Alive Without the Law (Part 2)Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Sunday, February 5, 2012.
VI. "Sin...slew me" and "I died" -- What was this death? 1. Sin had been laying dormant in Paul, deceiving him (Rom 7:11). A. Deceive - v. 1. trans. To ensnare; to take unawares by craft or guile; to overcome, overreach, or get the better of by trickery; to beguile or betray into mischief or sin; to mislead. B. Sin had deceived Paul by making him think he was alive and righteous. C. Like the people of Laish who dwelt carelessly, quiet and secure, because there was no magistrate in the land to put them to shame (Jdg 18:7): so it was with Paul. D. Paul was blameless when it came to keeping the letter of the law (Phi 3:6). E. Until this point in his life, Paul had not known sin (Rom 7:7). F. Paul apparently had never been found guilty of breaking the outward parts of the law (murder, adultery, theft, idolatry, blasphemy, etc.). G. He was one of the Pharisees who were known for their outward show of piety (Mat 23:23-28). H. Paul was deceived like the Pharisee in the parable which Jesus told who thought he was righteous because of his works (Luk 18:9-14). I. The first nine of the 10 commandments condemned outward sins, which Paul thought he was innocent of. J. Jesus taught that outward sins come from the heart (Mat 15:19) and can be committed in the heart. i. If you lust after a woman in your heart, you have committed adultery (Mat 5:27-28). ii. Jesus likened being angry with your brother without a cause to murder (Mat 5:21-22). iii. If you hate your brother in your heart, you are a murderer (1Jo 3:15). K. It apparently had not occurred to Paul that the 10th commandment which said "Thou shalt not covet" condemned the lust that was inside Paul (Rom 7:7). L. Lusts are deceitful (Eph 4:22). M. When the commandment came to Paul and he for the first time realized that he was a filthy sinner full of lust, sin took the occasion and slew him (Rom 7:11). N. Occasion - I. 1. a. A falling together or juncture of circumstances favourable or suitable to an end or purpose, or admitting of something being done or effected; an opportunity. †In early use esp. in pregnant sense, Opportunity of attacking, of fault-finding, or of giving or taking offence; a ‘handle’ against a person. to take occasion, to take advantage of an opportunity (to do something) O. Sin took its golden opportunity to accuse and find fault with Paul for his lust and wrought in him all manner of concupiscence (Rom 7:8). P. Wrought - past tense and pple. of work v. I. †1. a. Created; shaped, moulded. Q. Concupiscence - 1. Eager or vehement desire; in Theol. use (transl. Žpihtl¬a of N.T.) the coveting of ‘carnal things’, desire for the ‘things of the world’. 2. esp. Libidinous desire, sexual appetite, lust. R. Once that door was opened by the commandment which showed what was really in Paul's heart, sin appeared for what it really was and became exceedingly sinful (Rom 7:13). i. You could say that Pandora's box was opened in Paul's heart. ii. Pandora's box - The gift of Jupiter to Pandora, a box enclosing the whole multitude of human ills, which flew forth when the box was foolishly opened by Epimetheus S. When lust conceives it brings forth sin, and when sin is finished, it brings forth death (Jam 1:15). T. Paul was dead. 2. As was before proved, Paul did not die physically when the commandment came. 3. Nor did he die spiritually at that time, as was already proved. 4. Along with physical and spiritual death, the Bible also speaks of death to fellowship with God (Luk 15:24; Eph 5:14; Rev 3:1). A. This "death" that Paul experienced was not a death to fellowship with God because Paul did not have fellowship with God, being without the law. B. In order to have fellowship with God, one must have fellowship with the Father and with Jesus Christ through the word of God which declares Him (1Jo 1:1-3). C. Paul was far from being in fellowship with God before his conversion, being confident in his own righteousness and persecuting Jesus Christ and His followers (Act 9:4). 5. The "death" that Paul experienced when the commandment of the law came and revealed his sin to him was the death of his life of self righteousness and self confidence which was described in section V. 6. Paul's "death" was likely similar to that of Nabal's whose "heart died within him, and he became as a stone" (1Sa 25:37) when he heard of the events that had transpired between Abigail and David. 7. Isaiah experienced a similar "death" when confronted with the holiness of God and his own sinfulness (Isa 6:1-5). A. He was undone. B. Undone - ppl. 1. Brought to decay or ruin; ruined, destroyed. C. "I am undone" translates the Hebrew word "damah" which is translated as: i. "perish" - (Psa 49:12,20) ii. "cut off" - (Jer 47:5; Hos 10:7,15; Oba 1:5) iii. "destroy" - (Hos 4:5,6) iv. "cut down" - (Zep 1:11) 8. Paul was undone when confronted with the his own exceeding sinfulness. VII. When did this happen to Paul? 1. Paul's being "alive without the law" could have begun before he was regenerated and called by God's grace, as this type of life before described doesn't require the grace of God to possess. A. Many or most of the Pharisees who outwardly appeared righteous (Mat 23:27-28) were not God's children. B. John the Baptist called them a generation of vipers (Mat 3:7). C. Jesus asked them rhetorically "how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" (Mat 23:33). D. Jesus said that they were of their father the devil (Joh 8:44). E. Jesus said they made their converts twofold more the children of hell than themselves (Mat 23:15). 2. It is very unlikely that Paul's "death" which came about by the commandment of God coming and revealing his sin to him, which in turn slew him, happened before Jesus appeared to him and arrested him on the road to Damascus (Act 9:3-6). A. Prior to that time Paul was certainly not convicted of his sin, as he was persecuting God's people (Act 9:1-2) and Jesus Himself (Act 9:4). B. It is evident that at some point in Paul's life BEFORE Jesus was revealed IN him, that God had called him by His grace, thereby giving him eternal life (Gal 1:15-16 c/w Act 22:14 c/w Rom 8:28-30). C. It was because of this calling by God's grace that Paul was able to be slain by his sin when the commandment came (Rom 7:9) because he then was subject to the law of God, which he would not have been when he was a reprobate with a carnal mind (Rom 8:7). D. Subject - I. 1. That is under the dominion or rule of a sovereign, or a conquering or ruling power; owing allegiance or obedience to a sovereign ruler or state, a temporal or spiritual lord, or other superior. 3. This experience of "death" could have happened when Paul was physically blind for three days in Damascus (Act 9:9). 4. It could also have happened when Paul was in Arabia before returning to Damascus and then going to Jerusalem (Gal 1:17-18). VIII. Dead to the law and dead to sin. 1. Paul was smitten by his sin, which was empowered by the law, and died to himself and became converted unto the gospel of Christ. 2. Once this happened, Paul then had the knowledge and assurance that he was: A. Dead to the law (Rom 7:4-6). B. Dead to sin (Rom 6:11) 3. Instead of being "alive without the law", Paul could now reckon himself "alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom 6:11)
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