Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Romans 7

I think Romans 7 really described the experience of an unsaved Jewish person under the Law - not so much Paul's personal experience after he got converted, baptised and filled with the Spirit.

The experience described in chapter 7 could also be compared with the Gentiles' need of God - since although they didn't have the law, they had the law written
in their hearts, and were still found sinners. Like Jews, they still needed something more - and that is Jesus Christ!

So Paul made a point of mentioning the powerlessness of the law, in comparison to the effectiveness of the Gospel of the grace of God, and the indwelling Spirit - so people wouldn't fall from the grace of God and go back to something which couldn't save.

In Paul's day it was still possible for new-believers among the Gentiles to literally become Observant of Moses' Law if they'd wanted to - with all of its rituals and ceremonies. Paul's statements about the Law were therefore addressing
an issue which was pertinent for their times. Paul was determined that the Gospel which was spreading among the Gentiles stayed true, effective and free.

But Moses' system of Law doesn't exist anymore, as the composite religious, ceremonial, ritualistic and civil unit that it was then. So no-one today really faces the same issue that Paul had to deal with, not quite in the same way anymore anyway. So we don't face exactly the same experience described inRomans 7. Not exactly.

I don't think it describes a Christian. We've already been delivered from sin. We aren't still in need of a second work of grace. We're not in a wilderness still needing to cross over Jordan into a sanctified life. By one offering He has perfected forever them that are sanctified!

We could say that Romans 7 by application illustrated the needlessness of Gentile believers in Jesus becoming Observant of Moses' Law - because why should they adopt something which wasn't able to save Jews in the first place.
But I never was Observant of the Law, and I can't become Observant of it even I want to: because its infrastructure simply doesn't exist anymore.

So instead of thinking Romans 7 describes the ordinary everyday struggle of Christians, realising that the system of Law has been superseded, we can simply look away to Jesus. We've already arrived at the end of the chapter. We're
already in chapter 8. We're not under the Law - and can never become Observant of it. Our part is simply to reckon ourselves dead indeed unto sin. To walk in
the Spirit. To believe the grace of God.

Certainly there still is divine law. And every human being has had to come to the Lord and be saved. So if we sin despite being a Christian, confess our sins and be cleansed of all unrighteousness. But my struggle has never been with Moses' Law. It just hasn't.

So either way, whether it was Moses’ Law (in the experience described in Romans 7), or divine law still written in the hearts of all men today – we’re not still in Romans 7. We’ve been saved already! Hallelujah!

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