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Enabling Grace Blog

"Breaking free from addictions, part 2"

** Remember that in this lesson, the blue underlines in this lesson are weblinks. **

Last time we were together, we left off talking about how we, because we are in Christ, have become dead to the law through Christ, see Rom 7:1-6 (If anyone would like to obtain the teaching that I did last time, click HERE). Going forward in our lessons, look at what Paul said in Rom 6:23— "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." In this verse, we have 2 different economic systems: the wage-system and the gift-system. The wage-system was the old system that operated in you BEFORE your new birth (this system still operates in this world producing its death) and the gift-system is the new system that operates in you AFTER your new birth. Think about it, a person earns his wages by the work that he does, but conversely, one receives a gift because of another’s generosity. Paul used this verse to introduce us to his teaching of the law in chapter 7, and it’s because the law demands one’s work to receive his wage. 

The main problem of many believers is trying to live his life in God’s kingdom as if he was still under the old system of the law, instead of believing and resting in God’s gift (grace) through Christ. 

Any standard that one may have and use, causing him to work for God’s promise instead of resting in God’s gift through Christ is considered to be law. Law causes people to naturally rebel from God, and that is because it only serves 2 purposes— 1- to point out one’s failures and shortcomings and 2- to promote and inspire his own efforts to do the job in trying to improve himself. 

In 7:4, Paul said— "Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God." A few verses earlier, in chapter 6, he said that WE HAVE DIED TO SIN and here he said that WE HAVE BECOME DEAD TO THE LAW. Having died to sin, means that we are no longer under its domination from the inside, and having become dead to the law, means that the law, which causes sin, has no more dominion, or jurisdiction over us (it no longer relevant to us). The law— yes, even the moral commandments known as the “10 Commandments”— cannot tell us what to do, nor can it call you guilty for not living up to it.

In v.6, he puts this all together for us— "But now (at this present time) we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by (which was sin), so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter." Do you see how important it is to know these 2 Redemptive realities, having died to sin and have become dead to the law? Because once we know these 2 things and renew our minds with them, we'll effortlessly shed any sinful addictions that may be in our lives.

4. Knowing that we are married to Jesus. Look again at v.4 that introduces this reality to us—"Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him (Jesus) who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God." Knowing our relationship to Jesus— being married to Him— causes us to see our true relationship with the law— that we don’t have one. We cannot really understand that we have become dead to the law, without first understanding that we are married to Jesus. Look at the little word THAT, “that you may be married…” The law and Christ are opposites— so the law had to be fulfilled and taken away, so that we could be married to another— Christ. We are not waiting to be the Bride of Christ— we are the Bride of Christ! This outlines our relationship with Jesus and how much care He has for us. This is why James said this to a bunch of believers (James 4:4)— “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” An adulterer is someone who has relations with someone outside their marriage. So also, when believers mingle with the law— try to balance law and grace— they are committing spiritual adultery (That’s why some of the most worldly people are those who live their lives by the law). This is not to condemn anyone. I’m just showing you why so many believers feel condemned.

Now we come to Paul’s personal testimony of when he was living under the law. Look at what he said in Rom 7:9— “I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.” When was Paul alive without the law? It was before he became accountable for keeping it as a young child under the Jewish system. Why do I say this? Because notice that he said, “when the commandment came, sin REVIVED and I died”. The commandment pointed out his sin and failure and he knew that he was died (seperated from life). Sin revived, because it was already on the inside of him— he just didn’t know it until he was introduced to the commandment. 

Now I realize that there are 2 ways that one can view Paul’s testimony from Rom 7:9-25. The first way is by seeing it is in its context— to show Paul’s condition before he came to Christ. The more popular way is by seeing it as being relatable. What I mean by it being relatable is believers relating it to their lives of trying to live by the law’s standards. Because our emotions are not glorified like our spirit is, believers who live by the law experience the same anguish that Paul did. So it is by not understanding the proper context of his testimony (before he came to Christ), that many have become confused over what’s being said, as if, Paul was flip-flopping with his beliefs with chapter 6, 7 and 8. 

Look at v.7-8— “(7) What shall we say then (if sinful passions are aroused by the law)? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet.’ (8) But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead.” This explains what Paul meant when he said, “but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died”. I want you to notice those last few words of v.8 which carries much meaning, “APART FROM THE LAW SIN WAS DEAD”. There’s some that teach that we should have a proper balance of law and grace if we are going to live a successful Christian life. 

But Paul said APART FROM law sin was dead. We shouldn’t have a PART of the law— we should live APART from it (compare this with Rom 3:21 and see how Righteousness came to us)!

The whole scenario of v.15-25 is relatable to every believer who live under the law. We are to renew our minds with the reality of being married to Jesus— being completely joined and connected to Him as His Bride! This truth causes us to bear fruit to God and to cast off sinful addictions of the flesh. It’s impossible for the law to do this. 

5. Knowing the law of the Spirit. Now we come to the last point of Paul’s teaching on grace in breaking free from sinful, fleshly addictions. In the beginning verses of chapter 8, Paul is concluding his testimony. Look at what he said in v.2-4— “(2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made ME free from the law of sin and death. (3) For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh (4) that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” There’s a reason why I capitalize the word “ME” in v.2. I wanted you to see that Paul is referring to himself and bring to a close his testimony. The terrific thing about v.2 is because you’re in Christ, it refers to you as well! The law of the Spirit is the principle of His grace (Look at the word “law” as you would the law of mathematics— where 2 plus 2 will ALWAYS equal 4, because it’s a law, a set principle). Where the law, or principle of sin and death used to be and function from your spirit, not it’s been removed, changed and replaced by the law of the Spirit (grace) and this law always produces life in those who believe.

With this in mind, look at how this chapter starts— “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Many newer manuscripts of the Bible leave out the last phrase, “who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit”, and that’s ok. Nonetheless, this glorious truth of “no condemnation” is for every believer in Christ (God doesn’t pass judgment on you, because you are His child, see John 3:18). Grace is simply the Spirit’s law inside of you— it’s the principle of letting Him do His work for you, instead of you trying to accomplish it (It’s not “working the Word”, but letting “His Word work you”). The law of the Spirit is God's grace— it's His ability at work in you performing His word. The law of the Spirit makes all of the other 4 points real to you. 

Much more can be said about the law of the Spirit and how it works in us as we believe, from being led by the Spirit to causing you to become persuaded concerning never being separated from God's love. Look briefly at the 5 points Paul teaches from Rom 6, 7 and 8:

1) knowing our true identity in Christ, 6:1-11

2) knowing the simplicity of presenting, 6:12-23

3) knowing that we are dead to the law, 7:1-6

4) knowing that we are married to Jesus, (7:4), 7-25

5) knowing the law of the Spirit, 8:1-39

These 5 "grace-points" are truths that Paul taught on how to break free from fleshly addictions. Your freedom is never based on your ability, but always from His ability working in you as you believe— the law of the Spirit, which is His grace.     -    13120 Three Rivers Road Apt 3004  

Gulfport, MS 39503   


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