Forum Class #8 October 26, 2003

 

Romans 7: The Road to Wholeness

Romans 7:1-6, Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 2. For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. 3. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. 4. Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another--to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. 5. For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. 6. But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

Every Christian believer rejoices in what he reads in the Scriptures about our identification with Christ and about these tremendous terms -- being freed from sin, dead to sin, and alive unto God, alive to righteousness, wholeness, power. Yet our experience tells us that we do not often achieve this. We are aware that we all have a problem with sin in our lives. We still like it, and we still do it. We experience what Paul says we will experience (enslavement, death, darkness, unhappiness, and shame) as a result of our sin.

This is true in all Christendom today. Churches everywhere are filled with Christians who are struggling with this. What's wrong? Basically, it is the same problem that Paul describes in Romans 7: We still haven't learned how to handle the Law. We still want regulations and detailed instructions to follow so we can be freed from our problems. Yet, when we try, even with the best of intentions, it still doesn't work. That is what Paul is dealing with in this chapterIn the illustration [verses 1-6] the woman clearly is a picture of the believer -- you and me. This woman had a husband, her first husband. According to some commentators, that first husband was the Law of Moses. But when you start with that understanding of this illustration, you are bound to end up with hopeless confusion. In fact, many of the commentators go astray even before this. They fail to note to whom this whole passage is addressed, although Paul carefully underlines it for us. Notice the first verse again: "Do you not know, brothers -- for I am speaking to men who know the law -- " In other words, if you are going to understand this paragraph, you must know something about the Law -- you must know its functions, its purpose, and its effects. If you don't know or understand the Law, you are going to end up confused with this paragraph. As Paul says, "I realize that the ones to whom I am writing here are men who understand the Law."

The woman is you and me. She has two husbands, one following the other. Now, the point of this little story is not that the woman has two husbands. Although that is important, it is not the major point. What Paul is getting at here is what the death of the first husband does to the woman's relationship to the Law -- not what it does directly to the woman herself, but what it does to her tie to the Law. Notice that Verse 2 tells us the place of the Law in this story? Do you notice three factors here? First, there is the Law; second, there is a woman; and third, there is the husband. None of those are the same thing, are they? Therefore, the husband cannot be the Law. Many commentators say this woman (us) is married to the Law, and they have missed the point of this illustration. It is not that. It is the Law that binds the woman and her husband together. The Law is outside, saying "You two must stay together because you are married." The Law is not the husband, that is clear.

If the first husband dies, Paul says, the woman is released from the Law. Not only is she released from her husband, but she also is released from the Law. If her husband dies, the Law can say nothing to her as to where she can go, and what she can do, and who she can be with. She is released from the Law. The death of the husband makes the woman dead to Law. Now, who is this first husband? According to the context, it is very clear. We have been looking at it all along. The first husband is Adam, this old life into which we were born. We were linked to it, married to it, and couldn't get away from it. Like a woman married to an old, cruel, mean husband, there is not much she can do about it. While she is married she is tied to that husbandNow, that is plain, isn't it? The woman cannot have two husbands at once. She cannot have a second husband while she is married to the first. She is stuck with #1, and she has to share his lifestyle. As we have already seen, that lifestyle is one of bondage and corruption and shame and death. That is why we who were born into Adam have to share the lifestyle of fallen Adam. It fits perfectly, doesn't it?

Now, if this woman, while she is married to her first husband, tries to live with another -- for this lifestyle is sickening to her -- she will be called an adulteress. Who calls her that? The Law does. The Law says, "You are a hypocrite." That, you see, is the spiritual counterpart of the physical term "adulteress." The Law condemns her, it points out her failure, it calls her an adulteress. It is only when the first husband dies that she is free from that condemnation of the Law and thus can marry again. When she does, the Law is absolutely silent; it has nothing to say to her at all. Now look at Verse 4.

What a fantastic verse! Here is the great, marvelous declaration of the gospel of our Lord Jesus. Notice how Paul draws the parallel: "So ... you also." We fit right into this. The key word here is "you died to the law through the body of Christ," and the body of Christ refers to the death of the Lord Jesus on the cross. He died in a body. He came to take a body, that he might die. Paul is referring to what the Scriptures say in many places -- that on the cross the Lord Jesus was made sin for us. He took our place, as sinful humanity, on the cross. I don't know how, but he did. In other words: He became that first husband. Do you see that? It is very important. On the cross, he became that first husband, that Adamic nature to which we were married. And when he became that, he died. And when he died, we were freed from the Law.

The Law has nothing to say to us anymore. We are free to be married to another. Who is this? It is Christ risen. Our first husband is Christ crucified; our second husband is Christ risen from the dead. We now share his name. We share his power. We share his experiences. We share his position, his glory, his hope, his dreams -- all that he is, we now share! We are married to Christ, risen from the dead. The Law, therefore, has nothing to say to us. Isn't that clear? (Verses 5 and 6). You see, while we were married to sin, the old Adamic principle, we often tried to act as though we were married to someone else, didn't we? We tried to act righteous and loving and kind. Many of us did. We really tried to behave ourselves, but we found we couldn't. The Law refused to go along with us. The Law judged us. It said. "You are really not that way, you are just acting like that. You are pretending." The Law called us hypocrites, and it was right. That is what we were. We were religious hypocrites, many of us, attempting to give the impression that we were OK, and right, and loving, and moral, and kind, and good, when we weren't at all. Inside, all our attitudes were selfish and self-centered and loveless; but we were pretending. And the Law saw through it and named us what we were: hypocrites.

But, according to this, we died to the Law through the death of our first husband. When Jesus was crucified, that first husband died. And now we are free from the condemnation of the Law. We are married to another, Christ risen from the dead. So now, when we seek to be righteous and to do righteous things and to be loving and kind, we are no longer hypocrites. This is the point Paul wants to make. We are doing what we really are. We are tied to Jesus. His life is ours and we are acting according to our true nature.

We are married to a new husband. And because we share his life and power, we are not only able to be what he is, but we are also free from any condemnation or failure in our struggle along the way. We don't always act right, but the Law doesn't condemn us. The Law's purpose was to condemn, and we can't be condemned anymore because we are not hypocrites. We are doing what we were designed to do. We have a new identity. No longer bound to our failures, we can admit them and forget them. We don't have to have them clinging to us; we no longer have to believe that God is unhappy with us because we don't always live exactly right. He has made provision for this. It is not a fraud when we go back to God again and again and accept from his hand his forgiveness.

Therefore, it is not law that straightens us out, it is love. We no longer need the Law to straighten us out, but we have love to do so. We are free to fail and still be loved. And we are also free to win in the new power given to us. The question Paul asks is, "Is the Law worthless, then, and contemptible?" His answer, of course, is, "No!" Some Christians talk that way about the Law, but Paul never does. There is a place for it, and it is valuable in a certain way, but it can do nothing to deliver us from evil. Only our relationship to love can do that.

Romans 7:7. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, "You shall not covet." 8. But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. 9. I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. 10. And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. 11. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. 12. Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. 13. Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. 14. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25. I thank God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

In Verses 7-11, the apostle begins to describe his own experience in relationship to the LawThis is Paul's experience. It is clear that he is describing something that he himself went through. But, also, Paul employs the past tense throughout this passage, which suggests that he is describing his experience before he became a Christian. This probably happened not long before he became a Christian, but Paul is describing something that is common to the experience of many of us today. No doubt many of us have had exactly the same experience that the Apostle Paul describes. The Law says, "Thou shalt not covet, commit adultery, murder, steal ..." -- whatever it may be. And yet the crowd around them says, "Let's do it -- it's fun!" For the first time, [we] begin to feel the prohibition of the Law. Then a strange phenomenon happens. Something about that situation arouses within [us] a strong desire to do the things that are prohibited. Maybe [we] are able to resist them for awhile, but, nevertheless, they find themselves pressured, pushed by something within them that wants very badly to do these things.

Now, that is what Paul discovered. It was the tenth commandment, "Thou shalt not covet" (Exodus 20:17a), that got to him. He thought he had been keeping all the Law because he had not done some of the external things prohibited in the other commandments. But this one commandment talks about how you feel inside, your desires, you imagination, your ambitions. It says, "Thou shalt not desire what another has." Paul found himself awakened to this commandment and discovered that he was coveting, no matter where he turned. When the Law came, he found himself aroused by it and brought under its power. It precipitated an orgy of desire. Many of us have felt this same way.

Now, that is something like what Paul is describing here. Sin lies silent within us. We do not even know it is there. We think we have got hold of life in such a way that we can handle it without difficulty. We are self-confident because we have never really been exposed to the situation that puts pressure upon us -- we never have to make a decision against the pressure on the basis of the commandment of the Law "Thou shalt not... " But when that happens, we suddenly discover all kinds of desires are awakened within us. We find ourselves filled with attitudes that almost shock us -- unloving, bitter, resentful thoughts, murderous attitudes -- we would like to get hold of somebody and kill him, if we could. Lustful feelings that we never dreamed were there surface and we find that we would love to indulge in them if only we had the opportunity. We find ourselves awakened to these desires. As the great engine surges into life at the touch of the accelerator, so this powerful, idling beast within us called sin springs into life as the Law comes home to us. We discover something that we never knew was there before. Now, is this the Law's fault? No, Paul says, it is not the Law's fault. He goes on in Verses 12-13.

That is what the Law is for. It is to expose the fact that this evil force is in every one of us, waiting only for the right circumstance in order to spring into being, overpower our will, and carry us into things we never dreamed we would do. Many of us experience this. According to this passage, the great power of sin is that it deceives us. We think we have got life under control -- and we are fooled. All sin is waiting for is the right occasion when, like a powerful, idling engine, it roars into life and takes over at the touch of the accelerator and we find ourselves helplessly under its control.

The Law is designed to expose that sin, and to make us feel this way so that we begin to understand what this evil force is that we have inherited by our birth into this fallen human race. The Law shows sin to be what it is, something exceedingly powerful and dangerous, something that has greater strength than our willpower and causes us to do things that we are resolved not to do. In Verses 14-25, the same experience is described again, but this time in terms of how we feel when it happens. There is only one major difference between this section and the previous one. In this section, Paul switches to the present tense. That is significant because it means that he is now describing his experience at the time he wrote this letter to the Romans. This, then, is a description of the Law as it touches the Christian's life. It does exactly the same thing as it did before we became a Christian, only now we have it from the point of view of the Christian, the believer who is deceived by the sin that is still resident within. The key to this whole passage is Verse 14: "The law is spiritual," Paul says. "It deals with my spirit. It gets right at the very heart of my being." Fundamentally, as we have seen, human beings are spirits. The Law is spiritual, and it touches us in that area. "But I am carnal," Paul says. "I can't respond to it. I am sold as a slave to sin." Now, this always raises a problem. Compare this with Chapter 6, Verse 17, where Paul is speaking of slavery and says, "But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to in, you whole-heartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were committed. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness," (cf, Rom 6:17-18). If he could write that to the Romans, surely it was true of him as well. And yet, how could a man write that he had become in Christ a slave to righteousness, and just a few paragraphs later write, "I am carnal, sold under sin, a slave to sin"?

Many have said that Paul is all confused here. Of course, he is not confused at all. He is simply describing what happens when a Christian tries to live under the Law. When a Christian, by his dedication and willpower and determination, tries to do what is right in order to please God, he is living under the Law. And Paul is telling us what to expect when we live like that -- for we all try to live that way from time to time. Sin, you see, deceives us. It deceived Paul as an apostle, and he needed this treatment of the Law. It deceives us, and we need it too. Now Paul tells us what happens. There are two problems, basically, which he gives us in Verse 15: "I do not know what I am doing. For what I want to do I do not do..." That is problem Number 1: I want to do right -- there are things I would love to do, but I cannot do them. The second problem is: "but what I hate I do." In the verses that follow, Paul takes the second problem first, and shows us what happens in our experience. Verses 16 and 17. That is a very important statement. Paul makes it twice in this paragraph, and it is the explanation of and the answer to how we can be delivered from this condition. Let's examine this Verses 18-20 carefully.

Paul says that as a Christian, redeemed by the grace of God, there is now something within him that wants to do good, that agrees with the Law, that says that the Law is right. There is something within that says what the Law tells me to do is right, and I want to do it. But also, he says, there is something else in me that rises up and says "No!" Even though I determine not to do what is bad, I suddenly find myself in such circumstances that my determination melts away, my resolve is gone, and I end up doing what I had sworn I would not do. Have you ever felt that way? So, what has gone wrong? Paul's explanation is, "It is no longer I who do it; it is sin living in me." Isn't that strange? There is a division within our humanity indicated here. There is the "I" that wants to do what God wants, and there is the sin which dwells in "me," which is different than the "I." We must understand what this is. Human beings are complicated creatures. They are not simple organisms. We have within us a spirit, a soul, and a body. These are distinct, one from the other. What Paul is suggesting here is that the redeemed spirit never wants to do what God has prohibited. It agrees with the Law that it is good. And yet there is an alien power, a force that he calls sin, a great beast that is lying still within us until touched by the commandment of the Law. Then it springs to life, and we do what we do not want to do.

Notice that Jesus himself agrees with this. On one occasion he said, "If your right hand offends you, cut it off," {cf, Matt 5:30}. He did not mean that you should actually chop off your right hand, because that would be a violation of other texts that indicate that God made the body and made it right and it is morally neutral. What he means is that we should take drastic action because we are up against a serious problem. He indicates that there is a "me" within us that runs our members, that gives orders to our hands and our feet and our eyes and our tongue and our brain and our sexual organs, and controls them. That "me" is giving an order to do something wrong, but there is another "I" in us who is offended by this. That "I" does not like it, does not want it. And so, Jesus' words are, "Cut it off." In a moment we are going to see how that happens, what it is that cuts it off and thus enables us to handle the problem. That is the way man is made. Our will power is never enough; sin will win, and we will do the evil that we swore not to do. Now look at the other side of this problem in Verses 21-23:

So I find this law at work: When 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 [another principle] at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law [or principle] of my mind [my agreement with the law of God] and making me a prisoner of the law [principle] of sin at work within my members. Here is the same problem exactly. You want to do right and determine to do right, knowing what it is and swearing to do it, only to find that under certain circumstances all that determination melts away and you do not do what is right. You do exactly what you did not want to do. So you come away angry with yourself. "What's the matter with me? Why can't I do what is right? Why do I give way when I get into this situation? Why am I so weak?" This is right where we live, isn't it? This is what we all struggle with. The cry of the heart at that moment is (Verse 24): "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?

What is this? Well, right here you arrive at where the Lord Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven," {Matt 5:3}. Blessed is the man who comes to the end of himself. Blessed is the man who has arrived at spiritual bankruptcy. Because this is the point -- the only point -- where God's help is given.

This is what we need to learn. If we think that we have got something in ourselves that we can work out our problems with, if we think that our wills are strong enough, our desires motivated enough, that we can control evil in our lives by simply determining to do so, then we have not come to the end of ourselves yet. And the Spirit of God simply folds his arms to wait and lets us go ahead and try it on that basis. And we fail, and fail miserably -- until, at last, out of our failures, we cry, "O wretched man that I am!" Sin has deceived us, and the Law, as our friend, has come in and exposed sin for what it is. When we see how wretched it makes us, then we are ready for the answer, which comes immediately (Verse 25): "Thanks be to God -- through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

Who will deliver me from this body of death? The Lord Jesus has already done it. We are to respond to the feelings of wretchedness and discouragement and failure, to which the Law has brought us because of sin in us, by reminding ourselves immediately of the facts that are true of us in Jesus Christ. Our feelings must be answered by facts.

We are no longer under the Law. That is the fact. We have arrived at a different situation; we are married to Christ, Christ risen from the dead. That means we must no longer think, "I am a poor, struggling, bewildered disciple, left alone to wrestle against these powerful urges." We must now begin to think, "No, I am a free son of God, living a normal human life. I am dead to sin, and dead to the Law, because I am married to Christ. His power is mine, right at this moment. And though I may not feel a thing, I have the power to say, "No!" and walk away and be free, in Jesus Christ."

There are teachers who teach that this passage in Romans 7 is something a Christian goes through once, then he gets out of it and moves into Romans 8 and never gets back into Romans 7 again. Nothing could be further from the truth! Even as mighty a man as Paul went through it again and again. This is a description of what every believer will go through again and again in his experience because sin has the power to deceive us and to cause us to trust in ourselves, even when we are not aware we are doing it. The Law is what will expose that evil force and drive us to this place of wretchedness that we might then, in poverty of spirit, cry out, "Lord Jesus, it is your problem; you take it." And he will do so. (Condensed from Ray Stedman, http://pbc.org/dp/stedman/romans2)


The Law and Sin

"The secret of sanctification is not some neat set of experiences or emotions, however meaningful or intense they may be. It is knowing what has happened to you." (Boice)

Notes on Romans 7 from J.M Boice

D. Martyn Lloyd Jones lists nine ways in which sin commonly deceives us:

1. Sin gets us to misuse the law, convincing us that as long as we have not sinned outwardly and visibly, we are all right, forgetting that with God the thoughts and intentions of the heart are all important.

2. Sometimes sin changes its tactics and tells us that everything is hopeless and we might as well keep on sinning.

3. Sin tells us that it does not matter whether or not we are holy. It says, "Why don't you keep on sinning so that grace may abound?"

4. Sin deceives us by making us angry at the law, feeling that God is against us if he prohibits anything. If he were for us, we think, he would let us do what we want to do and be happy.

5. Sin gets us to believe that the law is unreasonable, impossible, and unjust.

6. Sin makes us think very highly of ourselves. It makes us ask why we should be bound by any law. Why shouldn't we become what Friedrich Nietzsche called a "superman" or a "superwoman" and be a law unto ourselves?

7. Sin tells us that the law is oppressive, keeping us from developing the wonderful gifts and talents we have within us, all of which would emerge if only we did not have to be held back by God's commandments.

8. Sin makes righteousness look drab and unattractive.

9. Sin causes us to discount the consequences of willful disobedience. It whispers what Satan said to Eve, "You will not surely die" (Gen. 3:4). It says that the most preposterous idea in the whole world is hell, forgetting that the Lord Jesus Christ spoke of hell more often than anyone else in the Bible.

If you are expecting to be judged righteous by God on the basis of your own good works, which is a form of law-keeping, sin has tricked you by one or more of these common spiritual deceptions, and you have not even begun to know what the law has been given to us for--let alone know and understand the gospel. Let me say it again: The law was not meant to save anyone. It was given to reveal sin as sin, to provoke sin in sinners, and to make clear our completely hopeless condition apart from Jesus Christ.

The law points us to Christ, whom we need desperately, especially if we are blindly trusting in our ability to keep it for the sake of our salvation.

Second, we need to teach the law to awaken people to their sinfulness and show them their need of a Savior. This is what the Puritans did so brilliantly. They even spoke of it by the terminology Paul uses in Romans. They said it was the preacher's task to "slay" men by the law so that they might be "raised up" by the gospel. We need that kind of preaching today. People need to know the uselessness of their own good works and so-called righteousness. They need to know how utterly hopeless the situation is without a Savior. They need to be convinced in their very bones that Jesus Christ is the only hope they have.

Instead, the majority of our churches provide largely self-help sermons and seminars designed to make people feel that they are doing very well, or at least are able to do very well, all by themselves. These churches do not use the law to bring them to the utter end of their self-confidence. And it must be the utter end, which is why the Puritans spoke of "slaying" people with the law. To slay means to kill. It does not mean to wound or make sick. It means to destroy self-righteousness.

John H. Gerstner, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary's retired Professor of Church History, was preaching on Romans and expounding on the law. He was stripping away the veil on human wickedness. After the service, when he had gone to the back of the church, a woman approached him. She was holding up her hand with her index finger and thumb about a half-inch apart, and she said to Gerstner, "Dr. Gerstner, you make me feel this big." Gerstner replied, "But, Madam, that's too big. That's much too big. Don't you know that that much self-righteousness will take you to hell?" He was right. The law was given to drive out all self-righteousness so that we might embrace Jesus Christ alone as our Savior.

Whatever became of sin? Since "symptoms" are caused by things external to the individual they are seen as effects for which the offender is not responsible. Thus it happened that sin against God has been redefined (and dismissed) as the unfortunate effects of bad circumstances. And no one is to blame.

Yet sin is sin--and we are to blame. Sin, whether we acknowledge it or not, really is "any want of conformity unto or transgression of the law of God" (The Westminster Shorter Catechism, Answer 14). This is what Paul has been talking about in Romans 7, of course. He has not begun at the point with which I have begun this chapter: with our lack of any true sense of being sinners. Rather, he has been approaching it from the other side, writing about the law and its functions. But the link between these two elements, sin and the law, is a matter of importance and is what Paul has been treating. His argument is that it is only by the law of God that we learn that sin really is sin and discover how evil it is.

Do you remember how Paul made these points in the paragraph containing verses 7-12? He argued that: 1. The law reveals sin to be sin. 2. Sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandments of God, creates a surge of rebellion against those commands in our hearts and creates desires to sin in ways that we had not even thought of before. 3. In this way, the law, operated upon by sin, brings us to the end of ourselves. And all this is good! Prior to receiving and understanding the law, we all think that we are doing pretty well, that we do not need a Savior or even God. It is only when the law has exposed our true nature to us, showing how bad we are, that we become open to the gospel.

This is now stated again in verse 13. In fact, what Paul says here is almost a direct echo of verse 7. "Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful." Following up on that verse, I want to show in this study how the law actually operates. I want to do it by reviewing the Ten Commandments.

The First Commandment: The first commandment begins where we might expect it to begin, namely, in the area of our relationships to God. It says, "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, oUt of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me" (Exod. 20:2-3). This command requires us to worship the true God and to worship him only. John R. W. Stott writes:

It is not necessary to worship the sun, the moon and the stars to break this law. We break it whenever we give to something or someone other than God himself the first place in our thoughts or our affections. It may be some engrossing sport, absorbing hobby, or selfish ambition. Or it may be someone whom we idolize. We may worship a god of gold and silver in the form of safe investments and a healthy bank balance, or a God of wood and stone in the form of property and possessions. . . . Sin is fundamentally the exaltation of self at the expense of God. What someone wrote of the Englishman is true of everyman: "He is a self-made man who worships his creator. "

To keep the first commandment perfectly, which is the only way rightly to keep this or any of the commandments, is, as Jesus taught, to "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind" (Matt. 22:37; cr. Deut. 6;5). It means giving him first place in everything, in all our loves, goals, and actions. It means using all we are and have in his service. No one has ever kept this command perfectly except Jesus.

The Second Commandment: The first commandment dealt with the object of our worship, forbidding the worship of any false deity. The second commandment deals with the nature of our worship, forbidding us to worship even the true God unworthily. It speaks of this at length, saying, "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments" (Exod. 20;4-6). What does this mean? Is it a condemnation of idol worship only, a text forbidding us to worship by means of gold, silver, wood, or stone objects? Obviously it means more than that. It concerns the worship of God by any and all inadequate means. One inadequate means, one "idol," is the mental images of God we carry about in our heads. J. B. Phillips wrote an entire book about this, calling it Your God Is Too Small He spoke of our inadequate images of God by such chapter titles as; Resident Policeman, Parental Hangover, Grand Old Man, Meek-and-Mild, Absolute Perfection, Heavenly Bosom, God-in-a-Box, Managing Director, Perennial Grievance, Pale Galilean, and so forth. We all have these inadequate ideas of God, which we prove by our irritation with God when he refuses to conform to our misunderstanding of him as "small," or when he declines to do precisely what we want him to do on some occasion. A second way we worship unworthily is by going through the forms of worship without actually engaging our hearts or minds in our devotions. We go to church, but our minds are somewhere else. We pray, but it is only our heads that bow down, not our hearts.

The Third Commandment: The third commandment says, "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name" (Exod, 20:7). This law is widely flouted in our time, and not only by people who swear ferociously--or even mildly, by using the almost universal exclamation, "Oh, my God!" The commandment is broken when we confess Jesus to be "Lord" but do not follow him as Lord, or when we call God "Father" but do not trust him as the loving parent he is, The great Puritan pastor and writer Thomas Watson said, "We take God's name in vain:

1. When we speak slightly and irreverently of his name2. When we profess God's name, but do not live answerably to it3. When we use God's name in idle discourse4. When we worship him with our lips, but not with our hearts5. When we pray to him, but do not believe in him6. When in any way we profane and abuse his word7. When we swear by God's name8. When we prefix God's name to any wicked action9. When we use our tongues any way to the dishonor of God's name10. When we make rash and unlawful vows11. When we speak evil of God12. When we falsify our promise. "

Some people may take such ways of dishonoring God's name lightly, thinking them of no great account. But God says that he takes the third commandment very seriously. He says that he "will not hold anyone guiltless" who commits these offenses.

The Fourth Commandment: "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day, Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy" (Exod, 20:8--11). These verses contain the longest elaboration on anyone of the Ten Commandments. Yet there are differences among Christians concerning their interpretation. Some insist that they require Christians to worship on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath. Seventh-day Adventists are an example.

Others believe that Christians are to worship on Sunday, the Lord's Day, but want their observance to be according to Judaic tradition, that is, to observe the Sabbath by inactivity, as the ancient Jews did, Still others think of the Lord's Day as a Christian innovation, a new day given to the church by God for worship and joyful service. I think the New Testament supports the latter view. But I ask whether we really observe either Saturday or Sunday in any special way. Do we use the whole of either day for worship or Christian service? Who among us truly keeps the Sabbath or the Lord's Day "holy"?

The Fifth Commandment: When we pass from the fourth to the fifth commandment, we also pass from the first table of the law, which concerns our relationships to God, to the second table of the law, which concerns our relationships to other people. It begins with family relationships: "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you" (Exod. 20:12). This chiefly has to do with human authority, for our parents are the first human authority God sets over us. Other authorities, all with different and variously restricted powers, include the state, the leaders of the church, and our employers. To fulfill this command we would have to do what Paul says further on in Romans: "Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor" (Rom. 13:7). Yet we all rebel against authority, beginning in the home. At times it seems that the home is where we are particularly rude, unmannerly, disobedient, and ungrateful.

The Sixth Commandment: "You shall not murder" (Exod. 20:13) ,Jesus explained this command by showing that it concerns more than the taking of another person's life. It also concerns damaging his or her reputation in any way. "I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment," Jesus said (Matt. 5:22). This commandment searches the depth of our beings, for if we are honest with ourselves we will admit that we are often very angry and say things explicitly intended to hurt the target of our anger. But is there no such thing as righteous anger? Of course. Jesus displayed righteous anger when he drove the money changers from the temple. But our anger is seldom like that. Instead, our anger is generally aroused only by some real or imagined slight against ourselves. Do we commit murder? Yes, we do-by this definition. We murder by neglect, spite, gossip, slander, and many other acts flowing from our own enormous pride or jealousy. Even preachers! Thomas Watson, himself a preacher, said, "Ministers are murderers (if they]starve, poison or infect souls."

The Seventh Commandment: The seventh commandment is the one most of us think about most often when we remember God's commandments, if we remember them at all. This is hardly a surprise, because most of us are thinking of sexual matters, even sexual sins, most of the time, and this is one command that speaks directly to this area of our lives. It is in light of our sexuality that we seem to feel most guilty. "You shall not commit adultery" (Exod, 20:14). Jesus commented on this commandment also and, as in his interpretation of the prohibition against murder, he showed its true intention: "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matt. 5:27-28).John Stott has written of this commandment:

It includes flirting, experimenting, and solitary sexual experience. It also includes all sexual perversions, for although men and women are not responsible for a perverted instinct, they are for its indulgence. It includes selfish demands within wedlock, and many, if not all, divorces. It includes the deliberate reading of pornographic literature, and giving in to impure fantasiesThe commandmentembraces every abuse of a sacred and beautiful gift of God."

The positive side of this command is chastity before marriage and faithfulness afterwards.

The Eighth Commandment: "You shall not steal" (Exod. 20:15). The ban against stealing is almost a universal standard of the human race. It is found in most cultures. But it is only biblical religion that explains why it is wrong to steal, in addition to the obvious fact that theft is socially disruptive and inconvenient. The real reason it is wrong to steal is that what the other person possesses has been given to him or her by God. "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights. , ." (James 1:17). Therefore, to take anything from one to whom it is given is to sin against God. We do this in many ways. We steal from an employer when we do not give him the best work of which we are capable or when we waste time or leave work early. We steal from our customers if we charge too much for our products or services or if we knowingly sell what is inferior. We steal from others when we borrow from them but do not return what we have borrowed on time, if at all. We steal from ourselves when we squander our talents or time, We steal from God directly when we neglect to give him the worship, honor, thanksgiving, and obedience he deserves. There is a positive side to this command, too. For Paul, when he was writing to the Ephesians, said to those who had been thieves, "He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need" (Eph. 4:28). According to Paul, the eighth commandment remained unfulfilled until the offender began to help others who were in need.

The Ninth Commandment: The ninth commandment says, "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor" (Exod, 20:16), This is a warning against perjury. But again, it is far more than that. Negatively, it condemns all slander, idle talk, gossip, unkind rumors, jokes at another person's expense, lies, and deliberate exaggerations or distortions of the truth. It concerns even listening to such unkind things uncritically. Positively, the commandment concerns our failures to rise to the defense of those we know to be verbally abused in any way.

The Tenth Commandment: The tenth commandment is in some ways the most revealing and devastating of all, for it deals explicitly with the inward and not merely the outward nature of the law. It concerns covetousness, which is an internal attitude that mayor may not express itself in an outwardly acquisitive act, The text says, "You shall not covet your neighbor's house, You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor" (Exod. 20:17). Covetousness is a root sin, for, as Watson says, when it is exercised fully it causes a breach of each of the other commandments. How relevant and modern this is, and how keenly it strikes at our excessively materialistic culture. We live in a grasping and thus very offensive society. One offensive element of materialism is our insensitivity to the needs of others, which it so often breeds, since it is often only at the expense of others that we are able to get ahead. Even more offensive is our unreasonable dissatisfaction with our abundance of wealth and opportunity. Those who have most seem often to be the most unhappy. Unfortunately, this restless desire for more is what the media seem determined to produce in us and fan to white hot flames, There are few who even recognize what is happening, let along resist it substantially. There is probably no other command that so exposes this characteristic sin of our time and generation. But where do we go from here? We have used the Ten Commandments to explore ten areas in which God requires certain standards of conduct from us, and we have found ourselves to be sinners by those standards. And not only have we been exposed as sinners, which is what Paul writes about in the first part of Romans 7:13 ("in order that sin might be recognized as sin"), we have also been shown to be exceedingly sinful, which is what he says in the second half ("so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful"). In other words, sin is always much worse than we imagine, In fact, the more we read and understand the law, the greater our sin will seem to be. And that will continue until, like Paul himself, we cry out, "Who will rescue me from this body of death?" and we are able to answer, "God-through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Rom. 7:24, 25), God cannot condone sin, however much we may wish it, He tells us that he will by no means clear the guilty. He teaches that "the wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23), His judgment will be executed. But at the very time he exposes the sin, he also points us to Jesus, who is sin's remedy. Return now to Paul's questions about the law in the first half of Romans 7. First question: "Is the law sin?" Answer: "Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law" (v. 7). Second question: "Did that which is good, then, become death to me?" Answer: "By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful" (v. 13). And the end of that is life! Why? Because only those who know they are dead in trespasses and sins seek a Savior. Only those who know they are spiritually sick seek the Great Physician.

***************************

"One of the really surprising things about the present bewilderment of humanity is that the Christian Church now finds herself called upon to proclaim the old and hated doctrine of sin as a gospel of cheer and encouragement. The final tendency of the modern philosophies, hailed in their day as a release from the burden of sinfulness, has been to bind man hard and fast in the chains of an iron determinism. The influence of heredity and environment, of glandular makeup and the control exercised by the unconscious, of economic necessity and the mechanics of biological development, have all been invoked to assure man that he is not responsible for his misfortune and therefore not to be held guilty. Evil has been represented as something imposed on us from without, not made by us from within. The dreadful conclusion follows inevitably that as he is not responsible for evil; he cannot alter it. Even though evolution and progress may offer some alleviation in the future there is no hope for you and me now. I well remember how an aunt of mine, brought up in an old-fashioned liberalism, protested angrily against having continuously to call herself a miserable sinner when reciting the Litany. Today, if we could really be persuaded that we are miserable sinners, that the trouble is not outside us but inside us, and that therefore, by the grace of God, we can do something to put it right, we should receive that message as the most helpful and heartening thing that can be imagined." (Dorothy Sayers)

***************************

Notes on Romans 7 from Boice: The Passage As a Whole

Sanctification is the process of coming increasingly to see how sinful we are so that we will depend constantly on Jesus Christ. And that is not easy! The Christian life is a warfare, a warfare within against our inherently sinful natures, as well as a warfare without against external forces. It is extremely important that we see this.

I think that Paul must have been concerned that we see this and that he recognized that it is difficult. I say this because in these verses Paul goes to considerable lengths to teach these truths to us. Notice that in verses 14-24 Paul says almost exactly the same thing three distinct times. The first time is in verses 14-17. The second is in verses 18-20. The third is in verses 21-24. Each of these begins with a statement of the problem: "I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin" (v.14); "nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature" (v.18); and "when I want to do good, evil is right there with me" (v.21). Each section then provides a description of the conflict: "what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do" (v.15); "I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing" (vv.18-19); and "in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members" (vv.22-23). Each section ends with a brief statement of why the problem exists: "it is sin living in me" (v.17); "it is sin living in me" (v.20); and "this body of death" (v.24). What distinguishes these three sections is that in the first Paul states the matter generally, in the second he states it in terms of his doing what he does not want to do, and in the third he says that he finds it impossible to do what he does want to do: "when I want to do good, evil is right there with me" (v.21).

I repeat again that this describes the conflict of a mature Christian man, in fact, the conflict of an apostle of Jesus Christ in his later years. So the struggle Paul speaks of is a struggle we all face and will continue to face--if we are Christians. And the defeat he speaks of is the experience of all--even when we are well along in the Christian life--apart from the Holy Spirit.

"The American Way"

However, Paul is not writing these words to excuse our defeat, still less to encourage it. He is thinking of the victory that can and will be ours (see v.25 and chap. 8). He wants us to achieve victory in the struggle against sin by the Holy Spirit. But the point here is that the victory we want comes only through this struggle and not by some secret formula for success or by some easy way of avoiding it. I believe that at this point we Americans particularly need to hear what Paul is saying, for we hate conflict and are usually trying to avoid it by any means possible. Let me suggest three ways that American Christians try to avoid the struggle against sin, which (according to the teaching of Romans 7) will always be part of our lives.

A formula. The first way we try to avoid struggle in the Christian life is by hunting for some easy formula that will bring victory. This takes various forms: discovering a Christian book that will tell us what to do, following a three-step or four-step recipe for growth in the Christian life, ceasing to do some easy things (like going to movies), or starting to do more difficult things (like attending seminars). You know what I mean:

"Get out of Romans 7 and into Romans 8."
"Let go and let God."
"Get 'self' off the throne of your life and put Christ there."
"Just let Jesus take control"

The underlying motivation for these attempts is our lazy optimism-the expectation that life is meant to be easy, not hard. So, if we do find the Christian life hard, we assume that we are merely missing the right formula. Someone should be able to tell us what the formula is. If we do not find it-and we never will if ease is what we are seeking-we tend to get angry with our instructors or even with God.

A new experience. The second way we try to avoid struggle in the Christian life is by hunting for some new spiritual experience. This can be a charismatic-type experience-speaking in tongues, perhaps. It can be what used to be called "a second work of grace" in which we pass forever out of a defeated Christian state into a victorious one. Or it can be something as straightforward as an emotional experience in worship. In speaking of emotion in worship I do not mean to suggest that this is bad. It is not. We have hearts as well as heads, and we are undoubtedly to worship with both. But emotion, even in worship, is bad if it is thought of as a substitute for or an escape from the fight against sin, which is an inescapable part of the lifelong process of sanctification. To come home from a church service saying, "Didn't we have a worshipful experience?" means nothing unless we have acquired the biblical knowledge with which we can fight against sin and a renewed commitment to do so.

Avoidance. The third way we try to escape struggle in the Christian life is typically "American ": avoidance. That is, when we are defeated, rather than girding up our loins and turning to attack the problem again, we turn away from it and try to fill our minds with something else. Often this "something else" is television or other entertainment. Sometimes it is empty busyness--even in Christian activities. Just as with unbelievers, avoidance may be through alcohol or drugs for some.

Spiritual Realism

What I want to commend to you as we face the fact of the war within us is what J. I. Packer calls "spiritual realism." He talks about it toward the end of his study of the various Christian views of holiness, Keep in Step with the Spirit. As Packer defines it, "Realism has to do with our willingness or lack of willingness to face unpalatable truths about ourselves and" to start making necessary changes. 1 In light of Romans 7:14-24, I want to suggest four statements with which this spiritual realism should start.

When God called us to be Christian people he called us to lifetime struggles against sin.

This should be evident from everything Paul says in this passage. But we seem to take extraordinary measures to avoid this truth. One way of avoiding it is by a kind of unrealistic romanticism in which we kid ourselves into thinking that everything is well with us spiritually or is at least well enough for us to get by with for now. This is particularly easy if we are affluent and do not need to worry about having enough to eat or paying the mortgage and if we can always battle occasional bouts of depression by going out for dinner or by taking a vacation. "No pain, no gain," we say, yet we labor rigorously to avoid spiritual growth pains.

We also avoid this truth by shifting the blame, as Packer suggests in his discussion. It is what Adam and Eve did when God confronted them with their sin in the Garden of Eden.

Adam blamed Eve, saying, "The woman you put here with me--she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it" (Gen. 3:12). But since he pointed out that it was God who gave him the woman, Adam was really blaming God for his trouble.

Eve blamed the devil: "The serpent deceived me, and I ate" (v. 13). But since God had apparently allowed the serpent to come into the garden, this was only a slightly gentler way of also blaming God. Packer says, "We are assiduous blamers of others for whatever goes wrong in our marriages, families, churches, careers, and so onRomantic complacency and resourcefulness in acting the injured innocent are among the most Spirit-quenching traits imaginable, since both become excuses for doing nothing in situations where realism requires that we do something and do it as a matter of urgency. Both states stifle conviction of sin in the unconverted and keep Christians in a thoroughly bad state of spiritual health. "

The starting place for achieving spiritual realism is to recognize that we are called to a constant spiritual warfare in this life and that this warfare is not easy, since it is against the sin that resides in us even as converted men and women. Realism calls for rigorous preparation, constant alertness, dogged determinism, and moment-by-moment trust in him who alone can give us victory

Although we are called to a lifetime struggle against sin, we are nevertheless never going to achieve victory by ourselves.

This is another point that Americans in particular need to grasp. For while we are as a people very susceptible to either simple, quick-fix solutions or avoidance, we are also very confident of our ability to handle even the most difficult challenges. Like putting a man on the moon, we figure that, however tough the problem may be, with enough energy, skill, resourcefulness, and determination we can solve it. Live a victorious Christian life? Of course we can do it--if we really want to. So we say, "When the going gets tough, the tough gets going!" or, "You can if you believe you can."

In this we are perhaps more like the apostle Peter than anyone else in the Bible. Do you remember Peter's boast that, whatever might be true of the other disciples, he at least would never betray Jesus? "Lord, 1 am ready to go with you to prison and to death," said Peter (Luke 22:33). And he meant it! Peter loved Jesus, and he believed that the sheer intensity of his love would enable him to stand firm even in the midst of the greatest spiritual struggles. But Jesus knew Peter, just as he knows us, and he replied, "1 tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me" (v. 34).

In himself, Peter was unable to stand against Satan's temptation even for a moment. When the temptation came he fell. But fortunately this was not all Jesus said to Peter. Although Peter was boastful and self-confident and was wrong in both, Jesus had also told him, .Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers" (vv.31-32).

If we could rephrase those words to express what Peter would probably say to us if he were writing this chapter, it would go like this: "When Jesus told me that he had prayed for me so that my faith would not fail, he meant that apart from him I could not stand against Satan even for a moment. 1 could not go it alone. However strong my devotion or determination, when the chips were down I would deny him. I did! And so will you--this is what 1 am to tell you--unless you are depending on Jesus every moment. Moreover, in the great battles of life it is certain that you will fall away and be lost unless he prays for you, which is what he has promised to do. 'Apart from me you can do nothing' is what he told us. 1 proved the truth of his words by my denial, and you will, too, unless you are depending on him constantly."

Even when we triumph over sin by the power of the Holy Spirit, which should be often, we are still unprofitable servants. Why is this so? It is because our victories, even when we achieve them, are all nevertheless by the power and grace of God and are not of ourselves. If they were, we would be able to take some personal glory for our triumphs, and when we die we would bring our boasting into heaven. But our victories are not of ourselves. They are of God. And since they are not of ourselves, we will not boast either on earth or in heaven but will instead give God all the glory.

Consider that great scene in Revelation in which the elders who represent the saints lay their crowns before the throne of God, saying, "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power" (Rev. 4:11). Why do you suppose they do that? And what does the scene mean? Clearly, the fact that the crowns are the elders' crowns mean that they represent the elders' own victories over sin and God's enemies. But, by taking them off and laying them before the throne of God, the elders indicate that their victories were achieved, not by themselves, but by the power of the Spirit of God that worked within them. In other words, in the final analysis the triumphs are God's alone.

And yet, we are to go on fighting and struggling against sin, and we are to do so with the tools made available to us, chiefly prayer; Bible study, Christian fellowship, service to others, and the sacraments.

We are never to quit in this great battle against sin. We are to fight it with every ounce of energy in our bodies and with our final breath. Only then, when we have finished the race, having kept the course, may we rest from warfare. Isn't that what the Bible tells us everywhere? Ephesians 6:10-12: "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Philippians 3:12-14: "I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Hebrews 12:1-4: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood."

A Supernatural Gospel

I close this study by suggesting that a gospel in which we must do everything possible to attain a victory over sin--but in which, in spite of all we do or can ever do, the victory when it comes is by God alone and not by us or for our glory--a gospel like that must be from God; it could never have been invented by man. The very nature of our gospel is proof of its divine origin. Left to ourselves, what do we do? We do one of two things. Either we create a gospel of works, so that our salvation depends upon our own righteousness and our sanctification likewise depends upon our own ability to defeat sin and choose righteousness. Or else we retreat into passivity and say. Since the battle is God's and there is nothing [ can do to achieve victory, I might as well just sit back and let God work." To our way of thinking it seems that it must be either of those two choices. But the Bible, through Paul, says something quite different: "Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose" (Phil. 2:12-13, emphasis added). The Christian life is not easy. No responsible person ever said it was. It is a battle all the way. But it is a battle that will be won. And when it is won, we who have triumphed will cast our crowns at the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ who worked in us to accomplish the victory, and we will praise him forever. (James M. Boice, Romans Vol. 2)


Class Notes on Romans are on Lambert's Web Site: http://ldolphin.org/romans/
Cassette tapes may be ordered from the bookstore, $3.00 each.
Audio tapes in MP3 format: http://ldolphin.org/audio.html
Ray Stedman's Commentary on Romans: http://pbc.org/dp/stedman/romans2/ (also in audio and video versions)
William Barclay on Romans, http://ldolphin.org/barclay/romans.html
Christianese Lexicon web site, http://ldolphin.org/barclay/romans.html
The Scars of Sin, by Ray C. Stedman, http://ldolphin.org/scars.html
Norman Grubb, The Key to Everything, http://www.ldolphin.org/grubb.html

 

 I hear no one boast, that he hath a knowledge of the Scriptures, but that he owneth a Bible written in golden characters. And tell me then, what profiteth this? The Holy Scriptures were not given to us that we should enclose them in books, but that we should engrave them upon our hearts. ...St. John Chrysostom (345?-407)


Romans Class Notes:   Index  |  1  | 2  |  3  |  4  | 5  |  6  |   |  8  |  9  | 10  |  11  | 12  | 13  |  14  |  15  |  16  |  17  |  18

You may order cassette tapes from the PBC bookstore, $3.00 each, plus postage.
MP3 files will be on Lambert's web site, http://ldolphin.org/audio.html


Lambert Dolphin | http://ldolphin.org | lambert@ldolphin.org | 10/19/03