Romans - Lesson 33

Romans 7:13-25

Lesson 33
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Romans 7:13-25

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)


Class Resources
  • 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.

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.

Romans 7:13-25




This transcript follows the main points of the speaker but is not always word-for-word.



A. Deliverance in Christ is the Only Solution: So, the second part of Romans 7:13-25; we have the famous debate about what kind of experience Paul is talking about here. I take the pre-conversion interpretation as the most likely reading of the passage. It is a place where good interpreters have had different ideas about all through history. This continues today and the differences are not going to go away. It is one of these classic texts where the evidence points in different directions. I do think what Paul is doing here is describing in personal terms and experiences that he can personally identify with. This is a situation of being a Jew under the Law; knowing the Law of God and loving the Law of God and yet ultimately finding that sin keeps him from doing the Law. Therefore the Law hasn’t rescued him and he finds himself frustrated as a Jew under that Law recognizing that deliverance in Christ is the only solution.


B. The Mature Christian Interpretation: One such student questions what the lecturer and other think about these passages and that he just doesn’t understand why they think this way. He thinks that Paul is writing as a mature Christian and looking back to before he was a Christian. In answer to him, if we go back to what we said earlier in regards to the broader significance of the Torah. If Paul is describing his struggle as a Jew under that Law outside of Christ, I am happy on the basis in regards to some of the points we made earlier to apply that in general to the struggle of people with whatever law they are struggling with. But I don’t think that this text is what we should use to talk about the nature of the Christian life. In taking the mature Christian interpretation; that is to say that Paul is writing about his current experience as a mature believer. So that the struggle we have in this passage is the struggle of the Christian confronted with the Law under the command of God. That is what I would think to be not the correct application of the passage. In my view, indeed, the passage is talking about Paul’s experience before he came to Christ rather than his experience as a Christian.


C. The Focus is More on the Law: Clearly the focus is on Paul here. The way I see the progression in the Text in verses 7-12 Paul is certainly describing himself, not just Israel. It is himself in solidarity with Israel. As I look at my past, here is who I am in terms of the history of my people. Here is where I found myself as a Jew and as an Israelite under the Law where there is much more of a personal connection which Paul is making with the experience he has.  Of course, he wasn’t personally there when Israel was given the Law, but in his solidarity with Israel, he has experienced the effects of that. However, he has personally lived as a Jew under the Law. There is much more of an identification that he is personally describing here. In a sense, Paul is using himself as an illustration saying, here is what the coming of the Law meant and here is what life under the Law is. It is a sequence of what happened when the Law came and now the effects of that coming of the Law on Israel. The pre-Christian view says that here is where the Christian used to be and here is where Christians are now located. The immature Christian view basically says to get out of this situation. Don’t be an immature Christian; learn again to use the Spirit to move you out of the struggle that Paul is depicting here.  But when Paul addresses the two groups in Rome, he doesn’t really critique either of the groups. Both had beliefs that were in bounds with Christian beliefs not criticizing each other. He doesn’t say that you Jewish Christians are wrong; instead he gives tolerance to them. So, rhetorically I don’t think in terms of what Paul is doing here, he isn’t directly saying not to go back to the Law. He is explaining the problem with the Law. He is trying to tell them the issue of the Law and why salvation history has moved on from the Law and what it means to be in the Spirit of Christ.


D. Sin Isn’t Our Master Under the Spirit: One student argues that going back under the law, then sin would be their master. To answer this, Paul really never puts it that way. It is always indicative; you are not under the Law. You have died to the Law. Paul says what you are saying in Galatians many times. In Romans, Paul is looking more passionately at the situation and how the history of salvation has unfolded.  Another student says that from one aspect this passage has always given me comfort as a believer to recognize that the history and reality of our sin had a place within us. So, are you excluding that possibility in your interpretation? While I don’t think this passage describes the Christian struggle of sin; there are certain other texts that do. I am not denying the fact that Christians struggle with sin; my point in this text says while we struggle with sin, we are not people as slaves under sin or imprisoned by the Law of sin. That is the statement that Paul makes here. I hear a lot of Christians who use this text as an excuse for their sins. They say yeah, I’m really struggling with sin; I get defeated by it all the time; Paul faced this as well. I think this is a misuse of the passage. Others scholars argue the same. But there is balance that is needed here; clearly Christians do continue to struggle with sin. But Paul makes it clear that Christians are not people who should be consistently defeated by sin. We talked last time about the upward movement; the trajectory is moving toward the conformities to Christ and holiness before God. Paul says this needs to be the state that we find ourselves in as Christians.


But remember that Paul says the law isn’t sin and why he brought up the commandment of not coveting isn’t clear. Those who think Paul is writing more autobiographically think this is the sin Paul struggled with. You could even interpret this as not desiring in a sexual sense. Gundry has argued that this is what Paul has reflected on here; the coming of age as an adolescent Jew, the sexual urge being awakened in him. This could be where Paul realized that he really was a sinner and that he wasn’t doing the Law.