Romans 7 - The Law and Sin

Romans 7:1 - "Or do you not know, brothers ... that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives?" Review Romans 6 (and Romans 7:4), through Christ we died and rose again. Since we are dead, the law no longer applies to us. Whoa.

Romans 7:4-6 - We were not set free from the law so that we could do whatever we want, we were set free to bear fruit for God. We are designed to bear fruit, without Christ, we bear fruit for death through sin, because of Jesus we can, and should, bear fruit for God.

Romans 7:10-11 - We like to believe that a set of rules will teach us to live and guide us along the way. This is true, to a point. The full reality, however, is that we are ill equipped to follow any set of rules completely. We fail, even at following our own pet peeves, let along the complete law of God. We frequently are offenders at that which we hate in others. So, what the law does ultimately is prove our inadequacies, showing us to be completely and utterly hopeless apart from Christ.

Romans 7:18-19 - "I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing." Anyone else live here? So, if this was Paul's experience, and we can relate as well, how then should we treat those who fall short as they follow Christ? I'm not talking about the blatant sins of adultery, rape, murder, etc, certainly Paul wasn't saying that every now and then he falls back into hunting down those who disagree with him, as he had done with Christians. I imagine that he's talking about character sins - harshness, pride, judgmentalism, anger. Do you know any disciples like that (you're talking to one)? Do you dismiss them as ungodly, or treat them with love by mixing grace with frank honesty?

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