Mark VanOuse

Not Under Law: What the “Struggle Verses” of Romans 7 Really Mean

By Mark VanOuse

[Note: a podcast of this article is available by clicking here]

Bring up Romans chapter 7 and most Christians immediately think of the “struggling with sin” discussion of verses 14 through 24. They therefore conclude that the chief subject of Romans 7 is about struggling with sin. Worse, they buy into a false theology, based on an improper reading of this chapter, that Christians are stuck “struggling with sin till the day they die”.

Nothing could further from the truth. Romans 7 is one of the clearest statements in all the scripture that those in Christ are not under law. That thesis is found in the first 6 verses of Romans 7. It is a natural continuation of the thought developed in Romans 6 that those in Christ are united with Him in His death at Calvary and therefore dead to sin. Romans 7 picks the same theme up and makes the revolutionary point that we are also dead to the law. …

Podcast: Not Under Law: What the “Struggle Verses” of Romans 7 Really Mean

When most Christians think of Romans 7, they think that this chapter deals chiefly with struggling with sin. Nothing could be further from the truth. In this podcast, we take a close look at the entire chapter, particularly the theological verses of 1 through 13. When we take a look at this chapter in its full context, the real meaning of the “struggle” verses of 14 through 24 becomes crystal clear.

The results will surprise you. You’ll see what the relationship is between law, sin and the sinner on one hand and grace, freedom and the saint is on the other.

Part 6, “So Why Do I Do the Sinful Things I Do?” (part 2)

This is part 6 and the conclusion of our series, “Living in the Reality of Perfect Sanctification”. In this lesson we continue answering the question, “So why do I do the sinful things I do?” as we delve into the following topics:

  • Another of Satan’s key tactics: to attack who you really are in Christ.
  • God is the only “I AM”
  • Our “I am” is out His “I AM”
  • The Christian life is a walk of faith, not to “become” but out of who we already are in Christ.

Part 5, “So Why Do I Do the Sinful Things I Do?”

This is part 5 of our series, “Living in the Reality of Perfect Sanctification”. In this lesson we delve into the following topics:

  • Do Christians have a “sinful nature”?
  • What the difference is between the “sinful nature” and the “flesh”.
  • How that a sinner sins because they have a sinful nature versus the fact that a saint sins, contrary to their god-given holy nature, because they are deceived.
  • A saint sins because they are trying live under law, rather than living under grace.
  • How Adam and Eve sinned, even though they didn’t have a sinful nature or a sin consciousness.

Does Blessing Precede Obedience?

By Mark VanOuse

A friend of mine raised a very good question: Does blessing really precede obedience?

The question came up in the context of my saying that one of the greatest things I’ve learned in my Christian life is the vast difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. How that, as Christians, we are not under the Old Covenant of Law, blessings or curses given based on our performance, but under the New Covenant of grace, granting us blessings from God based on Christ’s performance. “In other words”, I said, “under the New Covenant, the blessing precedes our obedience. We obey because we are blessed in Christ (Eph 1:3), not the other way around.”

That statement threw him off. He emailed me and said, “Why is this ‘God blesses us, and then we respond in obedience’ idea not more clear in Scripture? You would think God would want it to be clear. I would like to hear your answer to that.”

Here, then, is my response: …

I Don’t Need the Law, I Need The Lord!

By Mark VanOuse

A truly righteous man says, “I don’t need the law, I need The Lord.”

[8] But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully,[9] knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers . . .  (1 Timothy 1:8-9, NKJV)

Did you know that a truly righteous man will actually run from the law?  Why?  Because the law places the demand on his “righteousness” (which is no righteousness at all), not God’s righteousness. Philippians 3:9 makes the point quite clearly:

not having my own righteousness, which is from the law . . . …

Part 4, “An Extreme Danger”

This is part 4 of our series, “Living in the Reality of Perfect Sanctification”. This installment deals head-on with the extreme danger of thinking that you, as one in Christ, are bad or a part of you is bad (i.e., you still have a sinful nature).  This is proven to be false on scriptural grounds.  The topics covered:

  • Why it is so dangerous to think that either you or a part of you is bad.
  • Why the idea that our sanctification is somehow “imperfect in this life” is patently unbiblical.
  • Why the idea that “there abides still some remnants of corruption in every part” is patently unbiblical.
  • Why the idea that a Christian struggles with a “continual and irreconcilable war, the flesh lusting against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh is patently unbiblical.
  • Scripturally debunking The Myth of the Christian “Sinner”

Part 3, “Living in the Reality of Perfect Sanctification Right Now”

This is part 3 of our series, “Living in the Reality of Perfect Sanctification”. The topics covered:

  • A challenge and a word of clarification.
  • More about the fact that we have perfect sanctification now because of the perfection of Jesus and His finished work.
  • We now have perfect sanctification, just like we now have perfect justification.
  • The admonitions are spoken to a people already perfectly and forever sanctified in Christ.
  • It is a “walk according to”, not a “walk to become”
  • A prime example: 1 Cor 6:9-20.

Part 2, “Perfect Sanctification Already Accomplished”

This is part 2 of our series, “Living in the Reality of Perfect Sanctification”. The truth in this lesson is very powerful and life changing.  The topics covered:

  • One of the most important verses in all the Bible on sanctification, 1 Corinthians 1:28
  • Perfect sanctification, like everything else given in “such a great salvation” (Heb 2:3) is entirely based on the finished, perfect work of Christ Jesus.
  • There are many verses in the New Testament that make it abundantly clear that our sanctification is perfect and complete, already done, because of the perfection of the person and work of Jesus Christ.
  • This is who we really are, not who “we will be” or who “we will become”.