Jul 28, 2019
Originally Presented: June 10th, 2007
Scripture Reading: Romans 7:7-13
Throughout his ministry, Paul heard objections to his gospel message. In Romans 6 Paul addressed the objection that justification by faith turns grace into license. To the question, "Should we continue in sin?" Paul responds (twice - Rom 6:2,15), "May it never be!"
In Romans 7 Paul is answering a second objection to the doctrine of justification by faith. It is the objection that such a gospel makes the Law sin. If the law of God only brings about more sinning on my part, which is what was said in Romans 6:20 and 7:5, then the Law is the cause of my sin (or so some hearers reasoned). If the Law is the cause of my sin, then the Law is an evil thing.
Thus we read in Romans 7:7, "Is the Law sin? May it never be!" The answer Paul gives in this section is this. The problem is not to be found in the nature of the Law, but in the nature of the human heart. Paul affirms in Romans 7:12 that the Law is holy and righteous and good.
The problem of sin does not rise from the Law, but from the heart of man. According to Romans 7:11,13, sin uses the Law to kill people. Sin uses something good (God's Law) to destroy people. God so designed this dynamic in order to display the exceeding sinfulness of sin.
For someone to kill an infant is terrible. It is worse if someone deceptively puts poison in the baby's milk, using something good, to kill the infant. To show how evil is the sin within us, Paul states that sin even uses God's Law to stir up our wicked passions which will destroy us. One effect of our realization of this truth is that we hate our sin.