Romans 7:7-13 / The Law and Sin (Sermon – Notes and Audio)

Posted on October 18, 2013


This is the twenty-seventh in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Romans. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of October 13, 2013. This message deals with the between the law and sin. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes and a study outline. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

AUDIO – Listen Now:


Rom 7_7-13


Rom 7_7-13 Outline


Romans 7:7-13

Paul had just talked a lot about the law, and he wanted to make certain his readers did not conclude (from v v. 4–6) that the law itself was evil.

The law is not sin, but the law reveals God’s divine standard.

As believers compare themselves against that standard, they will accurately identify sin, by their failure to meet that standard.

By using an example from his own life, Paul illustrates how the law revealed sin to him.

He refers to the 10th commandment.

Exodus 20:17

The word “opportunity” speaks to a starting point for sin.

For every sinful act we commit, there is first an opportunity.

That opportunity then produces evil desire, which is ultimately manifested in the sinful act.

In this case, the opportunity came by way of the law.

By the law, sin was made known.

This new knowledge created a desire to do that which was forbidden.

This goes all the way back to the garden of Eden, where there was but one law:

Genesis 2:17

Satan saw an opportunity in that law, and he exploited it.

Suddenly, Adam and
Eve saw this thing that had been forbidden.

Naturally, they would wonder what great things they were missing.

In fact, this is the very tact that Satan used.

Genesis 3:5

Greatness is the promise of sin, yet all it can deliver is death.

Even so, we continue to be enticed. We always want what we are told we can’t have.

It is the preference of our own will over the will of God.

“for apart from the law, sin was dead”

Dead, in this sense, more precisely refers to a dormant state, where sin remained inactive.

In fact, sin always involves a decision.

The law brings a list of rules which require us to make decisions.

It is when we are faced with a decision, that sin has the opportunity to spring to life.

“Without the law.”

This is not referring to ignorance of or lack of concern for the law.

Phil. 3:6

It is referring to an external, imperfect conception of it.

“When the commandment came.”

When he began to understand the true requirements of God’s moral law, at some point prior to his conversion, sin came alive.

He realized his true condition as a desperately wicked sinner

1 Tim. 1:15

“I died.”

He realized his deadness, spiritually; that all his religious credentials and accomplishments were meaningless.

Phil. 3:7–8

Paul realized the lie of legalism.

Faith in the law does not bring life, it brings death.

No one is justified by the law, for only one person can keep the law perfectly.

Romans 3:20

2 Corinthians 5:21

By leading him to expect life from his keeping of the law, when what he found was death (v. 10), he was deceived.

By convincing him that he is acceptable to God because of his own merit and good works, he was deceived.

The fact that the law reveals, arouses, and condemns sin, bringing death to the sinner, does not mean that the law is evil.

Rather the law is a perfect reflection of God’s holy character.

Psalm 19:7-11

Romans 7:14

Romans 7:22

It is the standard for believers to please God, but faith in Christ must be the foundation.

Sin is the cause of death, not the law.

When he has said that the law brings death, he is referring to reliance on the law, and your own good works rather than Christ.

The law itself is good, it is God’s perfect standard.

The law brings an awareness of the true nature of sin and its deadly character.

This brings the sinner to see his need of salvation—the very purpose God intended the law to serve.

Galatians 3:19-25

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