grace. (Rom. 3:19; 6:14).
The Law justifies no one (Rom. 3:20; 3:28; 5:1; Gal. 2:16)
The Law is spiritual: It works on the Spirit, not the body (Rom. 7:14)
The Law makes demands of perfection (Deut. 27:26; Gal. 3:10)
The Law prepares us for the gospel. (Gal. 3:24)
The Law and the gospel both promise eternal life.

The Law gives life by complete obedience to all its commands (Lev. 18:5; Luke 10:26).
The gospel gives live by God’s grace conditioned on our faith (Rom. 3:22-24, Eph. 2:8-9).

The Law and Gospel are different in many ways.

The Law is revealed in the hearts of man (Rom. 2:14-15; 3:20). The gospel is by direct revelation; it is not written on the heart (1 Cor. 15:1).
The Law tells people what they are to do (our works). The Gospel reveals what God has done (God’s work).  The only demand the gospel makes is faith (Rom. 6:23).
The Law is a reflection of God’s righteousness (1 Pet. 1:16). The gospel is a reflection of God’s love (John 3:16)
The Law tells us what to do, but does not enable us to do it (Gal. 3:10; James 2:10).  The Gospel tells us what God does and He enables us to do it (Phil. 1:29; John 6:29; Rom. 10:17)
The Law condemns us (Rom. 2:12; 6:23). The Gospel saves us (1 Cor. 15:1-4)
The Law is preached to sinners (1 Tim. 1:8-10). The Gospel is preached to smitten by the Law (Rom. 3:20; Gal. 3:24)

For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.

In verse seven below, Paul speaks of the Law revealing sin.
Here, he speaks of the Law that arouses death in us.

1 Cor. 15:56, “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.”

The Law reveals to us those things that are right and those against which rebel.
We rebel when we seek our own lusts, pride, stubbornness, self-righteousness, etc. We rebel when we do not consider others more important than ourselves (Phil. 2:3)

But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.

We have been released from the Law by the death of Christ.
We were in Him (Federal Headship) and so we died with Him (Rom. 6:8; Col. 3:3).

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