There are many ways to study the bible. I personally like to systematically read through an entire book so I can see the context of each verse as it pertains to the chapter and to see the progression of thought of the author as he writes. This way one can see the conflict of the book that spurned the writer to write the letter in the first place. After understanding the occasion of the letter; one can observe the cultural background of where it was written and then follow the writer’s train of thought. Once this is done, the student can then go to the original language of the writer and properly interpret what the writer was trying to get across to his audience.
When I write or preach; I do it the same way. I like to teach through a book whenever possible. The Book of Romans has been my choice of writing for the last six times I wrote. This week is no different as we look into the seventh chapter of Romans.
As we have already seen in the Book of Romans; everyone one knows there is a God and each one is without excuse (1:20). God’s wrath is being poured out on all because there is no one righteous and no one who seeks after God (1:18; 3:10-11). We are even enemies of God because there is no life in us (5:10). We are enemies of God because of Adam’s disobedience (Gen 3). When the Law was introduced by Moses; Adam’s sin became imputed into all men (God began keeping record of all sins; since all have sinned. (Rom 3:23; 5:12-13)). Without Christ; we are spiritually dead, helpless in saving ourselves and even a slave to sin (Rom 6:20).
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8
The Book of Romans shows us that we are a mess and are in need of a Savior, but God did not want to leave us this way. The Good News or Gospel begins in Genesis chapter three and continues from there showing how God instantly began chasing after His creation to woo them to know Him through faith. Here in Romans chapter seven; we have the conflict of our flesh and the Spirit showing how we are a slave to sin even if we do not want to do it (7:14ff). Actually, the Law shows us what sin is and it even entices us to sin (7:7-8). Again, this shows what a mess we are and Paul recognized it by calling himself a “wretched man” (7:24); but now because of Christ’s finished work on the cross we can be set free from the Law and sin (6:18).
For us to understand it; Paul uses analogy of a marriage vow. According to the Old Testament Law, a woman was bound to her husband while he lived, but if he died; she would be free to marry another. When one has faith in Christ; he/she is now free from the first marriage (The Law) and now dead to sin and even free to join to another; Christ. Sin now has no power over him/her.
Through faith in Christ alone; He sets you free from this body of sin and He has erased that record of sin that you had (imputed sin). Your sins have been tossed into the depths of the sea to be forgotten about (Micah 7:19). To show how far your sins has been cast away; God said it is removed from you as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). He also promises you eternal life and even life more abundantly because you are now filled with His Spirit. This makes it where any good work that you now do is only because of Christ living in you.
This way Christ gets the glory for showing His grace to us and saving us; even though there was nothing good in us.
I seriously could teach through this book a few verses at a time and have a lifetime of material to write about and teach. I challenge you to pick up the Book of Romans and systematically and slowly read through it until you fully understand what God is trying to teach you through it.
Our God is amazing!