Romans 7 – Why the Law?

Read Romans 7

Looking at what Paul has laid out thus far in the book of Romans, one might be led to ask the question, “what role does the law actually play here?”  Paul spends time examining this question, seeking to clarify a right understanding of what the Law is and what it means.

To do so, Paul uses very well crafted, intentionally specific language so as not to confuse things.  “Why is this important?” you may be asking.  It is important because how we talk about God, Scripture, the Law, etc. has a bearing on how we think about and what we believe about God.  Paul is trying to make certain that we don’t speak wrongly about the Law or God’s intentions behind it.

Far too often Christians say that the Law is “all about works” and that we don’t need it anymore.  Others have said that, because the Law was before Christ, it was imperfect and steeped in sin.  Neither of these is true and both border on suggesting that God’s work is both imperfect and steeped in sin.  Simply put, that is not true.

The purpose of God’s perfect Law, as Paul points out, is to reveal sin.  As we talked about earlier in this book, sin is a necessary component of God’s redeeming work. Tossing sin aside means tossing aside the need for grace and the work of the cross as well.

Paul is quick to point out that the Law is not responsible for our guilt, but rather the sin that is within us.  We have the tendency to, once we know what we shouldn’t do, to do it anyway.  That is not the fault of the Law, but of our sinful nature.  Thanks be to God, Christ died for us “while we were still sinners.”


7 Responses to “Romans 7 – Why the Law?”

  1. […] Romans 7:7-25 – What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. […]

  2. […] Romans 7:23-24 – but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? […]

  3. […] Romans 7:21-25 – So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! […]

  4. […] Romans 7:23 – but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. […]

  5. […] can those converted to God obey these commandments perfectly?    Romans 7:14-15 – We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. […]

  6. […] away from us once we’ve accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior.   Paul’s words in Romans 7 sum up this section so […]

  7. […] They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.   Romans 7:23 – but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making […]

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