Chapter # 7 Paragraph # 3 Study # 2
March 20, 2007
Lincolnton, N.C.

<298> Thesis: The Law was given to expose Sin. Introduction: Last week I failed in my efforts to produce a CD for our first study of the paragraph before us this evening. I make this comment for the sake of those who are studying Romans with us by way of CDs. Also last week I attempted to explain how Paul could argue so strongly for the believer's refusal to be subject to the Law without undercutting the national structure of Israel as a theocracy. The laws which hold a culture together and enable a society to survive the evil of men are distinct from the Law of God even when those laws are given by God. In Romans 6-7 Paul argues that we are not to be entangled in subjection to the Law and in Romans 13 Paul deliberately demands that we are to be in subjection to governmental law as it is an extension of the power of God. For him to be able to do this without contradiction, there must be a difference between what he calls "Law" in Romans 1-7 and what he calls the "ordinances" of the rulers of this world. The point I was attempting to make is this: the laws that hold a society together have to do with enabling men to survive in some form of relationship with other men on the basis of an externalized conformity, but the Law of God cannot be used to provide a basis for a relationship between God and men because God will not allow a relationship with Himself at only an externalized conformity level. With men, conformity is enough regardless of motivation, but with God, motivation is most important. The state will not execute one who hates his brother but does not kill him. God will not accept the dichotomy: he that hates his brother is a murderer in the knowledge of God and will be treated as such by God. Now, this evening we are going to proceed into Paul's actual argument in the text before us. In this paragraph, Paul addresses the third of his "questions" in this chapter. It is this: "Did that which is good become a cause of death for me?" This is no small matter because it launches Paul into a long and extended presentation of the true cause of death for us.