Sermon by Pastor Tom Brown · Jul 26, 2020 · My Bible Year Series

Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? 2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. 3 So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.

4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh,[a] the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

Romans 7:1-6


How do you change behavior?

-MLK: the law can’t change a man’s heart, but it might stop him from lynching me.

-Law: rule with threat of punishment


Review of Paul’s use of the law from Stott.

-“Law” used 8 times in 1-6.  (Commandment 6 times)

-This is about your relationship to the law of God.

This is objective reality.

The subjective experience described.



Three division of the law

-Moral Law – how to live, 10 commandments

-Civil law – social law

-Ceremonial law -religious law


Extremes with the Law

-Legalism: 1) You have to keep the law to be saved 2) you have to keep the ceremonial law to be sanctified 3) You add to the law: adding traditions and preferences (a man’s hair cannot be longer than, a woman’s dress cannot be shorter than, music cannot have . . ., you cannot play . . . )

-Antinomianism (license) 1) Against all forms of the law, including moral 2) words like obedience and duty are cuss words


You can only keep the law by the Spirit.

Ezekiel 36. The Spirit causes you to obey the law.


  1. The Legal Axiom (1):
  • this is fundamental (Do you not know?)
  • brethren (addressing believers)
  • authority – for how long? As long as you live.
  1. The Marital Analogy (2-3)
  • where did that come from?
  • it’s an illustration of the axiom
  1. The Personal Application
  • In what sense have we died? In the sense that we no longer have to fulfill the demands of the law to get to heaven. You no longer have to try to obey it perfectly to gain the favor of

God. Why not?  Jesus perfectly fulfilled the law on our behalf. Not only did he die for us, he lived for us.

  • Belong to another. You died to your old spouse and you are free to remarry.
  • That you might bear fruit. The fruit is personal holiness.
  1. The Sinful arousing.
  • When we in the flesh. Nonbelieving.
  • When you hear “don’t do”, you want to do
  • Members of the body – your mind, your ears, your eyes, your hands, your feet, your tongue
  •  We bore fruit for death. A rotten harvest.
  1. The Spiritual Antithesis
  • But now, brethren. Believers again.
  • We have been released from the law. In the sense we no longer . . . We are released from the striving. (Matthew 11:28-29) To keep the law on our own effort is a heavy load. Pulling the whole wagon by ourselves.
  • In newness of the spirit and not oldness of the letter. It’s now a new ball game.
  • It’s the Spirit convicting you to live a righteous life. To be honest . . . To be in submission to my boss . . . to forgive . . .

Tom Brown is the planting pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Wichita. Tom and his wife, Mandy, have worked together in ministry for 18 years and have four children. More about Pastor Tom Brown