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Sanctification, pt. 4

Romans 7



The marriage, the monster, the misery


Last time we saw the marriage...

We were married to the law, but couldn't please him and his demands, but were bound to it as long as we lived.  So we died to it, and married another, Christ!


So, do we have any obligation remaining to our ex?

6:15 says yes!  What has changed?  Our method of keeping the law and our motive for doing so.



We no longer mechanically try to obey a set of rules, but we let the Holy Spirit do it thru us.

        Think of the fruit of the Spirit.  Can we produce just by trying really hard?  Does an apple tree try REALLY HARD to produce apples?  Or does it just happen naturally?  We should work on who we are, rooted in Christ, and who we are will affect what we do!  Soak up the nutrients of God's Word you will bear fruit!



Our obedience is no longer that of a slave fearing a master, but a bride, lovingly seeking to please her groom.


v. 6  The marriage is the first point.


vv. 7-13 is the 'monster.' [read]

        A monster emerges.  'Sin' pops his head up over and over now.  Paul knows what the critics will say after reading the first 6 verses.  "If we are dead to the law and delivered from it, and if it can't change us or set us free, then what good is the law at all?"


Paul says the law is very necessary, and a good thing in several ways.  Even though it is not the means of salvation, you couldn't be saved if it didn't exist.


3 Ministries of the Law:  [still in effect today!]

1.     The law reveals the monster.

v. 7-8a     "occasion" is a military term meaning 'base of operation'.

The law revealed Paul's sin to him. 


Before he got saved he was reading his OT.  He was still Saul, the persecutor.  He's looking at the 10 commandments and sees 'thou shalt not kill' and feels pretty good about himself, because he's never killed, except those Christians, and they deserved it.  This is a holy war and I'm fighting for God against those who are trying to change everything around here!


'Thou shalt not steal' and he says, I've never robbed a bank.

'Honor father and mother' and he says, I love my parents!

'No adultery' and he says, I'm batting 1,000!

Then he sees 'thou shalt not covet'.  Evidently he had a problem with this one.  This one deals not w/ an outward action but an inward attitude.  It cuts him to the heart.  He knows he's guilty on this one.


Remember the rich young ruler?  He asked Jesus how he could be saved, and Jesus said, 'keep the commandments.'  Why would He say that?  We know that's not true.  He said it because the young man had never yet met the monster...the monster within!  He needed to face the reality of his sin.  Jesus held the law up to him like a mirror to look into.  He claimed he had kept the commandments, but when he came to covetousness, he too could not argue, he was guilty.  He went away very sad.  I like to think later on he got saved and was Joseph of Arimathea.  We won't know 'til heaven.


It's very difficult to win the self-righteous.  We visit in a prison and it's easy to convince them of their sin.  Then we knock doors in a neighborhood and everybody is saved in their own mind, and not a sinner.  This is why the law get them lost!


The law is a plum line.  It doesn't straighten a wall, it simply reveals where it is crooked.  The law can't save us, but it can prove to us that we need salvation.


This is why we don't push salvation on children until they are clearly convicted of their sin.  Any child will say yes, I want Jesus in my heart and to go to heaven.  We must wait 'til they know they are a sinner in need of a Savior.  Their conviction will come from the Spirit of God by the Word of God.  That's why it's very important when they do wrong that you point out what the Bible says about it.  Show them they have not only violated mom's and dad's standards, but God's standards.


This is how it was for me, and for my children as well.  Correction from the Bible led to conviction and eventually mom and dad heard sniffling from the next room and a request to be saved!


The law reveals the monster!


2.     The law arouses the monster.

v. 8-9       Ever noticed how our nature rebels when a law is given?

"Wet paint, do not touch" leads to more touching than ever!


joke--a rebellious teen gets a sports car / biker gang runs him off the road, drags out of the car / draws a circle around him in sand and threatens to kill him if he steps out / proceed to take bats and bash that car to pieces, remove stereo / meanwhile he's in the circle laughing / 'what's so funny?' / 'when you guys weren't looking I stepped out of the circle 3 times!'


ill.--let a glass of muddy water sit and the dirt will drop to the bottom and the water will look clear and drinkable, but stir it with a spoon and the truth is revealed.

        The water = human

        The dirt = the monster of sin nature

        The spoon = the law

The law arouses the monster!


ill.--true story!  At the flagship hotel in Houston, built right on the water overlooking the gulf / the dining room was on the lowest level w/ huge plate glass viewing windows / above were hotel rooms with balconies / owners said, we're gonna have a problem, people will try to fish from their balconies w/ those heavy deep sea sinkers and we're gonna get busted windows below / so on every balcony they put a sign 'no fishing off balcony' / but they had a broken window every week / they solved the problem when they took down the signs!


The law reveals and arouses the monster...


3.     The law magnifies the monster.

v. 10-13   You never truly get saved until you realize just how wicked sin really is.  Else what are we saved from?  And Christians will never truly walk in victory and oppose sin in their own lives until they realize just how wicked sin really is!


We gloss over our 'shortcomings' instead of facing our sins.  We excuse ourselves saying we just have a problem or a struggle...but it's sin, and it nailed our Savior to the cross to keep us from going to the hell that our wicked sins deserve!


ill.--Kirby Vacuums has a video they show prospects of dirt from an average home, put under a microscope, magnified many times over.  You see creepy crawlies called dust mites.  Is your skin itching yet?  They are magnifying the monster!


The devil minimizes sin.

v. 11        Commercials and TV make sin look glamorous.  The beer commercials show a happy party life, not a guy laying face down in vomit, having lost everything!  Joe Camel on billboards would make me want to smoke if I didn't know better.  Maybe it was good for me to see my grandpa holding a cig up to his trachea tube in the hospital before dying of cancer.


God uses the law to reveal and arouse the monster, magnifying him in our eyes so we can do business w/ God and allow Him to do radical spiritual surgery on our hearts!


How do we expel the monster?  Not in our own strength, and next time we see the 'misery' of the Christian who attempts to beat the monster on his own. 


Sanctification is all about letting Jesus do it in us, to us, and thru us, and we'll learn much more about sanctification in chapter 8.



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