Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, "You shall not covet."  8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead.

 1. The value of the Law… Law reveals sin

V7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, "You shall not covet."

Me gennoita, no, no, no, no, unthinkable, may it never be...the strongest negative in the Greek language. On the contrary. The Law is not sin, but the Law reveals sin. I would not have come to know sin except through the Law. What are we going to conclude from all this? That the Law is evil? That is an outrageous thought...absolutely outrageous. But apparently it was a common thought because Paul addresses it again in Galatians 3 verse 21, "Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? Me gennoita,, no, no, no, may it never be."

Gal 3:21-26

Psalm 119:18, 34, 77, 92, 142 …….. read the whole chapter

The function of the law is to expose sin.  Today we call a drunk an alcoholic, he is sick, he has a disease.  We say a man that killed someone has a mental disease, and we have a name for everything that man does that is wrong, except what God calls it…..Sin.  A man has an affair, God says it is adultery.  We call it a white lie, we don’t want to hurt someone.  A child is strong willed and has fits when he doesn’t get his way, he is just selfish and needs to be taught who is boss.  We need to apply the Board of Education to the Seat of understanding (beat his behind).  David Jeremiah says that this deadly game we play is like taking a bottle of Poison off the shelf and replacing the label with one that says Essence of Peppermint.  The results are just as deadly.

Paul insists that he would not have come to know specific sins without their being identified as sin by the Law. The Law marks out the spiritual mine fields which we will encounter in life so that we might avoid them. The Law does not identify that which is good as sin so that we might be kept from enjoying it, but that which is evil so that we might be kept from suffering sin’s consequences. The Law posts warning signs around poisoned waters so that we might not drink of them.

I would not have come to know sin except through the Law. I thought I was doing fine until I really saw the Law for what it was.

Romans 3:20, Romans 4:15, Romans 5:20, Isaiah 6:5, 1Timothy 1:8-10

Chapter 5:20 "Law came in to increase the trespass" -- to increase the trespass -- that is what the Law is for! It was given to arouse the sin which was in man, and, thus, in making him sin all the more, it made him discover the utter futility of trying to please God by self-effort.

What does a child do when you tell them no, even at that age you see the sin nature of man, they will look right at you and do it to test you.

If you think you're blameless before the Law of God, you don't understand the Law of God

Charles Hodge, the great theologian, wrote, "The Law, although it cannot secure either the justification or the sanctification of men, performs an essential part in the economy of salvation. It enlightens conscience, it secures its verdict against a multitude of evils that we should not otherwise have recognized as sins. It arouses sin, in increases its power and making it both in itself and in our consciousness exceedingly sinful. It therefore produces that state of mind which is a necessary preparation for the reception of the gospel." He further says, "Conviction of sin, that is an adequate knowledge of its nature and a sense of its power over us, is an indispensable part of evangelical religion. Before the gospel can be embraced as a means of deliverance from sin, we must feel that we are deeply involved in corruption and misery." And further he says, "If our religious experience does not correspond with that, as detailed in the Scripture, we cannot be true Christians. Unless we have felt as Paul felt, we have not the religion of Paul and cannot expect to share his eternal reward

The whole effort of the Law comes down to this, it is to bring men into the sense of their sin so that they know they need to be saved and they know they need to be sanctified. It is to produce in them a permanent beatitude attitude where they mourn over their sin & feel inadequate & unworthy & weak.

It is no accident that Paul picks the 10th commandment to not covet.  We can look good on the outside to others, but inside we know that we want the things we cannot have.  Probably Paul selected the tenth commandment for his illustration because it deals with desires (i.e., illicit desires of every kind). Our desires are the roots of our actions. The tenth commandment is also the most convicting commandment. Everyone who is honest would have to admit that he or she has broken it. The law points out not only outward sin, but evil attitudes and intentions.

This commandment gives us a definition of coveting: to covet is to desire to have that which belongs to another, which cannot legitimately be ours. The command not to covet identifies as sin the desire to wrongfully possess that which belongs to another and instructs those who would obey God not to entertain such evil desires.

(1) Coveting is a matter of the heart. Paul chooses an invisible, internal sin.

(2) Coveting is one of the characteristic sins of the flesh. Our flesh has its appetites which often come into conflict with God’s revealed will. These appetites, or desires, are often forbidden lusts (see Galatians 5:16, 19; Ephesians 2:3; 2 Peter 2:10). Sin frequently overpowers our flesh by appealing to its lusts.

(3) Coveting is a root sin which is often the cause of other sins. Coveting in and of itself seems to do no harm to anyone, but it very frequently provides the motivation for stealing and even murder. To put a stop to coveting is to “head other sins off at the pass.”

(4) Coveting is a sin which best illustrates Paul’s statement, “I would not have come to know sin except through the Law” (verse 7). Coveting is a sin which is almost never considered a crime. Not all sins are crimes. I know of no government which has a law forbidding coveting. Part of the explanation for this is the difficulty of identifying coveting and proving that this offense has taken place, since it is a sin of the heart and mind. Murder, perjury, and robbery are sins, and they are also considered crimes by society. Most people do not think coveting is really wrong. In some societies, like our own, many forms of coveting would actually be commended rather than condemned.

(5) Coveting seems to lie at the root of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. In the account of the fall, every tree in the garden was “pleasing to the sight and good for food” (Genesis 2:9). Adam and Eve were given possession of virtually everything in the garden with the exception of one tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the fruit of which they were forbidden to eat (see Genesis 2:16-17). Satan successfully focused Eve’s attention and desire on the fruit of this tree. The result was that she seemed to focus only on the fruit of this forbidden tree as “pleasing to the sight and good for food,” and, in addition, “able to make her wise” (Genesis 3:6). Her first sin, therefore, seems to be that of lust—desiring that which she did not possess, which could not rightfully be hers.

All of this powerfully demonstrates Paul’s point. Unless God’s Law had identified coveting as a sin, we would never have recognized it as such. Coveting is like a tumor hidden inside our body. Because it is not external, like murder, we do not recognize its deadly existence and nature. The Law is like an x-ray, exposing it for what it is and warning us that we must deal with it.

Romans 10:1-4

What leads to true salvation is an understanding of the absolute righteousness of God, the utter holiness of God, the Law of God expresses His perfect righteousness and His holiness and puts a demand on every soul that if you break this Law in one place, you're damned. Where's that message today? What leads to true salvation is an overpowering, frightening sense of the implications of breaking the Law. Truth about righteousness and holiness and sin and judgment is what awakens the slumbering sinner.

Proverbs 16:6 says, "By fear of the Lord men depart from evil. " Why is anybody going to change his life if he has no fear of God? We have to alarm the sinner. We have to activate his conscience by informing him about the truth, not letting him have a conscience that responds only to a watered down morality that he has been taught by the world. We have to take the sinner, turn him face to face to the Law, square him up with the Law and make him see the standard of perfect righteousness, "Be ye holy even as I am holy." We have to preach righteousness and Law. By this, people understand their sin and they understand the consequence of their sin and the helplessness in which they exist.

2. The Law aggravates our Appetite or tendency for sin

V8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. The law doesn’t respect the weak or the strong.

Paul, like many of us today, was protected and sheltered and kept from exposure to serious temptations. He was raised in the Jewish culture, where everyone around him was sheltered also. Therefore, he grew up relatively untroubled with problems of sin.

Many young people, like Saul of Tarsus, think they have handled the problem. What about keeping the Law? It's not hard! Hardly any temptations come under these circumstances. These people think they have no struggles along this line. They have the world by the tail -- they can handle it. As Paul describes it, they are alive apart from the Law. But then comes a time when they are exposed. They are thrust out into a different lifestyle, a different crowd of people. They move out on their own and suddenly they find themselves removed from the shelter and protection and love and cultural defenses that have been theirs from childhood on. Perhaps the new crowd -- as a way of life -- does things that these sheltered young people have been taught are wrong.

Now, for the first time, they feel the force of the prohibition of the Law. The Law says, "Thou shalt not covet, commit adultery, murder, steal ..." -- whatever it may be. And yet the crowd around them says, "Let's do it -- it's fun!" For the first time, they begin to feel the prohibition of the Law. Then a strange phenomenon happens. Something about that situation arouses within them a strong desire to do the things that are prohibited. Maybe they are able to resist them for a while, but, nevertheless, they find themselves pressured, pushed by something within them that wants very badly to do these things.

When young people, raised in sheltered homes, move out on their own -- perhaps when they go to college, or get a job, or move to another city -- they find that suddenly all the control they had seemed to be exercising over evil vanishes. They give way and are plunged into an orgy of evil, in one form or another.

The Problem today is kids are exposed at such an early age to things that they were shielded from years ago.

Phil 3:1-7

Mark 7:4, 8-13, Gal 1:14

One illustration of what Paul had in mind here is the story of the temptation and Fall in Genesis 3. Whenever someone establishes a law prohibiting something, the natural tendency of people is to resist it. If you tell a small child, "Don't do such-and-such," you may create a desire within him or her to do it, a desire that was not there before.

"Suppose a man determined to drive his automobile to the very limit of its speed. If . . . signs along the road would say, No Speed Limit, the man's only thought would be to press his machine forward. But now suddenly he encounters a road with frequent signs limiting speed to thirty miles an hour. The man's will rebels, and his rebellion is aroused still further by threats: Speed Limit Strictly Enforced. Now the man drives on fiercely, conscious both of his desire to 'speed,' and his rebellion against restraint. The speed limit signs did not create the wild desire to rush forward: that was there before. But the notices brought the man into conscious conflict with authority



Romans 7:1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another--to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. 6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.


Romans 7 is an explanation or exposition of Romans 6:14

"Does the Law help us, as believers, to handle the problem of sin in our lives?" Again, the answer is both, "Yes," and "No." Yes, the Law does help us -- but only up to a point. It will help us to define the problem. But no, the Law is no help at all when it comes to delivering us. It can't help us -- in fact, it will only make things worse. Paul deals with the last part of this question first.

The more you think about something, even when trying not to do it, then it becomes tougher to forget.  That is the way it is with the law.  When you try not to do something then you are thinking about it.  It is not about trying to do right.  You can no more be saved by the law, than you can be sanctified or made holy by it.  So the trick is not to try to do right, but what?  Be filled with the Spirit

2 Corinthians 10:5  casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

Galatians 5:16  I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.


 V1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?

The Law Paul mentions here is a reference to a standard of conduct, or behavior, which is expected of men. The Ten Commandments

They are a standard of conduct, isn't it? That, of course, is the Law that Paul talks about here -- the Law that was given to Israel. But Paul already has made clear in Chapter 2 that, in a wider sense, the Law is present among men everywhere. Have you ever listened to people talking about their experiences and relationships with other people? Listen for a while, and you will hear a phrase like this: "I don't think that is fair." What do these people mean? What is it that determines whether a thing is fair or not? It is obviously some unspoken standard of conduct or behavior that both the speaker and the listener have in mind which is universally understood without speaking.

Some might put it this way: "I think this is the right thing to do." There, again, is an unspoken standard of behavior. Somebody says, "I'm going to get even!" How do you know when you are even? There is an unspoken standard in mind. So, as Paul points out in Chapter 2, the Law really is everywhere; it is embedded in the hearts of men. There is an undescribed, unspoken standard of conduct to which we all refer. Every man everywhere thinks in these terms, no matter what his background may be.


Imagine a hearse speeding on its way to the cemetery and racing through a radar trap. In hot pursuit, a motorcycle policeman speeds after the hearse. When the hearse pulls over, the policeman does not go to the driver, but he goes to the back door of the hearse where he opens the casket and slips the traffic ticket inside. Pretty ridiculous, is it not? No one can expect the law to have authority over a dead man.



1 Corinthians 7:39 A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.


Jeremiah 3:1 "They say, ‘If a man divorces his wife, And she goes from him And becomes another man’s, May he return to her again?’ Would not that land be greatly polluted? But you have played the harlot with many lovers; Yet return to Me," says the LORD.



1.           The Law is making them discouraged and they don't like it. In certain areas of their lives they see defeat, and so they attempt to get people's attention off this area of failure and onto areas where they feel they have succeeded. That is why they are always pointing out the areas of their success and boasting about how well they are doing. They want to keep us from looking at that other area where they are failing. The Law produces failure. Therefore, one of the first marks of a person who is living under the Law is that he is always pointing out how well he is doing. Isn't that strange?

2.           Another mark of people who are living under the Law is that they are always critical of others. This is another diversionary tactic. Why are people critical of others? Well, if you succeed in getting your friends' eyes fastened on other people, they won't look at you. And you feel justified because the faults you point out in other people aren't the same faults you feel guilty of. You know, God plays some amazing tricks with us. He so blinds our eyes, or allows Satan to do so, that invariably the things we criticize others for are the very things that we ourselves are guilty of. And we don't know it! You see, the Law is producing this sense of failure and defeat, and we are constantly adjusting to it and compensating for it by criticizing others.

3.           Another mark of those under the Law is that they are always reluctant to admit any error or fault in their own lives. It is hard to get them to admit it. They feel very heavily the standard of conduct they are expected to have, so they pretend they are living up to it, even though they don't. They hate to admit defeat because that means they must change.

4.           Another symptom of those under the Law is that they invariably are subject to times of inner boredom and depression, and oftentimes experience outward symptoms of depression and discouragement and defeat. They go through times of utter, sheer boredom. That is the sign of someone under the Law. The Law is doing its work condemning, and that sense of condemnation produces depression of spirit. Did you know this? You see, you can't understand this passage unless you know what the Law does. That is why I keep asking "Do you know it?" If you know this, you can see that this is a major problem in the church today. This is what has gone wrong with so much of the church in America today. Now, therefore, we must understand Paul's application of this illustration. Let's get it now in Verses 4-6:


Deuteronomy 24:1-4


Romans 7:6

But, according to this, we died to the Law through the death of our first husband. When Jesus was crucified, that first husband died. And now we are free from the condemnation of the Law. We are married to another, Christ risen from the dead. So now, when we seek to be righteous and to do righteous things and to be loving and kind, we are no longer hypocrites. This is the point Paul wants to make. We are doing what we really are. We are tied to Jesus. His life is ours and we are acting according to our true nature.


We are married to a new husband. And because we share his life and power, we are not only able to be what he is, but we are also free from any condemnation or failure in our struggle along the way. We don't always act right, but the Law doesn't condemn us. The Law's purpose was to condemn, and we can't be condemned anymore because we are not hypocrites. We are doing what we were designed to do. We have a new identity. No longer bound to our failures, we can admit them and forget them. We don't have to have them clinging to us; we no longer have to believe that God is unhappy with us because we don't always live exactly right. He has made provision for this. It is not a fraud when we go back to God again and again and accept from his hand his forgiveness.

Therefore, it is not law that straightens us out, it is love. We no longer need the Law to straighten us out, but we have love to do so. We are free to fail and still be loved. And we are also free to win in the new power given to us.




Romans 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?  17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


                In Chapter 6 Paul declares that God, through the death of Jesus, not only died for us, but we also died with him. That is a great truth. When God says he set us free from the life of Adam and linked us to the life of Christ, he really did. Through for quite a long time our feelings will tell us differently, God wants us to understand this. We are to believe it regardless of how we feel, because what he says is true. If we will believe it, despite our feelings, we will soon discover that it is true. More and more we shall enter into the realization of this tremendous thing -- that we can be good in Christ as easily as we were bad in Adam.

Choose Your Master


Another reason not to continue in sin is explained in terms of servitude.  We become slaves to that which we obey, either sin to death or God for righteousness (15-16).


      1. Either of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness


v15 Look at v1, it is different than 15 Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound.

V15  What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!

As Charles Spurgeon put it, "An unchanged life is the mark of an unchanged heart, and an unchanged heart is a sign of an unregenerate life."

If there is no change, if your attitudes are the same, if your outlook is the same -- then there is a very serious doubt as to whether you ever became a Christian at all! That is what is involved in the question of Romans 6:1.

V15 The other question is not, "Shall we continue to abide in sin," but, rather, "Should we sin even once now that we are not under law but under grace?"

See how God so beautifully uses these Old Testament stories to illustrate the tremendous truths of the New Testament. One of the most effective books of the Old Testament in this respect is the book of Joshua, for it gives us the picture of Israel entering the land -- and the land is always a picture of the fullness of the Spirit, the walk in Christ, that we are talking about here in Romans.

As Israel came out of the wilderness of self-effort across the river Jordan and into the land, the first obstacle that lay in their pathway was the tremendous city of Jericho, with its great, high walls -- tremendous walls, we are told. Archeologists, who have now laid bare the foundations of these very walls, tell us that they were very likely over 100 feet high and some 50-60 feet thick. This was an impregnable fortress. "Joshua fought the battle of Jericho and the walls came tumbling down." Actually, it wasn't a fight at all: As they surrounded the city in the name of the Lord, and in the strength of the indwelling presence of God in their midst, the walls simply fell down flat -- that is all.

We discover that here is a picture of the life of victory that comes in laying hold of the truths in Romans 6. As we discover and apply this truth, problems that have been insurmountable obstacles to us, problems that have baffled us and mocked us and conquered us for years, simply disappear as we lay hold of the indwelling life of Jesus Christ -- and it is wonderful. We begin to experience victory.

After the battle of Jericho, we see an account of the greed of one man, named Achan, in the camp of Israel who coveted part of what God had set aside for himself. The result was a thorough defeat at the little village of Ai. All this is a picture of what we are talking about here in Romans 6:1-14. We see the principle that brings about victories like the victory of Jericho, but, in Verse 15 to the end of the chapter, we see some of the problems that arise that make possible a defeat like Ai.

We discover the joy of deliverance. Then we also discover that the old life still has power to tempt us and draw us back into its control. We realize that, even though it is true that Jesus Christ lives within us to be all that he is (which is all that we need), nevertheless the temptation is to strike a balance and work out a compromise. We find ourselves wanting to draw on Christ for the power to meet the times of stress that come -- the big problems -- but we rather like to put on the old comfortable slippers of the flesh the rest of the time, and enjoy that.

But part-time victory is also part-time defeat, and this is where the problem lies.

A little root growing into a sidewalk eventually destroys it.

v16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

Voluntary slaves trapped in poverty and at least would be housed and fed, gave up all their freedom

John 8: 31-37

v17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.

Rom 3:10-12

Mt 7:20-27

 1John 1:6-10

1John 2:4

1Co 15:3

They were formed or shaped by the Word of God… We used to say shape up soldier or go into the service and they will shape you up or make you a better person.

As the Spirit of God makes us aware of wrong things, these areas must be faced and surrendered to the place of death where God puts them.

Then we must make this real by believing that fact -- that all of it is worthless in God's sight -- ambition, everything!

Do you see? When we come to that place, then we begin to realize victory. But, if we compromise a little, we will soon be back in the old cycle of defeat and barrenness that we knew for so long. However, Paul points out that it also works the other way around. You choose Christ in these struggles and you find that he grows on you, and he gets a grip on you. The power, and the glory, and the strength of his life begin to grow stronger and stronger.

v18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

The underlying truth of the passage is that man is made to be mastered by something. We need a cause. Every young person is looking for a cause to live for, and to die for. When we are not aware of any cause in our life worthy of the effort, we flounder and feel depraved and deprived and hopeless. And the amazing thing is that, in all of life, there are only two possible masters: Either Christ or self; either one or the other.

Jesus said, "No man can serve two masters," Matt 6:24

Obedience to any of it puts you under the power of all of it

Sow an Act, reap a habit, sow a habit, reap a character, sow a character, reap a life, destiny, and eternity

V19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.

Serving righteousness produces holiness

There is a continual choice, and the choice makes possible further victories. Little choices make little victories grow into larger victories. What Paul is simply saying is: Now choose your master. You can have only one. You can't have both.


How important it is that they continue to do so is to be seen in the outcome of serving sin contrasted to serving God.  Serving sin earns death, but in serving God one receives the gift of eternal life in

Christ Jesus (20- 23)!

Heb 11:25  choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,

Sin is pleasureable for a season    

Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

1.      Serving sin produces death (20-21)

2.      Serving God produces the fruit of holiness, and in the end,  eternal life (22)

3.      The wages of sin is death, but God gives the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (23)

Wage meant pocket money given to slaves, a wage is something that impacts your life now and in the future.

You will have an empty Christian life if you are not holy and under God’s control.  (living death)

Unhappiest person alive is a Christian out of fellowship with God.

Gift means grace gift, and undeserved, unearned, free gift.

Psalm 73

Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.

Do you know who you are? Rev 1:6, 1 Peter 2:9-10

Josh 24:15 Choose you this day whom you will serve"


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