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Sermon #3111

The Christian and God's Law

A Sermon on Romans 7:1


Romans 7:1 ESV KJV
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? (ESV)

Sermon Description

How do Christians relate to the law of God? Since they are saved, can they actually keep the law? What happens when they fail? In this sermon on Romans 7:1 titled “The Christian and God’s Law,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows a bird’s eye view of how Christians should view the controversial topic in this chapter of Scripture. According to Dr. Lloyd-Jones, most problems in the Christian life could be solved if Christians had a better understanding of Romans 7. With a proper understanding of this chapter, the Christian will have a better understanding of sin and its severity. Dr. Lloyd-Jones states that sanctification by the law is just as impossible as salvation by the law. According to Paul, the law actually hinders sanctification. There is only one way a person can bring fruit before God and that is if they are joined to Jesus Christ. When one understands the relationship of the law to the Christian, it helps in understanding that simple morality and ethical living are not sufficient for salvation or sanctification. One must be joined to Christ for salvation, not simply follow the law. The law shows how sinful people are, but only Christ can save by His perfect life and His perfect righteousness.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The law has dominion over a man as long as he lives.
  2. Chapter 7 of Romans has been frequently discussed and disputed.
  3. Most people are more familiar with chapter 7 than chapter 6, even though chapter 6 is greater.
  4. It's important to understand the setting and purpose of chapter 7.
  5. Chapters 6 and 7 are a parenthesis, clearing up issues that would arise from chapter 5.
  6. Chapter 5 verse 20 says "where sin abounded, grace abounded more." This could be misunderstood as encouraging sin.
  7. Chapter 6 refutes the idea that grace encourages sin. Chapter 7 refutes the idea that grace does away with the law.
  8. The purpose of chapter 7 is to show that sanctification cannot come through the law, just as justification cannot come through the law.
  9. Chapter 7 can be divided into 3 sections: verses 1-6, verses 7-12, and verses 13-25.
  10. Verses 1-6 show that believers have a new relationship to the law in order to bear fruit to God.
  11. Verse 4 is key, saying believers have died to the law to be joined to Christ and bear fruit to God.
  12. Verses 7-12 vindicate the law, showing the problem is not with the law but with our flesh.
  13. Verses 13-25 show experientially how impossible sanctification by the law would be.
  14. The overall themes of the chapter are: an analysis of sin; the function and limits of the law; the futility of morality without Christ; and union with Christ.
  15. Most problems in the Christian life come from not grasping the teaching of chapter 7.
  16. Many do not understand the depth and power of sin.
  17. Many wrongly come under condemnation when they sin, not understanding their relationship to the law.
  18. It does not matter how much you sin as a believer, you should never come under condemnation. But this does not encourage sin.
  19. Some ignore the law altogether, falling into antinomianism. But we must understand our proper relationship to the law.
  20. Many do not fully understand their union with Christ, the source of power for fruitful living.
  21. The Christian's duty is to be faithful to Christ, obeying him. His power produces the fruit.

The Book of Romans

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.