The Christian and a Rules Dominated Life (pt. 1)

Posted on 04/08/18 by John Lindell in The Book of Romans

In this message, Pastor John Lindell shares an insightful sermon titled, “The Christian and a Rules Dominated Life (pt. 1).” Join us as we read Romans 7:1-6 and hear strengthening wisdom on the law and the righteousness that is given to those who put their faith in Christ. Our prayer is that this message would open your eyes to the amazing grace and freedom that is found in Jesus!

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The Christian and a Rules Dominated Life (pt. 1)

Romans 6:14-15 ESV
For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!

Under Law: keeping rules so you can be righteous in God’s sight

Under Grace: ALL my righteousness comes as a gift from Christ

Here’s the problem with putting yourself back under the law or having a rules oriented Christianity:

1. Creates a competitive spirit
2. Facilitates a judgmental attitude toward others
3. Encourages people to do the minimum
4. Returns a person to a “works righteousness” mentality
5. Fosters feelings of personal condemnation
6. Diminishes assurance of salvation
7. Robs the Christian of joy

1st The Axiom

Romans 7:1 ESV
Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives?

2nd The Analogy

Romans 7:2 NLT
For example, when a woman marries, the law binds her to her husband as long as he is alive. But if he dies, the laws of marriage no longer apply to her.

Romans 7:3 NLT
So while her husband is alive, she would be committing adultery if she married another man. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law and does not commit adultery when she remarries.

3rd The Application

Romans 6:5a
For if we have been united with him in a death like his

Romans 6:6a
We know that our old self was crucified with him…

Romans 6:8a
Now if we have died with Christ,

Romans 7:4a NIV
So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ…

Galatians 4:4-5 ESV
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law

Romans 7:4a NIV
So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ…

Romans 7:4a-b NIV
So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another to him who has been raised from the dead…

Romans 7:4 NIV
So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another to him who has been raised from the dead in order that we might bear fruit to God.

Romans 6:22 ESV
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.

Romans 7:5 NLT
When we were controlled by our old nature, sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death.

4th The Advantage

Romans 7:6 NLT
But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.

1. The old way was external; the new way is internal.

Hebrews 8:10b NLT
I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

2. The old way was a veiled understanding; the new way is clearly understood.

2 Corinthians 3:15-17 NLT
Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand. But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

3. The old way was concerned with the letter of the law; the new way is concerned with the spirit of the law.

Matthew 5:27-28 NLT
“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Romans 13:8b-10 NLT
If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.

4. The old way was motivated by fear; the new way is motivated by love.

Hebrews 12:18-22 NLT
You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai. For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking. They staggered back under God’s command: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he said, “I am terrified and trembling.” No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering.

5. The old way was weak because of flesh; the new way is powerful because of the Spirit.

Romans 8:3-4 ESV
For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us,who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

6. The old way brought death; the new way brings supernatural life.

2 Corinthians 3:6-8 NIV
He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?

7. The old way mankind was a slave to fear; the new way brings brings the Spirit of sonship.

Romans 8:15 NIV
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”