"Laying Down The Law"
By James Merritt
1. Any study of the book of Romans, if it is going to be fruitful, must keep in mind that the book can be broadly divided into three sections: Chapters 1-8 is the doctrinal section. Chapters 9-11 is the national section. Chapters 12-16 is the practical section.
2. The doctrinal section can be further divided into three parts. Part one deals with sin and the wrath of God the Father. Part two deals with salvation and the worth of God the Son. Part three deals with sanctification and the work of God the Spirit.
3. You can take all of the problems, all of the difficulties, all of the troubles known to man, and boil them down into one single word - SIN. In chapters 1-8 of the book of Romans deal thoroughly, truthfully, and thrillingly with this very problem.
4. The Holy Spirit pulls no punches and leaves no stone unturned. We are confronted with the doom of sin, but then we are shown the defeat of sin, and now we are being taught the deliverance from sin.
5. In chapter 7 we are going to hear the cry of a carnal Christian. Paul was saved, I believe, but Paul was saddened. Paul knew that he had divine deliverance from the penalty of sin. Paul knew that one day he would have definite deliverance from the presence of sin. But Paul's problem was he was not having daily deliverance from the power of sin. Paul was a man of faith, but he was also a man of frustration.
6. There are two extremes to which Christianity can go if we are not careful. On the one hand there are some who say that once you are saved you can live anyway you please. That is the extreme of license.
7. But more often than not, others go to the other extreme and say, even though we are saved by grace, we still must live under the law and keep it perfectly if we are going to please God. That is the extreme of legalism.
8. Now the problem of license was dealt with ...
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