Romans Bible Study Lesson 20

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God’s Laws

Romans 7:22—8:2

God has designed the world to operate under certain parameters which we call laws. These laws are fixed rules which the Creator has incorporated into every area of the universe. Imagine what the world would be like if there were no absolute rules. If there were no laws of the universe, the sun would rise and set at arbitrary times, our year could vary in length, planets would crash into each other, it would be impossible for us to plan rocket launches because everything would always change. If there were no laws of nature we would not know what would be produced when we planted a seed,

We also operate under God-given moral laws. The reason marriage is between one man and one woman is because God has created us to function like that. Society is at its best if people do not lie, steal, cheat, murder, etc. God has given us all these laws so we can have an orderly society.

There are also spiritual laws, fixed rules that if followed will help us in our fellowship with God.

God’s Law (Mosaic or moral law 7:22)

The Gentiles have the moral law written on their hearts while the Jews have the moral law contained in the Mosaic Law summarized in the Ten Commandments. Whether on the heart or on stone God has made His moral law clear to all mankind. These laws are unchangeable and show us what God expects from us.

Romans 7:12 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

Law of internal sin (7:23)

This law says that all men have inherited Adam’s nature and thus are born sinners. Those who have a new nature will struggle with the sinful old nature until we leave this world. There is nothing good in this natural man and it is absolutely incapable of doing anything that will please God because the source of the works would come from man instead of from God. This old nature can not be tamed or prettied up so it will be presentable and acceptable to God. Instead, we need to view it as God does—dead.

Law of mind (7:23)

We have a war between the law of indwelling sin and the mind. When a person first comes to the believe, the mind is changed by being renewed. This renewing process should be a continual action throughout the believer’s life. The old man was conformed to the sin of this world but as a believer we need to continually renew our minds, to continually feed on spiritual things.

Colossians 3:9—10 9Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—

Romans 12:1—2 1Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Ephesians 4:22—24 22that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

We can see the conflict of the law of sin and the law of the mind:

Romans 7:25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

Law of sin and death (8:2)

The connection between sin and death goes all the way back to Adam. As soon as he sinned, death entered the world. Even though we accept death as a natural process, we were not originally created to die.

Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned–

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Law of the Spirit (8:2)

This law of the Spirit operates only for those who are in Christ. Instead of being controlled by the law of sin and death we are now controlled by the law of the Spirit and are given life. The law of sin and death is still in operation but the law of the Spirit has superceded it. If a cable breaks on an elevator the law of gravity takes over and pulls the elevator toward the ground. However, when the emergency brake takes over and stops the elevator from plunging, the law of friction has superceded the law of gravity. Both laws are in effect but one overtakes the other.