Who is the Man of Romans 7?

Who is the Man of Romans 7?

Scripture: Romans 7:1-25
Date: 11/25/2017  Lesson: 8
"Left to ourselves, without Christ, we are helpless against sin. With Christ we have a new life in Him, one in which—although self will constantly arise—the promises of victory are ours if we choose to claim them."

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Hello and good morning. Welcome to everyone here in the Granite Bay Church as well as all those who are watching online to yet another edition of the Sabbath School Study Hour. We're gonna be looking at the quarterly study again here, "Salvation by Faith Alone" in the Book of Romans. We're gonna be studying the seventh chapter as we continue to look at what God is revealing in that very powerful gospel book. And if you don't have a copy of this particular quarterly, just want to invite you to be able to take advantage of your local Seventh-day Adventist Church. If you haven't visited your local Seventh-day Adventist Church and ask for a copy, just go in and most of those churches will have a copy, a free copy that they'll be happy to be able to give to you. If you're unable to be able to make that happen, that you can also go online and go to amazingfacts.org.

That's amazingfacts.org. You can go into the search bar and just put in there quarterly as well as Book of Romans or just Romans and you're sure to be able to find that link that you'll be able to download a free digital copy to be able to study before we get together as well as during or after for further study in this very important book. Before we start our singing here today, we want to also offer you our free offer of the day. And the free offer of the day today is entitled, a little booklet entitled, "The Flesh and the Spirit". All you need to do is dial 1-866-788-3966. If you're in North America, we'll be able to send that out to you. If you happened to be outside of North America, you're watching this program and you'd still like to be able to read this book for further study, it also is available on the same website that I spoke of earlier, amazingfacts.org. You'll find a link there and you can download a digital copy for free and read that and have it for yourself as well. Well, without further ado we're gonna invite our singers out as they lead us out in songs of praise before our Lord. God bless you.

We're gonna begin our worship singing this morning with number 132 and because we're coming into the Christmas season, we're excited to be able to have a chance to sing some Christmas songs and to praise the young baby in the manger. We're gonna start with 132, "Oh come, all ye faithful", all three verses.

O come, all ye faithful

Joyful and triumphant

O come ye

O come ye to Bethlehem!

Come and behold Him

Born the King of angels!

O come, let us adore Him

O come, let us adore Him

O come, let us adore Him

Christ the Lord!

Sing, choirs of angels

Sing in exultation

O sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!

Glory to God

All glory in the highest!

O, come, let us adore Him

O come, let us adore Him

O come, let us adore Him

Christ the Lord!

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee

Born this happy morning

Jesus, to Thee be all glory given

Word of the Father

Now in flesh appearing!

O come, let us adore Him

O come, let us adore Him

O come, let us adore Him

Christ the Lord!

Before we go into our study, let's pray. Father in heaven, we want to thank You so much for the opportunity to be able to stop and spend this time that is before us to be able to open Your Bible and to be able to look at the words of life that You give to us in Your Word. We thank You so much for Romans and the great gospel and the insights that You reveal to us there of Your Son Jesus and all that You have done for us and through Him and, Lord, we want to pray that You will open our understanding and that Your Holy Spirit will be our teacher here today. We want to pray a special blessing upon Pastor Chuck as he teaches. In Jesus' name we pray these things, God, amen.

Good morning. Happy Sabbath. Glad that you're with us both online and of course here at Granite Bay. I was doing some research. Did you realize that there are roughly a half of

million people living in the United States that were immigrants in 1780? Now you realize of course we had to hold the Native American population which added a whole bunch more. But actually immigrants, I'm speaking of those who came over, a roughly a half of million, that will be 500,000. Of those 500,000, roughly 50,000 came involuntarily. You know what that means. They came, no, not as slaves, they came as prisoners. I'm not quite sure all the details with that but have to do some more. And then the remaining 450,000 roughly one half of them came as an indentured servant. I just wanted to share a little bit about that, it mean I had to realize that that half of those who came voluntarily actually came as an indentured servant. That was before 1750.

Now the reason was often to pay your passage, you want to come over to the new world and so you were hoping that someone would pay your way and so you would promise to work five years for them if they would pay your way over. Sometimes it was a businessman who was living in, say in Virginia, New York, Massachusetts would say, I would bring my relatives' children over and they're going to work for me for five years or ten years whatever the agreement was and then they will have their, you know, their freedom over here. Fifty percent almost of those who came here before 1750, this was a somewhat of their experience. Now, of course, if it was your uncle who paid your passage over, your life might have been little bit easier. But there were a lot who didn't have that kind of experience. In fact, probably more or the majority of the indentured servants were not coming from that perspective. There was no control over how many hours a week you worked. There was no control on what age you had to be to do certain things. And there was no guarantee that someone might say, you know what? It was not uncommon that maybe someone would get pregnant in the middle of their indenturedness.

I can use that term, I don't know if that's the correct term. But they got pregnant in the midst of it and he said, "Okay, well, you can go through the pregnancy, have the baby and we're just gonna add two years to yours term, that way you can fulfill your obligation to us." So this is the thinking of indentured servant. Now, why are we discussing, why am I bringing up indentured servant when I'm about to discuss Romans 7? There's a reason for it. You turn your Bibles with me to Romans 7, we're gonna look at verses 1 through 6. Romans 7:1-6. While you're turning there, I like to state a few thoughts that might be helpful. When you fulfilled your obligation as an indentured servant you were free. It's simple. When you fulfilled your obligation as an indentured servant you were free. So fulfillment of the obligation gave freedom from that obligation.

Is that confusing or did that make sense? Fulfillment of the obligation gave you freedom from the obligation. So no longer you're under that obligation because you're free from it 'cause it's been fulfilled. A very important point. Do you realize, you and I as a result of sin have an obligation. It's a terrible obligation. Romans 6:23 and we were... Actually Romans 3:23, I jumped ahead of myself. Says, "The wages of sin is death." The obligation of us is not that of an indentured servant. We are not free until we die which is the obligation of a slave. Does that make sense? You see the difference. We have an obligation. And the only way we can be free from that obligation is when that obligation is fulfilled. And that obligation was filled, praise God in the death of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He fulfilled an obligation for us that if we accept it, we can reap the benefits of freedom from that obligation. That stood out as something positive because Romans 7 has its tendencies that would not be terribly positive as we go through it.

Romans 7, what verses we are turning to? 1-7. 1-6, excuse me. "Know ye not, brethren, for I speak to them that know the law, how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he lives?" You know when I first started reading this, that stuck out in my mind just a little bit. Haven't we just read that somewhere about dominion, remember last week? Romans 6, when we are looking at Romans 6:14 says, "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law but under grace." Now I'm seeing here in Romans 7, "Know ye not, brethren, for I speak to them that know the law, how that the..." What has dominion here? "The law has dominion." Now they are almost been used, they are not the same in anyway shape or form, but sometimes you get the feel that Paul is using these anonymously. He is not. But in Romans 6, I'm getting freedom from what? Sin. Romans 7, I'm getting freedom from what? Yes, kind of, right? So let's go. "Know ye not, brethren, for I speak to them that know the law." He is speaking to those who are familiar with the Jewish system. "How that the law have dominion over a man as long as he lives?" And then verse 2 and 3 is a great illustration. "For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he lives, but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

So then if, while her husband lives, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is" what? She is free from what? "That law. So that she is no adulterous though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become..." What's the next word? "Dead." Dead and this gonna be our focus. We'll try to explain this as we finish reading the section. "Ye also become dead to" what? "The law by the body of Christ, that you should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God." Then verse 5 and 6. "For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins or the passions of sins, which were by or through the law, did work in our members or body to bring forth fruit unto death." "But now, we are..." What's that next word? Delivered. "Delivered. Set free from the law that being dead wherein we were held, that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in oldness of letter."

I want to take some time just to unpack those first six verses because they are a key I think to understanding the rest of chapter 7. But I'm gonna do it backwards, is that okay? We are not going to start in verse 1, I'm gonna start in verse 6. Let's look at verse 6. And we ask a few questions as I go through verse 6. What happens? But now we are... I'm looking at verse 6, "But now we are delivered from the law." Why the word delivered? Why would we use the word delivered? It means set free. Yes. So now we are set free from the law. And then it says this next part, found it fascinating, that being dead, or another way is seen is being dead to that "wherein we were held. "Being dead to that wherein we were held." What were we held? What was holding us? The law was. I'm being set free from the law because the law was holding me or can I say it in this way, was holding me captive. Is that a picture here? So the law was holding me captive and I'm being delivered from that law that's holding me captive. I find that interesting. Are you being held captive by the law? Are you...? I may rephrase it. Are you under condemnation of the law? Are you guilty? You see the picture that's being laid out here. There it says that we... It says but now we are delivered from, praise God, right? "That we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in oldness of letter."

I'm not allowed to talk about that yet according to my notes, sorry. So let's go back to verse 2 and 3. Keep your point there. The point is, we are delivered from the law because we were held in bondage to the law, why? Because we were guilty. Isn't that right? Once you've broken the law, you are now a servant to that law. Actually you are servant to sin and held bondage by the law, and we put those two separately, okay. Let's go back to verse 2 and 3. Verse 2 and 3, the marriage analogy that Paul is using here in verse 2 and 3, fascinating. "For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he lives, but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband." In other words, she is married to her husband and she is forced to stay married to him, as long as he lives. Pray for my wife. Right? I'd say pray for me but you're not allowed to say that when you are a speaker. So pray for my wife. Amen? I am bound to her, she is bound to me because of what? The law.

That's the way it is. We made a covenant with each other and it's a binding covenant, and we are staying connected. That's the picture. Now goes to verse 3, and we'll not continue with the analogy of myself at this point. "So then if, while her husband lives, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress." If a wife spends time with someone who is not her husband is considered adultery, but when the husband dies she can spend time with another man and it's not considered adultery anymore unless he is married. Right? It goes on and says... Yeah, so that's a picture that's being laid out here. Paul is trying to give us an understanding that death brings freedom. There is more that he is sharing, but I want to emphasize that part 'cause that's the part I'm gonna emphasize in this lesson. Death brings what? Freedom. There is not freedom from a law. Let me split it this way, the bondage or the control of the law or the being put in prison by that law because you are being forced to do a certain thing. You and I don't like saying force, do we? Because the reality is I chose to be married. It was a choice, I'm very thankful for that choice. But the reality is I couldn't get out of it if I wanted to.

Spiritually speaking, but that's okay because I chose to do that. Do you realize so many things that we look at is freedom are really not freedom, they are bondage. And so many things we look at bondage really aren't bondage, it's freedom. Hope I confused you. Really honestly when we choose to put our self into something that is bondage, is it then bondage if we chose it? Anyhow I digress. Verse 4, "Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law." And this is the phrase that I really wanted us to focus on because that's the first section here in your quarterly. "We are become dead to the law by the body of" who? "We have become dead to the law by the body of Christ. What does it mean to become dead to the law? We already discussed that in verse 6, it means to be delivered from the law. Does the law become dead? No. Do we become dead? Yes. How? How do we become dead? Biblically speaking you just read this last week. How do you and I become dead? Romans 6. Yes, how do I become dead to sin? Baptism.

Yes, thank you, ma'am. Baptism, I should say it so those of you who are watching can hear it. Romans 6:3 and 4 says, "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into" what? "His death. Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death." That like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. So I am dead when I'm connected with Christ, He died so therefore I died. His death then becomes mine. And that is the beauty of Christianity. His death becomes mine. That's how I can experience life. The Bible continues on in this passage had a few more things are being dead, verse 6 of Romans 6 "Knowing this, that our old man is" what? Crucified with who? With Him. The way you and I die is by dying with Him. Accepting His death on our behalf and, yes, dying with Him. It is only through death that you and I can experience life. Is the only way. That's why you see in Romans 7 where we were just at, and it says in verse 6, "We should serve in newness of spirit, and not oldness of letter." That only takes place when there is a resurrection. There's got to be a resurrection. There's got to be a death, there has to be a resurrection. Let's continue, verse 4 continued and said this, "That you should be married to another" so we die with Christ, and then we can be remarried.

It's kind of interesting typically. Okay, here's this scenario before, husband wife, husband dies, wife can get remarried. This is different, husband wife, husband dies so he can be remarried. Yeah, are you confused? Spiritually that's what we are talking about here. What we saw before in 2 and 3 is the dead person now is gone and alive person has freedom, but in this case, we die and we have freedom. Do you see that? We die to the law and now have freedom to remarry. Who? Jesus Christ, and I love the way inspiration puts it here. "That we should bring forth fruit unto God." New marriage produces new fruit. I know that's really deep, heavy biological statement right there. But new marriage produces new fruit. We don't like to think about this but this is a reality. If you lost your spouse and you remarried, your children would be different. If you had new children with the spouse that you got remarried to, does it make sense? It's the same thing in our lives, when we are married and actually Romans use the word bondage to the law, the fruit isn't that good. But when you and I remarry to Christ, we have new fruit. Is this a new phrase for Romans 7? No, it's not. Go back to Romans 6. Romans 6, 7 and 8, if you want to understand 7, you have to understand 6, you have to understand 8, they are together, internally connected. I really wish that I was teaching next week. Whoever teaches next week, God bless them. They have all the fun part, now this is fun too because we have a chance to see who we really are. What Jesus can be to us, amen? But let's continue, Romans 6, which verse did we mentioned? 6:22. let's go back to 6:22, we were in 7:4 right now and we looked at 7:5, we looked about the new fruit, right?

Actually that was verse 4, "We bring forth fruit unto God." Let's go back to 6:22, it says, "But now being made free from sin, and become servants to" whom? "God, you have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life." So in Romans 7 we are using the marriage symbol. In Romans 6 they are using a servant symbol. But Romans 6, it says when you become a servant to God, Romans 7, when you say, when you become married to Christ, you have what kind of fruit? Fruit unto holiness, or righteousness, it's a new fruit. I propose friends that this is the whole issue of Romans 7, who you are married to? And what it looks like? You know, in Romans 7 starting with verse 7, actually verse 8 we are going to start to digress. We're going to be looking at some things that had happened that are not pleasant. But in that digression it's only simply a recapping of what we saw in verses 1 through 6, this remarriage. God wants us to have food unto holiness, and it's impossible, friends, by yourself. In fact, it's impossible of your self. There is in you nothing that is good. In fact, I will share a phrase with you that we'll close up with. Desire without power to acquire is wretchedness. Desire without power to acquire is wretchedness. Remember that because that's Romans 7. That's the Romans 7 man and we must realize that picture as we come back to it, okay. Let's look at verse 5, Romans 7:5, "For when we were in the flesh the passions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our body or members to bring forth fruit unto death." So you're going to have fruit. This is a fruit, a new fruit when you marry with Christ, this is the old fruit, fruit that leads to death. Is it possible to have fruit unto death?

Which I said so, 6:20, I'm connecting 6 and 7 real quick. I won't do this much longer but I'm gonna do little bit just to show you the connection. 6:20, "When you were the servants of sin, you were free from" what? "Righteousness." You know this by memory probably, verse 21, what's the next phrase? What's the next word? "What fruit had you then in the things whereof you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death." When you are the servant of sin, you have fruit to death. When you are a servant of God, you have a fruit unto righteousness. That's Romans 6. Now in Romans 7:4, it tells me that when I'm married to Christ, I have fruit unto God. And verse 5 tells me that when I'm in the flesh, I have fruit unto death. Now I ask you a question. What does it mean to be in the flesh based upon what I just told you?

Actually based upon the word just teaching us. Let me repeat it. When I'm a servant to sin, I have fruit unto death. When I'm a servant unto God, I have fruit unto righteousness. Romans 6. Romans 7, when I'm a servant, I'm married to Christ, I have fruit unto God. When I'm in the flesh, I have fruit unto death. Being in the flesh is synonymous to being a servant to sin. It's the same thing. I know that sounds simple but we must grasp that because that's an understanding of Romans 7. If you want to be a servant... If you have fruit that is to sin, a fruit is unto death is because you are a servant of sin or you are fleshly. Fleshly does not inherit the kingdom of God, it cannot. It's impossible by the way. Desire without power to acquire is wretchedness. Ever feel wretched? You don't have to raise your hand, I'll raise mine. I've been there. Because when I had longed for something and I can't get it and it's impossible for me to get it, that's a wretched feeling. Desire without ability or power to acquire.

Okay. Let's go on verse 6. Let's finish up verse 6. I notice my time and so I'm going to continue. Verse 6 says, "For now we are delivered from the law, that being death wherein we were held." And we talked about that, I'm going to continue to the last part of this phrase, "That we should serve in newness of spirit and not in oldness of letter." I would like to emphasize, it is impossible to serve after you die unless there is a resurrection. If I go to a funeral and I see a person who is dead lying there. There's no way that they would ever serve. That make sense? It's impossible for them to serve. How can a dead person serve? Can a dead person get up and get you water? No. Would a dead person mow your lawn? You are not sure. Well, let me tell you, no, no. We just had Halloween this week, I want to clarify, right, it's not happening. Dead people don't have ability to accomplish anything, unless there is what? A resurrection. You must have a resurrection or you don't have service. Is that clear? No resurrection, no service. You must have a resurrection to have service. So when you see this walking in newness of life, oh, it's exciting, but what does it mean? Can I go back to my last time? Roman 6. Romans 6.

Do you see a resurrection anywhere last week when we studied Romans 6? I did. Yes. Romans 6:4, "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death, that like as Christ was..." What's that word? "Raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." Then it says in verse 5, "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in" what? "The likeness of his resurrection." When there's a resurrection, there is good service. Without a resurrection, there is no service. You must have a resurrection. Dying is not enough, resurrection is essential. "If he be not raised, then our hope is in vain." 1 Corinthians, amen? Okay. With all of that theory, how does it apply to me today? You might turn with me to Colossians 3. Colossians 3. Some of you are making the application in your mind but if you don't mind I'm gonna take that liberty as a teacher here to make the application myself. Colossians 3 and starting with verse 1, "If ye then be raised or risen with Christ, resurrected with Christ, seek those things that are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection" where? "Not on things that are below or on the earth"

Why? "For ye are dead." And your life is set with Christ in God. This is the call to be dead and to be raised or risen or resurrected with Christ. "If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things that are above." My friends, in our lives, we can try to do a lot of things. If you simply try to get rid of the bad out of your life, you will never be successful. If you simply try to get rid of the bad in your life, you will never be successful. Let me put it this way. If you simply try to mortify as it says in King James Version, or kill the bad things in your life, you will never have success in your Christian experience. I'm not going to do it because these flowers are pretty. But I like to pull them out of vase right now. Let me show you something, if I had a tree up here, little small tree and it was planted in a nice potted plant and you have the tree coming up and you have all those branches, I say, I wanted to get rid of that tree. And if I go to that tree and I simply start killing the branches, cutting them off and throwing them away. Have I killed the tree? No, the tree is still going to be alive. Even though I have done my very best to kill it, there is still going to be a life in it.

It's just a reality of it. The only way to get rid of the tree is to get rid of the roots, and then there must be what? A new life. Got to get rid of the old tree, got to get a new tree. Get rid of your old trees and then ask God to do something in your life. If you simply spend your time mortifying and don't allow God to do a resurrection in you, you will never have success in your Christian experience. For simply trying to mortify the old and don't allow the resurrection of the new, there will not be true life in you. Death without a resurrection is not service. There must be a resurrection for there to be a service. All right, I've beaten that horse too long. Okay. Are you ready? Romans 6:16, these are so intricately connected, it says, "Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" Right? Very simple, you're one or the other. You do not have a choice. You're a indentured servant or you're indentured servant, where do you want to be? You're a slave or you're slave, which side you want to be a slave on? That's just a reality. You're married to one or you're married to the other. Sorry. Isn't it interesting how Paul connects the marriage and slavery? Maybe explain some of his other comments. Anyhow, lets... I digress. But this is where you're stuck. You're either married to one or married to the other. Slave to one, slave to the other. You and I don't have the chance to say, I'm free from both. There is either one or the other. I can't... I'll speak for myself, I want to be married to Christ.

Amen.

I want to be a slave to Christ. I know that comes with obligations, sometimes I don't like quite frankly, and you know what? I trust Him, so I don't care. Does it make sense? I want Him. Romans 7:7 our next verse says, "What shall we say then? Is the law sin?" And I'm glad he brings this out. Paul under inspiration had to realize, I'm comparing, I'm using the same phrases for law and the first six verses here that I used for sin in Romans 6, maybe they're going to start thinking that, I think, the law was sin and so here's what he says, "Is the law sin?" And then his answer is what. Absolutely not or God forbid, if you have King James Version, "No, I had not known sin but by the law, for I had not known lust except the law had said, thou shall not covet." So what law is he talking about here? He's talking about the Ten Commandments, the moral law without a question at all. So the moral law was good. I've been talking about the moral law, and the moral law is good, then why this complaint? What is the relationship and that's the next lesson, the next day we're looking at our Sabbath School Study. What is the connection between the law and sin? What is the connection? Because it almost sounds like the law isn't good here. Have you sensed that? It's not what he's saying but you get that feeling sometimes. You want to be delivered from it, why? What do you want to be delivered from? Okay, are you ready for some study? I hope so, 'cause I am.

Let's look at verse 8. Romans 7:8 says this, "But sin taking occasion by the commandment, wrought or produced in me, all manner of concupiscence or evil desire, for without the law, sin was dead." Oh, there it is. If it wasn't for the law, we wouldn't have sin. I guess you knew that already, all right. So why do we like the law then? Verse 9, "For I was alive without the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died and the commandment which I... Which was ordained to be alive, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it, kill me or slew me." It's almost depressing, isn't it? I find it depressing I look at it. I'll ask you a few questions. Who's doing the action here in verses 8 through 11? Who or what is doing the action, verses 8 through 11? Is it the law doing the action or sin doing the action?

Sin.

Sin is doing the action. Thank you, Ma'am. I'm a teacher when I have someone who knows all the answers, I'll try to pick on the whole class, okay. Thank you. So it's sin that's doing the action, clearly sin is doing the action. What action is sin doing? Let's look at verse 8, "But sin, taking occasion by the commandment..." You know what the word taking occasion is? So we have another... Opportunity. Yeah, taking opportunity. Thank you. "So sin taking opportunity by the commandment, wrought or produced in me, all manner of evil desire." So sin is doing a couple of things, it's producing something, it's producing in me evil desire. Verse 9, sin is doing what?

Reviving.

Reviving, bringing life, it's becoming alive. That's what it's doing. Verse 10... Verse 11, "For sin, there are several things here, it takes occasion by the commandment to do" what? "To deceive me and to kill me." So there's no question that sin's doing it. So what's the role of the law in verses 8 through 11? If sin's doing the action, somehow law is being connected with it. What is the role of the law in this action that sin is taking? Yes. Think about it, sin seizes opportunity because of the law, sin revives because of the law, sin kills because of the law. Wow, most people say just get rid of the law and you're okay. And that's actually the thought of lot of evangelical Christianity today. We know that it can't be the answer because he just said in verse... Did I get there yet? No, I haven't. Forget it. It's coming up in next verse. Verse 12, it says in verse 12, "Where the law is holy and just and good."

So we know it can't be talking about that. So we just get rid of the law and everything's okay? No, we got to get rid of sin. As soon as the law is revealed in one's life, sin is also revealed. You see that. Soon as the law reveals itself or comes into my life, sin is also revealed and then I run into a problem, I'm told in the same exact book, to the same group of people under the same inspired author called Paul, that the wages of sin is death. I'm also told that all have sinned. Wow, so if all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Sorry, working through this in my mind. If all have sinned and come short of the glory of God and the law comes into my life and reveals sin, then the law is telling me that I'm worthy of death. Do you see that? Everyone realizes the law has had a role in their life, and everyone realized that it has revealed sin.

So you all realized by the nature of the law, you and I are worthy of death. That's what it says. You and I must die. That's why I don't like the law. Just get rid of it, right? So give me the mirror, you got a mirror in your bathroom, I don't like the way I look, if I break up the mirror then I look better, yeah? Problem is I don't look better, no matter what kind of mirror I've got, right? It's just the way I am. So when the commandment comes to us, we understand what sin is and it's then that we are condemned and worthy of death. Commandment comes to me, I realize, I'm worthy of death. I'm condemned and I stand guilty before God. The commandment has power because it reveals sin to my conscience. And there's few things worse than a guilty conscience. How's this for all the hope that we have today? Can I read something to you? The Apostle Paul, this is from fourth volume, the Spirit of Prophecy, page 296. The Apostle Paul in relating his experience presents an important truth concerning the work to be wrought in conversion.

He says, I was alive without the law once, he felt no condemnation, but when the commandment came, that is when the law of God was urged upon his conscience, sin revived and I died, then he saw himself a sinner, condemned by the divine law. Mark, it was Paul and not the law that died. That's a very important statement I think here. Again from the fourth volume of Spirit of Prophecy page, 296, or you find SDA Bible commentary volume 6, page 1076. Simply put, the law is a conveyor of truth, and it's the truth that has that effect on us. Let me put this way. The results that happen when truth is conveyed are often blamed on that truth, but is it the truth's fault? I'll rephrase that. The results that happen when the truth is conveyed are often blamed on that truth, but is it the truth's fault? No, it's not. It is the condition of whatever truth is acting upon that determines whether the truth's revealing is good or bad.

In other words, let's just say, I've had this happen, I was in a... I went to an Adventist academy and I was hiding out downstairs watching TV. Now we had a TV in our, we called it rec room, and it was basically so the guys could watch ESPN 'cause it really what it amounted to. And so... 'Cause the sports was, you know, how it is sometimes in the academy? And I remember hiding out down there and we would, sometimes switch the channel, you know, to get ESPN, you have to have cable, with cable there's a lot of other channels and we would switch to, you know, MTV or something like that and we would be watching it, but we always had a person who was listening by the steps for the sound of the keys, jangling from the dean's belt as he walked down the steps because you wanted to know if the dean was on his way.

Now there is also another place downstairs that was a room with the ping-pong table. So if the MTV was on or HBO or whatever was happening and I was in the other room playing ping-pong, was I worried when the keys came jangling down the steps? No, of course not. The law had just arrived, but it didn't bothered me an iota 'cause it wasn't revealing anything in me. But, as did happened once, I was down there by myself, claiming a sick day, watching the movie and I got so caught up, I didn't recognize my dean was watching it with me. Talk about embarrassment. He was a smart man, he realized, when it's desperate you just hold your keys together and no one hears you anyhow, right? Just walk down the steps. Was I condemned? Yes. Was I under the law? Yes. Did I feel guilty? Yes. Was I guilty? Yes. Because the law was revealed in the dean. The revealing of the law is not bad, if it's not revealing sin in us. Does it make sense? But the reality is, it has revealed sin in all of us. I'd like to... Remember this, the parable where the Jesus gives about the seed, the sower and the seed and they put seed out. The seed is the truth of God's word. Yes. And when it falls into fertile ground, it has good results, yes? And when it falls into bad ground, it has bad results, yes? Is it the truth's fault? No, what is it? It's the ground's fault. It's the nature of the soil that determines it.

I like to spend a little bit of time as we close with the man of Romans 7, "For I know that the law is spiritual, but I'm carnal, sold under sin. "For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not, but what I hate, that I do. If then I do that which is, I would not. I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me, for I know that in me, that is in my flesh, dwells no good things for to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good, I find not." What a terrible picture, desire without the power to acquire is wretchedness. Just because you desire good, doesn't mean you are good. Desire without the power to acquire is wretchedness.

I could desire good all day long, I want to be good, I don't want to have these bad thoughts, I don't want to be angry at this person, I don't want to be selfish, I want to be a godly man, but my desire is not enough. Desire is not enough. And that is the problem with the Romans 7 man. He has desire without power to acquire. I think, as I share this talk, there's tons of emotion that's involved in it, for myself and probably for most of the people hear this or study it. I don't know how many people I've talked to, look at Romans 7 and they say, you know, Chuck, Romans 7 describes my experience and I believe I must be okay, so therefore, it's okay to have a Romans 7 experience. And I believe all of us have gone through Romans 7 experience at some point in our life.

Maybe some of you're experiencing, feeling it now. But Romans 7 is not the end of the story, friends, Romans 7 is simply a stage that people go through when they see what the law reveals to them. When the law reveals itself in your life, then sin is revealed in your life. And you realize who you really are. Continues on. Verse 19, "For the good which I would, I do not. For the evil which I would not, that I do." I've shared this story with you before, but it stands... It would be good to share now. I remember distinctly, the determination in my little five, six-year-old heart, as I listened to a sermon one Sabbath morning that I was going to never sin again. I've determined, I wasn't going to. And you all can smile and laugh at that because you and I know the desire is not what? The power to acquire.

Desires by itself is kind of... We could be humorous when it's a five-year-old boy, but it's not humorous when it's a 40-year-old man or a 65-year-old lady, am I right? It no longer is it funny anymore, it's painful and it hurts. I remember that decision, I remember falling apart within about five minutes, as I got out to the parking lot and my sister and I fought nonstop when I was a kid. Just fighting and all that. And I realized then, the desire without the power to acquire is what? It's wretchedness. And when I got older, it became bigger things, not fighting with my sister, you know what I'm talking about. You get into scenarios and maybe you see your... Who you really are when you've children, I found that for myself. I found out, man, I'm not a patient person in any way, shape or form. I'm hotheaded, I knew that before, but you kind of hide it for a while when you're single person. And then I got married, it rose to the surface and I pushed it back down again, my good German genes. I can do what I want to do. But I tell you what? I'm not able to change Chuck Holtry. I'm wretched without God. Do any of you here have the power to acquire righteousness in your self?

No.

Are you sure? Yes. Is there not anyone here has the power to acquire righteousness by yourself? No. So you know what that means? You without Christ are wretched. Oh, wretched man that I am. Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? But, God has known the desire of our hearts. He knows, He plants that desire in our hearts and He gives us hope. More than that, He gives us power to acquire. And who is it found in? It's found in Jesus Christ. That was the answer. Romans 7 answer, I always said was in Romans 8. But now, I'd like to tell you, it's also in Romans 7. Romans 7:4, "Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ, that you should be married to another, even to him that is raised up from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God." It's awesome. It's being married to Christ. What does that look like? How does that play out? Come back next week. But it's being married to Christ that gives me the freedom from the experience of Romans 7.

He told us at the beginning of Romans 7, then we went through Romans 7 and got all depressed. And then at the end, in Romans 8, we're going to see this whole picture, what it means to live by the spirit and not live by the flesh. Beautiful picture. But we must understand Romans 7. Romans 7 is telling us the truth that we must understand and that is the desire to do good without the ability or power to acquire righteousness is wretchedness. Our only hope is found in Jesus Christ and that is the message of Romans 7. Remember, we started out with the story of indentured servant. Yes, we talked about how these indentured servants came and almost half of the immigrants coming into the US before 1750 were indentured servants. You know, they couldn't think for themselves, did you realize that? Can I get married?

No. Okay. Unless you ran away, then if you ran away, you get tracked down and brought back by the law. Right? Can I go and take a vacation? No. Can I get off at six tonight? No. Were they in charge of their lives? Absolutely not, and I can tell you from personal experience and I'm sure you could too, then that's what sin does to us. Have you been bondage to sin? You know what I'm talking about. I want to do this. No, you can't. I want to do this. No, you can't. I want righteousness. I want to be good, I want to have peace in my life. I want to have joy in my life. I want to have holiness in my life and I can't find it. That is experience of Romans 7. It's experience of an indentured servant, but Christ has fulfilled the obligation.

Amen.

Just want to remind you that there is a free book, if you want to call in, and this is for my watching audience as well as for those of you who are sitting here. It's a great book, I strongly suggest it. It's called "The Flesh and the Spirit-Understanding Romans 7." And you can get that at 1-866-788-3966. Just call 1-866-788-3966. I strongly suggest you do that. Happy reading. God bless you.

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