Freed from the Law Romans 7:1-3: The Jewish people in Paul’s day had been led to believe outward observance of the law’s demands, the deeds of the law, were meritorious, earning God’s favor and acceptance. The focus was on self, sin management, and performance.
Jesus, the New Husband vss. 4-6: allures sinners through His love manifested by His healing ministry, love and forgiveness, perfect life and death on the cross as our substitute (Romans 5:5-11). By the Holy Spirit He transforms us by His compelling love (2 Cor. 3:17, 18).
Dead to the Law vs. 7-12: In Rom. 6:11, 14 Paul states a powerful reality, “Likewise you also reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus the Lord.” “….under grace” (unmerited love.”
Sin and the Law vss. 8-11: The law only reveals sins of commission and omission (Rom. 3:20). The rich young ruler, whom Jesus loved, boasted that he had kept the commandments from his youth up. Gently, Jesus revealed to him that he was a law breaker. His lack of compassion for the poor and needy negated his self-righteous performance.
The law is holy vs, 12: The law is holy because God is holy (love/righteousness). (1 John 5:4-16) His love (holiness) is active, not passive. It always takes the initiative and is giving, unconditional, changeless, and self-denying. Human love is self-centered. Paul insists that God’s love flows in transforming power through us to the lost and needy
all around us.
An honest lawyer asked Jesus, “What is the great commandment of the law? Jesus replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and all your mind….And the second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:36-40). In other words, we are to love our neighbor as we loved ourselves before we accepted Jesus.
Luther remarked, “Everything in creation obeys the law of love. there is no tree that bears fruit for its own use; the sun does not shine for itself. It is only man and the devil who in everything seek their own. So far from self-love being a natural ordinance of God in nature, it is a devilish perversion” (Anders Nygren, Agape and Eros p. 740) Paul insists that all the law is fulfilled in one word, you shall love your neighbor as yourself”
Saved from Death vss. 21-23: Paul addressed this thought in Rom. 6:8-14). “Now if we died with Christ, we believe also that we shall live with Him….For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all, but the life that He lives He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
In summary I quote Ellen White, “Love is the basis of Godliness….What is needed is the love of Christ in the heart. When self is merged in Christ, love springs forth spontaneously. The completeness of Christian character is attained when the impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within (White, COL p.384)
vss. 24, 25 Who is the man of Romans seven? We are sinners by nature. “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ my Lord. I (and every sinner) is the man of Romans seven. But the good news is, “All have sinned, and all (are falling) short of the glory of God, (and all are) being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:23, 24) How shall I show Jesus my love/appreciation?
William Carey was asked what was his vocation? He replied, “My vocation is preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. I cobble shoes for a living. He became a renowned missionary to China.
“The work of God in this earth can never be finished until the men and women comprising our church membership rally to the work, and unite their efforts with those of ministers and church officers” (White, GW p. 352)
Research shows that new believers shared gospel conversations with up to 20 people the first year, decreasing each year until the eighth year they are sharing with no unbelievers. Have they lost their first love? (Rev. 2:1-7) How many years until Laodicea? (Rev. 3:14-22).
As believers in this “most precious message”, praying for the outpouring of latter rain power, we are faced with a choice. What is my priority? My prime objective? (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-18) Am I self-serving, even as a professed Christian ---- or serving Christ and others as our first priority using education, careers, family relationships, recreation and every area of life as an opportunity for ministering to those in need, inviting them in boldness and love to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord.