Romans - Lesson 29

Romans 7:1-6

Lesson 29
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Romans 7:1-6

III. The Assurance Provided by the Gospel: The Hope of Salvation (5:1–8:39)

A. The Hope of Glory (5:1-21)

1. From Justification to Salvation (5:1-11)

2. The Reign of Grace and Life (5:12-21)

B. Freedom from Bondage to Sin (6:1-23)

1. "Dead to Sin" through Union with Christ (6:1-14)

2. Freed from Sin's Power to Serve Righteousness (6:15-23)

C. Freedom from Bondage to the Law (7:1-25)

1. Released from the Law, Joined to Christ (7:1-6)

2. The History and Experience of Jews under the Law (7:7-25)

a. The Coming of the Law (7:7-12)

b. Life under the Law (7:13-25)

D. Assurance of Eternal Life in the Spirit (8:1-30)

1. The Spirit of Life (8:1-13)

2. The Spirit of Adoption (8:14-17)

3. The Spirit of Glory (8:18-30)

E. The Believer's Security Celebrated (8:31-39)

  • This lesson offers a deep dive into Paul's Letter to the Romans, revealing its pastoral aims, Paul's intentions to visit Spain, Jerusalem, and Rome, and its relevance to early Christian dynamics and theological inquiries about the Law in Christ's time.
  • This lesson offers a fresh view of Paul's theology, focusing on Romans. It emphasizes the first-century context, highlighting Gentile inclusion and unity in Christ, challenging traditional views. Gain insights into Paul's message and its relevance today.
  • Explore the book of Romans for modern faith conflicts: balance tradition with contemporary practices, learn from history, and grasp Paul's ministry and Gospel's complexities.
  • Follow along with Dr. Moo as he begins a thorough review of Romans 1:2-5. You will learn how Paul emphasizes Jesus' earthly life, resurrection, and his appointment as the Son of God in power. This lesson examines the interconnectedness of faith and obedience, underscoring that while faith initiates salvation, genuine faith inherently entails obedience to Christ as Lord, maintaining a balanced Christian life.
  • By delving into Romans 1:16-17, you'll understand the Gospel extends beyond individual salvation, encompassing God's reign over creation and His establishment of justice. The Gospel challenges worldly powers, offering hope and transformation to all who embrace it.
  • Listen along as the class discusses questions and answers revolving around Romans 1:16-17.
  • In Romans 1:18-28, you learn that all people are held accountable by God, having knowledge of Him through natural revelation but some turn away. This passage highlights the manifestation of God's wrath against sin, the exchange of truth for falsehoods, and the absence of excuses for humanity's actions, ultimately emphasizing God's fair judgment.
  • Listen in as the class and Dr. Moo discuss aspects of Romans 1:18-28.
  • The lesson discusses Romans 2:1-11, it highlights the use of the diatribe device and the transition from focusing on Gentiles to Jews. It underscores the Jewish belief in their special status and their potential misunderstanding of God's judgment. The lesson reviews the focus of the text on key themes such as judgment, righteousness, and the relationship between faith and good deeds.
  • In this lesson, you'll review the significance of the Law, notably the Law of Moses, in God's judgment. Paul stresses that mere knowledge of the Law isn't sufficient for righteousness; obedience is key. The primary message is that salvation ultimately relies on God's grace and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as human efforts and consciences alone cannot secure salvation. This lesson highlights the importance of understanding these concepts in interactions with people of different religious beliefs.
  • The key takeaway in this lesson is that while being a Jew comes with a great heritage, it doesn't guarantee salvation. Obedience to God's law is crucial, and reliance on religious heritage or rituals won't save you. The lesson emphasizes the universal human condition of being under the power of sin, and people cannot be declared righteous in God’s sight by observing the Law or by the works of the Law. Only through faith in Christ are we made righteous.
  • This lesson explores the New Perspective on Paul, emphasizing that the Law was for Jewish covenant status, not just salvation. It promotes a holistic faith view, balancing vertical and horizontal aspects, Spirit-led obedience, and 1st-century Judaism diversity, enriching Pauline teachings in the church.
  • In exploring Romans 3:21-26, you'll gain insights into the relationship between righteousness, faith, and salvation. Paul highlights God's righteousness, which is accessible to all through faith in Jesus Christ. By weaving together themes of righteousness, faith, and inclusivity, Paul challenges conventional Jewish and Gentile perspectives, emphasizing the continuity of God's salvation plan while underscoring the centrality of faith in Christ for all believers.
  • In this lesson, you will gain insights into the potential challenge in translating Romans 3:23-24, particularly the term "all" and its connection to the debate on universalism in evangelicalism. Dr. Moo stresses the importance of coherence in biblical interpretation and explores the themes of God's righteousness, faith, and grace in justification. The lesson reviews the cultural background of redemption, drawing parallels with the Greco-Roman slave market and emphasizing the need to understand both the problem of sin and the Gospel solution.
  • Embarking on this lesson, you'll gain insight into the historical development and contemporary challenges surrounding the doctrine of justification. Through exploring classic Reformation principles and contemporary reassessments, you'll understand the tensions between Protestant and Roman Catholic perspectives, particularly regarding the infusion of righteousness and the role of grace.
  • The lesson explores the intricate connection between faith and works, justification, and sanctification in contemporary theological discourse. It delineates divergent views on justification, with scholars like Piper advocating for the preservation of biblical distinctions amidst modern theological trends. The lesson examines key questions regarding the meaning, basis, time, and means of justification.
  • Students in Dr. Moo's class ask multiple questions about justification.
  • By studying Romans 3:27-4:25, you gain insight into Paul's theology, where faith, exemplified by Abraham's righteousness, transcends works and ethnicity, emphasizing the universal scope of salvation through Christ.
  • Hear the questions the students ask regarding Romans 3:27–4:25. And discover Dr. Moo's answers to the questions posed.
  • In Romans 5 – 8, you gain insights into profound theological concepts like justification, identity in Christ, and the tension between present reality and future hope, guiding you to embrace your changed identity and hope for future transformation amidst life's trials.
  • Students as deep questions about Romans 5-8. Hear what Dr. Moo presents as answers to their questions.
  • Through Romans 5:1-11, you'll review the contrast between the Old and New Realms, understanding the essence of living in grace, finding hope amid suffering, and experiencing the assurance of eternal security rooted in Christ's sacrifice and God's love poured into believers' hearts by the Holy Spirit.
  • In Romans 5:12-21, Paul contrasts Adam's sin with Christ's redemptive grace, emphasizing humanity's hope and victory over death through union with Christ, while various interpretations of original sin underscore the universal need for redemption and Christ's pivotal role in restoring humanity to God.
  • Listen to the thorough questions the students ask regarding Romans 5:12-21.
  • The students ask excellent questions of Dr. Moo in this insightful discussion on Romans 6:1-14.
  • Through this lesson, you will gain a deeper understanding of the theological implications of Christ's death and resurrection as explained in Romans 6. You will explore different interpretations of Paul's language regarding the old self and the new self, considering the implications for the Christian life. Ultimately, you will be challenged to recognize your identity in Christ and to actively live according to that identity, rejecting the slavery of sin and embracing servitude to God.
  • Hear the questions the students ask of Dr. Moo regarding Romans 6:1-23.
  • In diving into Romans 7, you'll explore the Law's role in Christian life. Paul's discourse clarifies the distinction between law and gospel, emphasizing the Torah's significance in understanding divine commandments.
  • Class discussion on Romans 7:1-6
  • In Romans 7:7-12, Paul explores the Law's role in intensifying sin and contrasts it with Christ's liberation. His narrative prompts reflection on individual experience and collective identity, enriching understanding of Christian faith.
  • The class discusses the previous lesson on Romans 7:7-12.
  • This lesson covers interpretations of Romans 7:13-25; whether Paul's description is of pre- or post-conversion struggle with the Law.
  • In Romans 8:1-22, discover the Spirit's transformative power over sin, leading to a life free from condemnation, intimacy with God, and anticipation of future glory amid present sufferings.
  • Explore the theological insights on environmental stewardship, emphasizing Christian responsibility in light of Romans 8:19-22.
  • Gain insights into Romans 8:23-27, understanding destined glory despite present suffering. The Spirit intercedes, bridging current and promised futures, offering assurance amid weakness.
  • Romans 8:28 offers profound insights into the nature of God's providence and the believer's journey of faith. Beyond its surface meaning, the verse challenges misconceptions about 'good' and underscores the transformative power of God's grace. It invites believers to trust in God's unfailing love amidst life's trials, anchoring their hope in the assurance of His sovereign care and redemptive purposes.
  • Romans 9:1-5 highlights Paul's profound concern for Israel's salvation and the theological complexities surrounding God's promises. Reviewing salvation history, you'll learn that God's offer of salvation for both Jew and Gentile, fits within the Old Testament narrative.
  • Paul discusses Israel's role in God's plan, emphasizing grace over race. He illustrates divine choices and sovereignty, sparking debates on salvation.
  • Discover diverse views on election, Israel's struggle with faith, and the significance of overcoming theological narrowness in Romans 9:30-10:21. Gain insights into law versus faith in attaining righteousness and the importance of engaging deeply with Scripture for a comprehensive understanding.
  • Gain insights into faith versus works, Christ as the culmination of the Law, and the inclusivity of righteousness through Him. Embrace unity in Christ, transcending cultural divisions, and embodying love and holiness.
  • Gain insight into contrasting righteousness by law vs. faith in Romans 10:5-13. Accessibility of salvation through Christ bridges Old and New Testament teachings, emphasizing unity and continuity.
  • Gain insights into Romans 10:14-21, emphasizing faith, preaching, and Israel's reception of the message. Dr. Moo highlights Paul's use of Old Testament quotes and God's ongoing relationship with Israel, revealing the significance of faith and salvation.
  • Gain insight into Romans 11:11-15. Paul discusses Jewish rejection, Gentile salvation, and Jewish inclusion, aiming to provoke Jewish envy. The phrase "life from the dead" hints at spiritual renewal or future resurrection.
  • Gain insights into the Olive Tree analogy in Romans 11:16-24. Understand humility, faithfulness, and the purpose of warning passages in Scripture.
  • Discover the mystery of Israel's salvation in Romans 11:25-32. Paul reveals unity of Jews and Gentiles, challenging arrogance and emphasizing God's inclusive love.
  • Gain deeper understanding of Christian-Jewish ties, navigate theological challenges, address Israel-Palestine tensions, and embrace God's inclusive grace.
  • Gain deep insights into Romans 12:1-2: True worship extends beyond rituals, urging sacrificial living and transformation in response to God's mercy.
  • In Romans 12:3-8, Paul stresses humility, unity, and diverse gifts within the body of Christ, urging faithful stewardship for the edification of the body of Christ.
  • Gain insights into love's complexity in Romans 12:9-21. Paul urges sincere affection, alludes to Jesus' teachings, and prompts contemplation on love and judgment.
  • Gain insights into balancing submission to authorities with obedience to God. Understand the context of Paul's exhortation to Roman Christians and the complexities of submission, emphasizing humility, unity, and love in the Christian life within God's sovereignty.

Dr. Douglas Moo, from Wheaton College Graduate School, offers an exegetical examination of the book of Romans. This course was recorded during a D.Min. seminar at the Carolina Graduate School of Divinity in May 2012.

Please note that the audio mp3 file numbers on downloaded files are two greater than each lecture number beginning with number 15.

Dr. Douglas Moo 
Romans 7:1-6  
Lesson Transcript


Romans 7:1-6: 

Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. So then, if she has married another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man. So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code


A. You Died to the Law: 

So, there are basically three parts to this paragraph. There is an introductory illustration about marriage; then in verse 4 the central theological point Paul is making; and in verses 5-6, Paul explains that theological point further. 

The whole analogy to marriage isn’t easy to understand. There are a lot of people who try to find allegory here. Let me explain that for a moment. The difference between allegory and illustration; an allegory can illustrate. In an allegory, and the parables of Jesus provide a good example here, , you have a story with specific components. In an allegory, each of these components has significance. For example, Augustine’s interpretation of the parable of the Good Samaritan says that every element in the story has significance. Jericho has meaning, Jerusalem has meaning, the wounds that the victim on the road suffers has significance, the oil and wine that the Samaritan uses to minister to the person, each of those have symbolic significance, and so forth. An allegory here then would say that the woman stands for something, the first husband stands for something, and the second husband stands for something. Each has a significant point of application. 

I am using the word illustration rather loosely here, but an illustration takes a different approach. An illustration says that you have details in a story but those details don’t themselves have significance. It is the communication of the details together making one basic point. This is often how the parables of Jesus work. Some of them have allegorical elements; Jesus Himself tells us that at times. However, in most of the parables of Jesus, they are stories with some detail that are intended to make a single point to illustrate something. 

I gave you now illustration yesterday of my children driving a small car in an amusement park long ago. Were you to assume that the amusement park stood for something, that the car they were driving stood for something? The steering wheel stood for something, and everything stood for something? Is that what I wanted you to get out of all of that? No, all of those were details to make a point. I think essentially that is what’s happening here in verses 2-3. Paul is telling a story about marriage and how marriage works, moving from one husband to another simply to make the basic point that when a death occurs, the law no longer applies in the same way. That is the point he makes in verse 4. You died to the Law. You remember the discussion we had yesterday about being dead to sin? It is the same language here. This is very bold actually; isn’t the Law something God gave the people? Isn’t the Law something that reflects God’s own holiness and goodness? How can Paul say that we need to die to the Law, the same way that we need to die to sin? That is what sets up the question in verse 7 here. Paul realizes that he has to explain this. It sounds like the Law is an evil thing, just like sin is an evil thing. 

So, what is it that Paul is saying here when he tells us that we are people who have died to the Law? We have a basic question raised in terms of the way we read our Bibles. How do we read a really significant part of the Old Testament? If you are preaching through Leviticus, what is your congregation supposed to take out of that book? How does it relate to Christians? Christians have come to very different conclusions about this. 

I have two quotations here that illustrate the range of opinion. How are we as Christians supposed to view the Old Testament Law? Greg Bahnsen in a book called Theonomy written about twenty-five years ago said that “The Christian must observe even the minute details of God’s law... The NT believers are responsible to keep the older Testament law, for it has abiding validity until the world passes away.” (G. Bahnsen, Theonomy, 490) Some will see allusion here to the Matthew 5:18 passage where Jesus says that not a jot or iota will fall from the Law until all is accomplished. 

Steven Westerholm on the other hand (both of these are fine evangelical scholars by the way) says “Christians are free from obligation to the law…. the will of God is no longer defined as an obligation to observe the law’s statutes. (S. Westerholm, Israel’s Law & the Church’s Faith, 208,209)


B. The Three Basic Categories of the Old Testament Law: 

So, let’s talk about this as a theological issue for a little. I think as you look at the history of the discussion, you get three basic options. There has been the tradition of looking at the Old Testament Law and dividing it into three basic categories. First, you have the ceremonial law: laws about sacrifices, ceremonies, observance of festivals and feasts, etc. Second, you have the civil law: statues and provisions in the Law God gave Israel that govern the way they were to live as a nation. This included the appointment of judges in certain places, appoint cities of refuge so that someone who has committed a crime can flee there for refuge for a bit, various laws of this kind. Finally, you have what people call the moral law which tended to be identified with the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments, maybe not confined to it, but that has usually been the focus of the moral law  . 

A very wide number of Christians think the New Testament claims is that while Christ in His sacrifice fulfills the ceremonial law, so we are not to do it any longer in the way it was given to us; and while with the coming of Christ, we no longer have the nation of Israel, so the civil law comes to an end; God’s moral law continues to be applicable to Christians fully. There is no change in the continuity of the moral law. This is deeply built into not only Christianity but our culture also. The Ten Commandments become a way of focusing and summarizing what the Christian obligation is. I would guess that this is the most popular view among Christians at least in North America.


C. The Theonomy View: 

This was really popular for a while but it has now fallen out of favor. It tended to be a view held in some extreme reformed circles. Greg Bahnsen is an example of someone who argues the Theonomy view. You may have heard of the Christian Reconstruction Movement that argues that America society should be built on the Old Testament Law. So that, for example, we should continue to stone adulterers which would be an interesting thing to see in our society. 

The point that they are arguing is, we see no evidence, theonomists claim, that God intended the civil law to stop. Going back to that quotation from Bahnsen, the idea is that you start from what the Old Testament says. God gives a law and we must assume that the Law God gives His people is in force until He says it isn’t. Only God has a right to say that we don’t have to follow His laws anymore. The New Testament clearly says that the ceremonial law isn’t in effect anymore. Hebrews, for instance, is fairly explicit about that; we don’t have to do the sacrifices anymore; Christ’s once for all sacrifice takes care of all of that. 

But the argument is, according to the theonomists, there is no evidence in the New Testament where God tells us to stop obeying the civil law. No text clearly says that. So, we have to assume that God intends the civil law also to be applicable to His people. This view was popular about twenty to twenty-five years ago. Rashdoony and Gary North supported this back in those days. I believe that it was an attempt on the part of Christians to say that our society is going to hell in a handbasket., the moral relativism of our age; how do we keep that from happening? One way to do that is to say let’s keep the civil law in effect. Let’s keep the Old Testament Law with its standards fully applicable. It is going to give us a moral compass that we don’t otherwise have.


D. The New Covenant Law: 

So, we have three options of which the first two are wrong. The third option is the correct view; at least the view I hold (laughter). 

I don’t think both of these views are radical enough. I don’t think they are radical enough to do justice to what Paul is saying here. You have died to the Law. It doesn’t say you’ve died to part of the Law, to some of the Law; you have died to the Law. As I read the New Testament, this is consistently the way the Law of God is treated. James makes this explicit in James chapter 2. He says that if you break one of the commandments, you are guilty of the whole because it’s a package. Paul in Galatians 5 argues the same way. If you want to be circumcised, you must commit yourself to the whole law. The Law is a single entity, it’s a package, you cannot pick and choose in it. 

So, the view I think does more justice to the New Testament evidence taken as a whole, sees the Law of Moses to be in its entirety something that is no longer directly applicable to the Christian. Putting it in a very simplistic way and moving from the text in 1 Corinthians 9:20-21, God’s law is given to His Old Covenant people in the form of the Torah. God’s New Covenant law however is given to His people in the form of Christ’s Law; the language Paul uses here and in Galatians 6:2. 

Now to make this a little more accurate or complicated, it is very clear in the New Testament that nine of the Ten Commandments are picked up from God’s Old Testament Law and applied to believers. There are obviously elements of the Old Testament Law that are picked up and restated and directly applied to Christians in the New Covenant law. 

The one exception is the Sabbath command. This becomes a real sticking point for those who argue for a continuity of the moral law. As our Seventh Day Adventist friends remind us, consistency would require us to continue worshiping on Saturday and resting on Saturday because that is the Sabbath day. They are absolutely right in terms of consistency there. If the Ten Commandments are eternal moral law applicable in the way God gave them to His people forever, then we are required to worship and rest on Saturday.  That becomes a real issue then when we think about some of the options here. 


E. The Law of Christ: 

So, when Paul says that we are not under the Law, the Torah, when he says that we have died to it, he is reminding us as Christians who now belong to the New Covenant, we are no longer directly responsible for God’s Old Testament Law. We can look at the laws of different states; if you commit a crime under one state’s law, another state cannot try you for that law even if they have a lot of similarities. You are obliged to a certain set of laws based on where you live. 

So, as Christians we are obliged to what I would call the Law of Christ which is the fulfillment of the Law of Moses. I think when Jesus talks about fulfilling the law in Matthew 5:17, the point He is making is that His teaching which He gives us in the Sermon on the Mount, and the teaching of the apostles whom He appoints, fulfills the Law of Moses. It is that which the Law of Moses was pointing toward and anticipating in salvation history. 

Student Question:   
You don’t believe that Christ is talking about His perfect obedience to the Law? 

Dr. Moo:   
No, I don’t think that can be what it is saying. He said that He had not come to abolish the Law, but He came to fulfill the Law. Immediately He goes on to talk about the commandments that are applicable in verse 19, and in verses 21-48, He talks about His teaching, “You have heard it said, but I say to you.” The issue there is Jesus’ teaching, not His own life or obedience.

Student Question: 
Are you saying He is rightly interpreting the Law?

Dr. Moo:   
No, I don’t think He is interpreting the Law.  I think He is saying Moses said this; I’m saying that.  If you think about those so-called antitheses, they work in different ways.  Moses says don’t murder; I’m saying don’t hate. You could say, maybe Jesus is saying behind murder is the emotion of hate, so that’s included or something.  But when He quotes the Old Testament that says you shall repay your oaths or vows, Jesus says don’t take them at all. That’s not interpreting that Law, that is changing it.

Student Question:   
What are you saying that he means that the law is fulfilled?

Dr. Moo:   
It means the same thing it means throughout Matthew; that the New Covenant realities are anticipated by and pointed to by the old covenant realities. So, just as Israel’s history is fulfilled in Christ, “Out of Egypt I have called my Son” in Matthew 2:15, that is a fulfillment Matthew says, when Jesus and His family come from Egypt to Israel again. It’s a statement about Israel’s history that is fulfilled. 

The idea of fulfillment here is much bigger than we sometimes make it. It doesn’t simply mean prophecy/fulfillment; it means the whole Old Testament and all of its parts - history, institutions, law, prophecies, all of it – anticipates and is fulfilled in the New Testament, obviously in varies ways.