Romans 7:7 - 8:11

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Freewill vs. Sinful Nature

  1. Doing what is wrong without knowledge of the law is simply lawlessness. Doesn’t make it right. However, it isn’t a violation of a command. (Example: Selfish desire for something that someone else owns. A child teasing an animal. Hating someone.)
  2. The Law brings commandments into the equation. Now, what was once lawlessness is transgression. It is violation of a commandment. Now we can name the problem – (Coveting, disobedience to parents, not loving your neighbor). Paul does not consider law the problem. Law is good – it is revelation from God. It reveals God’s will and God’s vision for humanity. It identifies sin (it diagnoses).
  3. However, the downside is that Law can identify sin, but cannot do anything to prevent sin. It is prescription, but not power. Here’s the other tricky part about law – even when it is kept (done) it is less than righteousness because it simply becomes a slavish application of the rules (this isn’t like the weak addict who fails not to use).
  4. So, something greater than Law must prevail. What is that?

Chris Benjamin

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Evening Sermon, 28 December 2008

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