Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.

9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.

Galatians 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Hebrews 7:11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?

12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,

16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.

18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.

19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.


MEMORY VERSE: For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh. —Romans 8:3


CENTRAL THOUGHT: The Law was weak and failed because it did not provide an atonement sufficient to really justify the soul; it did not furnish victory and power to enable one to triumph over sin.




Romans 7:7, 8 “Lust; concupiscence”: These two words are from the same Greek word meaning strong desire.

Hebrews 7:18 “Disannulling”: abrogate, which means to repeal, put away, or do away with.




Our lesson today comes from the teachings of Paul. We see in these that by the law was the knowledge of sin, and not the deliverance from sin. Being honest and speaking the truth, he was forced to admit that the Law of God in itself had no other effect upon him but to bring him into condemnation. Therefore he declared that the law was a failure as far as really saving and justifying a man from his sin. The law was good and just and holy, as he goes on to say in this seventh chapter of Romans. But it was sin working in his heart and life that asserted itself in the face of the law and brought him into condemnation and bondage.

Sin will do this. Sin has a power and a strong hold on a person. All the law did was to bring sin to light and magnify it. The law failed so that man could be brought to a sense of his real condition and need. The law concluded all under sin so that the promise of faith by Jesus Christ might be equally given to all.

The priesthood of the law was insufficient. A man’s priesthood came to an end at his death. The writer in Hebrews grasped the truth of Psalms 110:4, where in prophecy Christ was declared to be “a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. . . .” (The concept points to an eternal and unchanging priesthood.) In Christ, the law was changed, and the priesthood was changed.

The law did not bring perfection because it was weak through the flesh. It had no power to work upon the heart and the affections and to change men from sin to righteousness. The blood of bulls and goats that were the atoning offerings was not sufficient to cleanse the conscience of man from the stain of sin. The law had failed and mankind was found in a worse state than before. He lay buried in the graveyard of sin with the gates locked by the law. Who would deliver man from the awful plight that he was in? Would there a Savior? Yes, thank God, there was a Savior!

—Bro. Leslie Busbee




  1. What was the main factor in the heart of man that caused the law to fail?
  2. What was the condition of Paul before the commandment came, and what happened when the law came?
  3. How could the holy and just law of God bring out sin in mankind?
  4. Was the priesthood under the law good enough? Why?
  5. Why could not the blood of bulls and goats take away sin?




The law of Moses failed to bring the true reformation of mankind. God wills that we be persuaded of this. Just to tell a man where he is wrong without providing means to correct and reform is the spirit of the law.

When I was a little boy, my aunt was at our house taking care of my mother and her household duties on the occasion of a new baby. One day she told me that I could go outside and play, but I was to stay in the yard. I found that to stay in the yard was not my desired pastime when across the street were some of my friends engaged in lively play. I had the “law” that I was not to go over there, but the desire overcame me. Soon I was across the street enjoying the company of my friends. Then I heard the front door slam and my aunt was on the porch. “All right, Leslie!” I was caught. I was condemned to a good hard spanking. When she finished she said, “Now you can go back out and play, but stay out of the mud.” That was the law. We had just had a good rain and there was plenty of mud outside. It seemed that I could find nothing else to do but to play in the mud. Soon I found myself in the mud. I heard the back door slam and my aunt was on the porch. “All right, Leslie!” So I got another spanking.

This is a good, clear example of the law. The law said, “Thou shalt not covet!” But there was a disposition in the heart of man, void of the love of God, that caused his affections to wander. Thus, lust took hold and man was caught. The law said, “Thou shalt not kill.” But man, void of the love of Christ, knew not how to handle injury and the offences of others. Hatred, the forerunner of murder, sprang up. Man was caught and condemned by the law. That is all that the law did. It failed in that it provided man no cure for his ills or escape from the bondage of sin. The law alone will still fail today. It takes the love and grace of God, the blood of Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit to liberate a man from sin.

—Bro. Leslie Busbee



I can think of no better illustration for this lesson than that of raising children. As Bro. Leslie stated, it takes something more than “law” to bring a child’s heart into subjection.

The law is important, as we have already learned. We start out with do’s and don’ts. The swift, keen application of a little switch, administered calmly and accompanied with instruction and explanation, goes a long way in helping adjust a child’s willful behavior.

But little ones grow bigger. The strict, firm discipline, so necessary to train good habits into character, isn’t going to win or hold an older child’s heart. Somehow, we must learn to transition from law to grace. If the law, as mentioned earlier, is a means–like a bus driver taking children to school–to get children to Christ, let us take care to not leave them on the bus! CHRIST is our goal: get the children to Christ.

Teenage struggles mirror the transition from law to grace. I remember agonizing over some of my teens’ behavior, and the Lord speaking clearly to me: “They are experiencing Romans 7.” Expecting rigid rules to bring perfection will only result in discouragement and defeat. We must be patient as they learn to wean from our “law” and draw their strength from Christ for the disciplining of their flesh.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck