Romans: The Law and Sin

Sermon & Small Group Resources

This is the eleventh sermon in our Romans series looking at the first eight chapters of the book. Preacher: The Rev’d Adam Lowe. Bible Reading: Romans 7:7-25. 

Download the Small Group Questions, Going Deeper, and Sermon Transcript (PDF).

Next Steps this Week

BIBLE READING: Romans 7:7-25

What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.

Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

So I find this law at work: Although 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 at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS

Download in PDF format.

WARM-UP Questions

  1. Do you remember (from the sermon) what causes so much debate about this section in Romans? 

  2. When you encounter parts of the Bible that are difficult, what is your motivation and method to persist?

Read Romans 7:7-13

  1. According to these verses, what are the purposes of the law? Does this mean that the law is sin (in and of itself) or is it good? How so?

  2. As Christians, what law and teaching does Jesus instruct us to obey? What do you find most difficult? In what area have you seen the most growth in your life?

  3. When has been a time in your life in which God’s Word has both SHOWN and CONVICTED you of sin? In what way, knowing what sin is, does the law provoke more sin in our lives?

  4. How is it possible for sin to hijack law? Have you known this to be true? How was it true in the garden?

Read Romans 7:14-25

  1. Have you ever tension like Paul, doing the very things you do not want to do? If comfortable, please share an aspect of this with the group.

  2. How can we all be of encouragement to one another as we seek to fight this battle?

  3. Because we await being completely free from sin when we are physically resurrected, does this mean that we should give up on resisting sin today?

  4. How does recognising that we live in ‘in-between’ times help us amidst this battle? 

  5. Why is relying on our own performance such a perilous path to take?

  6. What does Paul mean when he calls himself “wretched”? Why is recognising our wretchedness actually a good and honest thing to do?

  7. When we recognise our inability to meet God’s standards, and the battle of sin that we cannot win, what should that cause us to do?

  8. How is Jesus the ultimate rescuer? What does it look like to continually put our trust in him?

  9. As you look at the entirety of this chapter, what most strikes you? What do you most identify with?

APPLY (this week): As you face the reality of living in the tension of sin yet also desiring to follow God’s ways, what is your source of strength? 

PRAYER

Gracious Father, we are so sorry for the sin in our lives that reflects a disobedience to you. Please help us to submit our entire lives to your rule, seeking to live in accordance with your Word, that our lives might be for your glory and kingdom alone. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

GOING DEEPER

WITH CHILDREN

A great video to watch with your children and grandchildren.