P’s and Q’s : Romans 7
“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 sexual relations with 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.” (verses 1-3)
- Believers wanted to glorify Christ and had many questions of how to do that while obeying the law of God. One of these questions was, “Can a woman marry another man when her husband dies and she becomes a widow?” What are some questions right now that you have concerning God and how you live out your faith?
“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.” (verse 4)
- What does it mean that you will bear fruit for God? If you look at Galatians 5:22-23, what are some of the fruits of the Spirit that God can grow more in you?
“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.” (verses 5 & 6)
- What does it mean to be in the realm of the flesh? What does “flesh” mean in the Bible? How have you felt freedom in the Spirit?
“What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, ‘You shall not covet.’” (verse 7)
- What is the purpose of the law (God’s commands in the Old Testament)? What is one sin in your life that has become more apparent since you know God’s commands?
“But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.” (verses 8-12)
- How is it that the law produces sin in us? Why, then, is God’s law holy, righteous and good?
“We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” (verses 14-20)
- This is one of the most famous passages God inspired Paul to write. Why do you think God had Paul write about his fight with sin? Have you been able to be honest about your fight with sin? If so, how?
“So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.” (verses 21-23)
- What is the war that Paul mentions in this passage? How are you warring against sin in your life?
“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (verses 24 & 25)
- How does this verse encourage you? Who in your life is not allowing Jesus to deliver them from their sin?
- The law shows our sin.
- Sin shows us death.
- Jesus shows us life.