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Pastor Brant Seacrist

March 25, 2018

"THE EXCEEDING SINFULNESS OF SIN"

TEXT: Romans 7: 7-14
READING:  Psalm 40: 1-17

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SUBJ: The function of the Law in the life of a believer in revealing sin and sinfulness as the cause of being dead in trespasses and sins and bringing a further intensification to the sense of sin.

AIM: That we might ever be conscious of the divine requirement for holiness and that we might be constrained the more by the love of Christ to look to Him for both satisfaction and life.

INTR: In relating the effect of the Law, our bondage under it, and declaring our freedom from it, Paul senses an absurdity arising in the minds of men and quickly dispatches it.
1. Men labor to defend their pride and so will often contend with truth by offering a warped conclusion from something taught.
2. These problems arise as they try to deal with truth from a natural perspective which always leads to confusion and chaos.
3. While the words of scripture may be understood by the natural mind, the application will always be spiritual and so we should always prayerfully approach the Word of God.

THESIS: The Law is not sin (which is the absurd proposition) and it is not the reason that men are dead in trespasses and sin. It does emphatically expose the real cause – sin.

I. Sin exposed by the Law (vv. 7-8)
1. Paul asks for a conclusion and immediately makes us aware in that such a thought would be contrary to all that God has revealed of Himself and so: “God Forbid.”
2. It is quite the contrary in that men being found in an opposite state and engaging in behaviors contrary or found out – so it had been with Paul.
3. Paul goes to a specific commandment (which may embody all the others), namely covetousness.
1) It is the one that specifically addresses the condition of the heart and sinful desires.
2) It is perhaps that which triggers such things as murder and stealing.
3) The revelation of it exposed things in Paul’s heart that he had not known were there (not necessarily in some of the more obvious sins, but certainly in pride and self-promotion).
4. Being covered up with self-righteousness, the Law was not truly being seen and so the issue of sin was dead to Paul.
5. While we have the constraints of society and government, the true essence of the Law is not sense in the unregenerate.

II. The experience of Paul (vv. 9-11)
1. Paul, unlike some of the writers, is autobiographical and uses his own experience to illustrate. In so doing he enables a personal application to ourselves.
2. We recall the zeal with which pursued Christians believing that he was serving God in doing so.
1) He had known the commandments from childhood and became an expert therein and so declared that he was alive without the Law – he thought himself to be righteous and possessing life.
2) But, when sin was brought to light and exposed in him he died to self, having seen its working in him and producing death – he had no leg to stand on!
3. The very commandment that he thought was life was the occasion of his death:
1) He had looked to it in fleshly terms and wisdom and believed he was obeying it
2) In fact, he was proudly claiming an ability to please God in his own strength and he had none.
4. Sin had used the Law and appealing to the flesh to obtain prominence (look how good I am) and perhaps promotion and profit in soliciting the same behavior in others.
5. Sin is the cause of death and in bonds thereof one is dead and subject to judgment.

III. The holiness of the Law (vv. 12-13)
1. Most emphatically, “The Law is Holy.”
1) Some are given to deal with in such a way as to see it as a relic of the past and of no use, declaring us to no longer under the Law but under grace – which is true. But,
2) Grace does not nullify the Law. It incorporates it and is so personified in Christ Jesus our Lord.
3) It is essential that we understand that through the work of Christ we are freed from the condemnation of the Law and that we no longer see ourselves as trying to live up to a set of rules
4) What we are brought to is the fruit and operation of the Spirit and the Law has no complaint.
2. Likewise,
1) The commandment is holy – It must be as we think of He who has given it, defined it, and fulfilled it in the person of His Son.
2) The Commandment is just – it applies equally to all thereby shutting us all up to mercy.
3) The commandment is good – We are reminded of: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17. And, the commandment is a gift.
4) Not only do good things come from God, all things from Him is good!
3. Back to the question of verse 7, Paul declares that sense all these things are good, could they be made death to him? Again, God forbid!
1) It was rather that God was good in exposing the workings of sin in him and made him to see the true nature of sin and that it was in him.
2) The commandment brings intensity to the fact of sin so that it is seen as really sinful and
3) We seen no more emphatic proof that its effect on Christ!
4. Verse 14, both concludes these thoughts, but also introduces the following thoughts.