Thursday, October 01, 2009
Blogging Through Romans: Romans 7: 7-13
Romans 7: 7-13
On the surface, he’s talking about the Law of Moses, Jewish Law. But underneath all that he’s talking about all those unnecessary demands that we heap on people.
Lutheran theology talks about three uses of the Law. Actually two, the third being rejected by the ELCIC and for good reason.
The 1st use is – and I LOVE this term: Civic Righteousness. Even the heathen can do this, Luther says. This is good governance, making sure the street lights work, garbage is collected, and your neighbour can't steal your car. This is civil law. It's what we need to make sure we're not overrun by chaos.
The 2nd use is called the Theological Use: This is what Paul is talking about in today's passage when he says that “No human being will be justified in God’s sight” by deeds of the Law for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.” That’s his way of saying that the only thing the Law can do is condemn us. That’s the Law’s job. The Law is to rub our noses in our sin, to drive us to the cross for mercy and forgiveness. Paul is saying that the more we try to obey the law, the more we fall into sin.
So, stop trying. He says. And stop making others live by the law. You have been set free from the Law. Now, live by the grace and forgiveness that God has given you as a gift. God is transforming you from the inside out. No longer do you have to worry that you fail, or if there’s sin in your life. Jesus took you sin, your failure, even your death with him to the grave and rose again in victory.