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Romans 7 Argument, Outline, Selected Doctrines, Applications

Tod Kennedy, January 2015

Argument

Since believers can live in newness of life, serve God and righteousness, and experience sanctification, why does one fail so often? Believers died to the law, which means that the law is not their master nor is it their power. The new life in Christ is one lived in newness produced by the Holy Spirit. The law was good yet it did not provide power to live. The law taught about sin, and the sinful nature used the law to provoke personal sin. Paul concluded that the foundation of his problem was his indwelling sinful nature—because sin lived in him he did things that he did not want to do and did not do what he wanted to do—and this demonstrated his inner spiritual conflict between the law of sin and the law of God. He needed to be set free and God through Jesus Christ provided the answer.

Outline Chapter 7

The sinful nature inside

  1. The believer's union with Christ broke any tie to law and at the same time brought every believer into a new life and service with God (Romans 7:1-6).
  2. Paul's sinful nature (king sin) rebelled against the holy law and produced personal sins, and through this he learned what he was really like inside (Romans 7:7-14).
  3. Paul realized that because sin lived in him he did things that he did not want to do and did not do what he wanted to do, and this demonstrated his inner spiritual conflict between the law of sin and the law of God (Romans 7:15-25).

Select Doctrines

  1. Law or Mosaic law (Romans 7:4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16)
  2. Flesh (Romans 7:5, 14, 18, 25)
  3. Will, volition (Romans 7:15, 16, 19, 21, 22, 25)
  4. Sin indwelling (Romans 7:8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 17, 20, 21, 23, 25)
  5. The person and work of Jesus Christ, the basis for the Christian life (Roman 7.25).

Applications, So What?

  1. We should not try to produce God's righteousness by keeping the law. The law arouses and works through the sinful nature (Romans 7.5). We need to present ourselves to God for righteousness (Romans 6).
  2. Beware that our sinful nature (king sin) attempts to use the law (or rules) to cause us to sin (Romans 7.8,9,11). We need to know God's answers, to believe them, and to  apply them or we will fail (See Romans 6).
  3. It is helpful to know the law because one good use of law is to show what sin is (Romans 7.13).
  4. Sin indwells each one of us, though sin's authority has been broken (Romans 7.17,20,23,25).
  5. When we, in our own ability, try to produce righteousness and serve God we will fail. We do what we do not want to do, and we do not do what we want to do (Romans 7.15-20).
  6. There is no way out of this bondage except by the Holy Spirit and that is possible because of Christ's death and resurrection and our relationship to him. The Holy Spirit is the ability and means for us to produce God's righteousness in life, "serve in newness of Spirit" (Romans 6.1-5; 7.6,26; 8.1-2).