:) Finally had some time! Next week should be fun... we're heading into some messianic prophecies... :)

Happy studying!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Romans Chapter 7

vs. 1-3

- The law applies to a living person.
- When you marry, you are bound to your spouse until death do you part.
- While you are both still living, you're supposed to be faithful to each other. You can't marry a second spouse while still living with the first... This would be adultery.
- But if one of you dies, then the living one is free to remarry because they are no longer bound by law to the dead one.

- I Corinthians 7:39
- Mathew 5:31-32

vs. 4-6

- Paul compares the law of marriage to the law of Righteousness.
- The law was in control until Christ died... and you died with Christ. Therefore, you are no longer bound to the law.
- This means that we are no longer controlled by our old nature. The law brought to light those things that were sin. By delineating those things that were right and wrong, sin was brought to light.
- Our natural desire seems to be to rebel. If someone tells you not to do something, your first response is to want to turn around and go do it.
- So when Paul says that the law awakened in us the desire to sin, I think it relates to the above.
- The law brought sin, and sin brought death.
- But because Christ died and we with him... we are free from death. We have died to the power of sin. No longer are we held captive by sin.
- We can serve God, not by following the law but by walking in the Spirit.

- Colossians 2:20-23, 3:1-11
- II Corinthians 2:14-17, 5:14-21
- Ephesians 4:20-24
- I John 1:5-10, 2:1-6

- Have you ever felt your past closing in around you? Felt like there was no way to escape from the sin you'd committed?
- Paul says we are a new creature in Christ. This means that, not only do you get a fresh start, but there is a heart change. What are some things in your life that have changed since meeting Christ?
- Are there other things that you see a need to change or alter in your life/lifestyle? How has God been changing you lately?

vs. 7-13

- The law showed us that we were sinners. The Law did not bring sin to us... but it showed us what sin was. It defined sin for us.
- Sin in turn used the law to bring temptation.
- footnote- “ Where there is no law, there is no sin, because people cannot know that their actions are sinful unless a law forbids those actions. God's law makes people realize that they are sinners doomed to die, yet it offers no help. Sin is real, and it is dangerous.”
- So instead of bringing life, the law brought death. Sin took advantage of the commandments, and used them to cause spiritual death.
- The law does not cause our spiritual death. For the law itself was holy, and right, and good. But sin used what was holy to cause the corruption of our human hearts and ultimately, our spiritual death.
- Sin uses God's good commandments for its own evil purposes. Sin uses deception to cause our failures.

- James 4:7-10, 1:12-18
- I Corinthians 10:12-13
- I Peter 5:6-11

- Have you ever heard that little voice speak to you and say “what's it going to hurt?” or “who's gonna know?” or “It's just one time” or “you need a stress relief” or “you DESERVE a break”?
- How does Satan use your own feelings and emotions to deceive you into sin?
- How can you guard against such feelings?
- When you start to feel yourself slipping into temptation, do you have a man or woman of God in your life who you can call for immediate prayer? If not, does someone come to mind who you could ask to be your prayer of accountability person? Pray one for another (James 5:13-20).

vs. 14-23

- footnote: Paul shares 3 lessons that he learned in trying to deal with his sinful desires:
- (1) Knowledge of the rules is not the answer. Paul felt fine as
long as he did not understand what the law demanded. When
he learned the truth, he knew he was doomed.
- (2) Self-determination (struggling in one's own strength)
doesn't succeed. Paul found himself sinning in ways that
weren't even attractive to him.
-(3)Becoming a Christian does not stamp out all sin and
temptation from a person's life.
Being born again takes a moment of faith, but becoming like
Christ is a lifelong process. Paul compares Christian growth to a strenuous race or fight. Thus, as Paul has been emphasizing since the beginning of this letter, no one in the world is innocent; no one deserves to be saved—not the pagan who doesn't know God's laws, not the person who knows them and tries to keep them. ALL of us must depend totally on the work of Christ for our salvation. We cannot earn it by our good behavior.
- footnote: This is more than the cry of one desperate man; it describes the experience of all Christians struggling against sin or trying to please God by keeping rules and laws without the Spirit's help. We must never underestimate the power of sin and attempt to fight it in our own strength. Satan is a crafty tempter, and we have an amazing ability to make excuses. In stead of trying to overcome sin with our own human willpower, we must take hold of God's provision for victory over sin: the Holy Spirit, who lives within us and gives us power. And when we fall, He lovingly reaches out to help us up.

-I Corinthians 9:24-27
- II Timothy 4:7
- Galatians 5:13-26
- I John 4:4-6

- Are you fully depending on God?
- Do you find yourself trying to make yourself acceptable before God?

vs. 24-25

- Thank God! There is HOPE!
- As miserable and worthless as we are, there is someone who reaches out freedom to us.
- “Who will make me free from this life that is dominated by sin and death?” JESUS! Christ our Lord and Savior has provided the way!
- footnote: There is great tension in daily Christian experience. The conflict is that we agree with God's commands but cannot do them. As a result, we are painfully aware of our sin. This inward struggle with sin was as real for Paul as it is for us. From Paul we learn what to do about it. Whenever he felt overwhelmed by the spiritual battle, he would return to the beginnings of his spiritual life, remembering how he had been freed from sin by Jesus Christ. When we feel confused and overwhelmed by sin's appeal, let us claim the freedom Christ gave us. His power can lift us to victory!

- Hebrews 2:14-18
- Deuteronomy 31:6
- Ephesians 6:10-20
- (This is the scripture passage about the armor of
God. vs. 18 talks about perseverance in prayer.
Not only to pray for yourself and one another for
strength to fight the battle, but to pray with
perseverance. I sometimes think of this kind of
prayer as my weapon on the battlefield. In order
to be used well, you have to aim well. In order to
be in working order, you have to oil it, use it,
practice with it. This is intense prayer and it
doesn't come easy. You have to work for it.)

- In your own prayer time, I challenge you to ask God to point out things in your life that He desires to see changed. And then... find someone to pray with you. Corporate prayer brings strength. Find someone to be accountable with you. Someone who won't judge, but who will pray with you through temptation whether the outcome is good or bad.
- And when temptation comes, (because it always will) don't be afraid to ask for help. Temptation comes to all of us. All of us have sinned and all of us have failed at one point or another. Don't feel like you're the only one and don't feel like you need to put on a perfect front.
- Casting Crowns has a song out about happy plastic people “Stained Glass Masquerade”. There's a line that says, “am I the only one in church today, feeling so small”. Christians fail. Doesn't mean we let it kill our faith and it doesn't mean God won't take us back. He always forgives if we ask with humble hearts.
- It's ok to show a broken heart. Doesn't mean we need all the details... just sometimes to be able to say “hey, I messed up. I'm not perfect.”

May God Bless you all, in the name of Jesus Christ...

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