Lesson Overview: Romans 7:1-25
This is lesson 2 of 7 in Life – Giving Justification.
- Main Point of the Passage: Paul explained that our death with Christ set us free from slavery to the law and to sin.
- Main Point of the Lesson: As long as a person lives under the law, they will be a slave to sin
- Main Application of the Lesson: Participants will accept God’s grace for themselves and give it to others.
- Key Verse: Romans 7:6, “But now we have been released from the law, since we have died to what held us, so that we may serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old letter of the law.”
- Word Studies: Flesh in Romans 7:5
To prepare for this lesson, write your own answers to each of the questions below. You will share some of your answers with the group, but make it your goal to talk less than 20% of the Bible study time. Ask the questions, listen to your group, and let them carry the Bible study. You’ll be amazed.
Once everyone in your group is sitting in a circle, say, “Here’s the first question. Everyone answers the first question, and it’s just for fun.” Then read the first question, pause, and listen to your group’s answers.
Smile Question: Where’s your favorite place to walk?
Share Question: In 1 Corinthians 15:56, Paul said, “The power of sin is the law.” Tell about a time the law—any law—had the wrong effect.
Introduce the Passage: As long as a person lives under the law, they will be a slave to sin. That’s what Paul explained in Romans 7. He wanted Christians to understand that our death with Christ set us free from slavery to the law and to sin. Now that we have been set free from the law, we can serve God in the new way of the Spirit, not in the old way of the law. Paul spent most of this chapter describing the defeat that comes when a person tries to live under the law instead of under grace.
[ Read Romans 7:1-4. ]
Paul started out by explaining that our obligation to the law was like a marriage. Once one partner dies, the marriage obligation is over. Since we died with Christ, we can now belong to another: Christ.
- Optional:Have a member of your group either recite the passage from memory or give a detailed summary of the passage from memory.
- Optional: Have a member of your group present their word study on the following word(s): Flesh in Romans 7:5
Study Question: In verses 5-25, Paul describes the conflict and frustration of a person trying to please God by living under the law. As we read these verses, let’s answer this question: what are the results of living under the law?
“Sinful passions operated through the law in every part of us” (v. 5)
These sinful passions “bore fruit for death” (v. 5)
The law “held us” and prevented us from serving “in the new way of the Spirit” (v. 6)
- The law helped us know what sin was (v. 7)
- Sin seized an opportunity through the commandment and produced sinful desire in me (v. 8)
- Through the law, sin produced death in me (vv. 9–10, 13)
- Sin seized an opportunity through the commandment to deceive me (v. 11)
- I become a prisoner to the law of sin (v. 23)
Connect-the-Dots Question: What are some of the ways a Christian might slip back into living under the law?
Count-the-Cost Question: What makes legalism seem appealing to Christians?
Let’s-Do-It Question: What attitude or belief could you change in order to embrace God’s grace instead of living under the law?
Prayer: Father, help us to recognize when we’re living under the law. Teach us to live daily in the freedom and power of your grace. Thank you for giving us a new way to live. In Jesus’ name, amen.