Romans chapter 7 and chapter 8:1-4.
Paul in these verses writes what could be called a Christians Declaration of Independence. In these verse Paul declares that in Christ we have been set free from three things.
***1. We are free from the LAW (“do to be”) [7:1-6]
That’s really a good summary of what keeping the law taught. If you were to be righteous by keeping the Law you had to DO certain things TO BE righteous. And do you know what? no one could ever be righteous by keeping the law. James “the half brother” of Jesus in his letter writes in James 2:10, “Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it”.
We can never be good enough or do enough to be made righteous in the eyes of God. Many times we are like those Jewish Christians. We have been set free from the requirements of the law by the blood of Christ. It is not what we do that saves us, it is what Jesus has done for us. Jesus has done all that needs to be done to make us right before God. Nothing we will ever do will add to our salvation. YET!! We too, many times, carry around the burden of believing that we have to do something to earn or to make sure we are saved. Going to church, reading our Bible, praying to God, memorizing scripture, teaching a SS class or helping the poor is not going to save anyone. Now it is true, that these things are the fruit a person who is saved, is supposed to bare. BUT they can’t save us ONLY the grace of God which we enter into through obedient faith in Christ can save us.
Romans 7 declares our freedom. are free from the Law. We are free from the burden of having to do to be. We are free and we have value in Christ.
***2. We are free from the frustration of the Flesh. [7:14-25]
This is really a tough passage, and what I want for us to do is to answer several questions that will help us understand what Paul is trying to teach here. Before we do that we first need to understand what Paul means by “I’ in these verses. I believe that it is best to understand this as a literary device used to describe the universal struggle of mankind and especially the struggle of Christians to do right. Since we desire to do good and since we take delight in God’s word we get frustrated when sin spoils our efforts.
As Christians we want to do good. We love God, And He has been so good to us. We know what we should do. We know: we should make God #1, we should spend time with Him each day, we should pray for those who need prayer and we know we should give God our best AND we know there are things we must stop doing; being prideful gossiping, being envious and other sins.
Paul says that sometimes (and I know all of here can relate to what he is saying) that when he is doing wrong he knows it, and he still wants to do good BUT his sinful desire is so strong at times it is like it has a personality of it’s own It is almost like it is not even him doing it. But it is him, and it is us. The truth of the matter is this: It is easier for us to do wrong then to do good. We have to work at doing good when doing wrong just seems to come naturally. This condition causes us all to lament with Paul “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death”? Thanks be to God that Through Jesus Christ we are freed from this body of death. So in oder to deal with the frustrations of messing up when we make every effort to do what’s right, we must do what Jesus encouraged His disciples to do in their moment of weakness, WATCH AND PRAY! Jesus sets us free from the frustrations of our flesh.
***III. We are free from CONDEMNATION [8:1-4
What is condemnation? The word actually means “the result of judgment”. So a good way to understand this term would be the sentence a Judge pronounces at the end of the trail. If you are still in your sin when you stand before God. God will bang the gavel and pronounce you guilty and sentence you to eternity in the depths of Hell. Who made it possible for our freedom from condemnation? JESUS CHRIST.
Jesus was sinless AND He fulfilled the righteous requirements of the Law. Therefore God offered Him as a sin offering and He bore the sins of the world as He died on the cross. How are we set free? We are set free from condemnation when we are “IN” Christ. How do we get in Christ? “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”
ONLY IN CHRIST DO WE HAVE FREEDOM–TRUE FREEDOM!
We are free from the law “Do to Be”
We are free from the frustration in life/flesh.
We are free from Condemnation.