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
1. Men labor to defend their pride and so will often contend with
truth by offering a warped conclusion from something taught.
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
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
II. The experience of Paul (vv. 9-11)
unlike some of the writers, is autobiographical and uses his own
experience to illustrate. In so doing he enables a personal application
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.
Sin is the cause of death and in bonds thereof one is dead and subject
III. The holiness of the Law (vv. 12-13)
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.
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.
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.
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
4. Verse 14, both concludes these thoughts, but also
introduces the following thoughts.