CMF eZine The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship. 19 January Romans 7:04 - Dead to the Law By Bob Flynn Romans 0 Comment An application of the similitude of marriage. "So", he says, "it is the same with us: for now we are joined to the Spirit, as it were to the second husband, by whom we must bring forth new children: we are dead with regard to the first husband, but with regard to the latter, we are as it were raised from the dead." (Geneva Bible Translation Notes) Wherefore, my brethren - This is a parallel case. You were once under the law of Moses, and were bound by its injunctions; but now ye are become dead to that law - a modest, inoffensive mode of speech, for, The law, which was once your husband, is dead; God has determined that it shall be no longer in force; so that now, as a woman whose husband is dead is freed from the law of that husband, or from her conjugal vow, and may legally be married to another, so God, who gave the law under which ye have hitherto lived, designed that it should be in force only till the advent of the Messiah; that advent has taken place, the law has consequently ceased, and now ye are called to take on you the yoke of the Gospel, and lay down the yoke of the law; and it is the design of God that you should do so. (Dr. Adam Clarke) Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. (NASB) Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. (KJV) So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the One who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God. (NLT) So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you could be joined to another, to the one who was raised from the dead, to bear fruit to God. (NET) Are become dead (ἐθανατώθητε). more accurately, ye were made dead, put to death; because this ethical death is fellowship with Christ’s death, which was by violence. (Vincent Word studies in the New Testament) Once again we see the identification with Christ's death brought forth. We now see our marriage to Him in the resurrection so that we may bear fruit. In this illustration Paul shows us two husbands who are both perfect and holy. However, the first is not very helpful to our fallen estate but to the contrary displays our true character. The second husband, who is Christ, delivers us from our fallen estate so that now we are no longer under the law but under His Grace. We are no long subject to the law but rather, because of the indwelling Holy Spirit, a fulfillment of the law allowing us to be fruitful. that we should bring forth fruit unto God — It has been thought that the apostle should here have said that “the law died to us,” not “we to the law,” but that purposely inverted the figure, to avoid the harshness to Jewish ears of the death of the law [Chrysostom, Calvin, Hodge, Philippi, etc.]. But this is to mistake the apostle’s design in employing this figure, which was merely to illustrate the general principle that “death dissolves legal obligation.” It was essential to his argument that we, not the law, should be the dying party, since it is we that are “crucified with Christ,” and not the law. This death dissolves our marriage obligation to the law, leaving us at liberty to contract a new relation - to be joined to the Risen One, in order to spiritual fruitfulness, to the glory of God [Beza, Olshausen, Meyer, Alford, etc.]. The confusion, then, is in the expositors, not the text; and it has arisen from not observing that, like Jesus Himself, believers are here viewed as having a double life - the old sin-condemned life, which they lay down with Christ, and the new life of acceptance and holiness to which they rise with their Surety and Head; and all the issues of this new life, in Christian obedience, are regarded as the “fruit” of this blessed union to the Risen One. How such holy fruitfulness was impossible before our union to Christ, is next declared. (A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown) An application of the similitude of marriage. "So", he says, "it is the same with us: for now we are joined to the Spirit, as it were to the second husband, by whom we must bring forth new children: we are dead with regard to the first husband, but with regard to the latter, we are as it were raised from the dead." (Geneva Bible Translation Notes) Wherefore, my brethren - This is a parallel case. You were once under the law of Moses, and were bound by its injunctions; but now ye are become dead to that law - a modest, inoffensive mode of speech, for, The law, which was once your husband, is dead; God has determined that it shall be no longer in force; so that now, as a woman whose husband is dead is freed from the law of that husband, or from her conjugal vow, and may legally be married to another, so God, who gave the law under which ye have hitherto lived, designed that it should be in force only till the advent of the Messiah; that advent has taken place, the law has consequently ceased, and now ye are called to take on you the yoke of the Gospel, and lay down the yoke of the law; and it is the design of God that you should do so. (Dr. Adam Clarke) Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. (NASB) Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. (KJV) So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the One who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God. (NLT) So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you could be joined to another, to the one who was raised from the dead, to bear fruit to God. (NET) Are become dead (ἐθανατώθητε). more accurately, ye were made dead, put to death; because this ethical death is fellowship with Christ’s death, which was by violence. (Vincent Word studies in the New Testament) Once again we see the identification with Christ's death brought forth. We now see our marriage to Him in the resurrection so that we may bear fruit. In this illustration Paul shows us two husbands who are both perfect and holy. However, the first is not very helpful to our fallen estate but to the contrary displays our true character. The second husband, who is Christ, delivers us from our fallen estate so that now we are no longer under the law but under His Grace. We are no long subject to the law but rather, because of the indwelling Holy Spirit, a fulfillment of the law allowing us to be fruitful. that we should bring forth fruit unto God — It has been thought that the apostle should here have said that “the law died to us,” not “we to the law,” but that purposely inverted the figure, to avoid the harshness to Jewish ears of the death of the law [Chrysostom, Calvin, Hodge, Philippi, etc.]. But this is to mistake the apostle’s design in employing this figure, which was merely to illustrate the general principle that “death dissolves legal obligation.” It was essential to his argument that we, not the law, should be the dying party, since it is we that are “crucified with Christ,” and not the law. This death dissolves our marriage obligation to the law, leaving us at liberty to contract a new relation - to be joined to the Risen One, in order to spiritual fruitfulness, to the glory of God [Beza, Olshausen, Meyer, Alford, etc.]. The confusion, then, is in the expositors, not the text; and it has arisen from not observing that, like Jesus Himself, believers are here viewed as having a double life - the old sin-condemned life, which they lay down with Christ, and the new life of acceptance and holiness to which they rise with their Surety and Head; and all the issues of this new life, in Christian obedience, are regarded as the “fruit” of this blessed union to the Risen One. How such holy fruitfulness was impossible before our union to Christ, is next declared. (A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown) Related Romans 6:02 - Dead to Sin How shall we, that are dead to sin - The phraseology of this verse is common among Hebrews, Greeks, and Latins. To Die to a thing or person, is to have nothing to do with it or him; to be totally separated from them: and to live to a thing or person is to be wholly given up to them; to have the most intimate connection with them. (Dr. Adam Clarke) When it is said, therefore, that a Christian is dead to sin, the sense is, that it has lost its influence ever him; he is not subject to it; he is in regard to that, as the man in the grave is to the busy scenes and cares of this life. (Dr. Albert Barnes) May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? (NASB) God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (KJV) Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? (NLT) Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? (NET) If we take a step back and look at the whole of chapter 6, we will discover the illustration here used is that of slavery. We are the slave and Sin is the master. If it had been left up to me to create a solution to the sin problem, then I would have done away with sin (the master). However, here we see that Christ's plan was to do away with the sinner! As the Apostle later elaborates, we are dead. The problem ensues when I take my pulse and discover that my body is still very much alive. It is in Christ that we are dead to sin and its power. The fact that we have been brought to the foot of the Cross should remind us that we have had enough of this slavery to sin and all of its consequences. But now we must enter into the experiential realm of putting off the old man and putting on the new man (in Christ). Or put in theological terms: Sanctification (being made holy) consists of: Mortification (dying to sin) and Vivification (living to righteousness). You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols. (1 Peter 4:3 NLT) The apostle is very full in pressing the necessity of holiness. He does not explain away the free grace of the gospel, but he shows that connection between justification and holiness are inseparable. Let the thought be abhorred, of continuing in sin that grace may abound. True believers are dead to sin, therefore they ought not to follow it. No man can at the same time be both dead and alive. He is a fool who, desiring to be dead unto sin, thinks he may live in it. (Matthew Henry) Rom 6:2 God forbid. (2) How shall we, that are (b) dead to sin, live any longer therein? (2) The benefits of justification and sanctification are always inseparable joined together, and both of them proceed from Christ by the grace of God: now sanctification is the abolishing of sin, that is, of our natural corruption, whose place is taken by the cleanness and pureness of a reformed nature. (b) They are said by Paul to be dead to sin, who are made partakers of the power of Christ, so that the natural corruption is dead in them, that is, the power of it is removed, and it does not bring forth its bitter fruits: and on the other hand, they are said to live to sin, who are in the flesh, that is, whom the Spirit of God has not delivered from the slavery of the corruption of nature. (Geneva Bible Translation Notes) Romans 1:04 - The Son of God Romans 1:4 "who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord," (NASB) "And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:" (KJV) "and He was shown to be the Son of God when He was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord." (NLT) Ho horizo uihos theos en dunamis kata pneuma hagiosune ek anastasis nekros Iesous Christos ho kurios ego Horizo: (G3724) to mark out or bound (horizon) that is, (figuratively) to appoint, decree, specify: declare, determine, limit, ordain Uihos: (G5207) a "son" (sometimes of animals), used very widely of immediate, remote or figurative kinship: child, foal, son Theos: (G2316) Of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with G3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively a magistrate,, by Hebraism very: exceeding, God, godly, godward Dunamis: (G1411) From G1410; force (literally or figuratively); specifically miraculous power (usually by implication a miracle itself); ability, abundance, meaning, might, mightily, mighty, mighty deed, (worker of) miracle (s), power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work. Pneuma: (G4151) From G4154; a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit, that is, (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, daemon, or (divine) God, Christ's spirtit, the Holy spirit: ghost, life, spirit, spiritual, spiritually, mind. Hagiosune: (G42) From G40; sacredness (that is, properly the quality): holiness. Anastasis: (G386) From G450; a standing up again, that is, (literally) a resurrection from death (individual, general or by implication (its author)), or (figuratively) a (moral) recovery (of spiritual truth); raised to life again, resurrection, rise from the dead, that should rise, rising again. Nekros: (G3498) From an apparently primary word nekus (a corpse); dead (literally or figuratively; also as noun) dead. Iesous: (G2424) Of Hebrew origin (H3091); Jesus (that is, Jehoshua), the name of our Lord and two (three) other Israelites: Jesus Christos: (G5547) From G5548; anointed, that is, the Messiah, an epithet of Jesus: Christ. Kurios: (G2962) From Kuros (supremacy); supreme in authority, that is, (as noun) controller; by implication Mr. (as a respectful title): God, Lord, Master, Sir. Ego: (G1473) A primary pronoun of the first person, "I"…. Declared DECLA'RED, pp. Made known; told explicitly; avowed; exhibited; manifested; published; proclaimed; recited. Shown SHOWN, pp. of show. Exhibited; manifested; proved. "There is a striking contrast between the verbs used. As to His humanity, He was made of the seed of David, but as to His deity, He was declared. Humanity is a created thing but deity is uncreated. The human nature, or flesh of Christ, was made at a definite point in human history, but His divine nature was existing from eternity and needed only to be declared that men might see it." Dr. Alva J. McClain, Romans, The Gospel of Grace. Resurrection Foretold by the prophets: Psalms 16:10 "For You will not leave my soul among the dead or allow Your holy one to rot in the grave." (NLT) Acts 13:34-35 "For God had promised to raise Him from the dead, not leaving Him to rot in the grave. He said, 'I will give You the sacred blessings I promised to David.' Another psalm explains it more fully: 'You will not allow Your Holy One to rot in the grave.'" (NLT) Isaiah 26:19 "But those who die in the LORD will live; their bodies will rise again! Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joy! For Your life-giving light will fall like dew on Your people in the place of the dead!" (NLT) Resurrection Foretold by Jesus: Matthew 20:19 "Then they will hand Him over to the Romans to be mocked, flogged with a whip, and crucified. But on the third day He will be raised from the dead." (NLT) Red letter Mark 9:9 "As they went back down the mountain, He told them not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead." (NLT) Mark 14:28 "But after I am raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there." (NLT) Red letter John 2:19 "All right," Jesus replied. "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." Red letter Declared with Power: John 5:21 "For just as the Father gives life to those He raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone He wants." Red letter John 10:18 "No one can take My life from Me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what My Father has commanded." Red letter The Resurrection of Christ is One of the cardinal facts and doctrines of the Gospel. If Christ be not risen, our faith is vain "And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless." (1 Corinthians 15:14 NLT) The whole of the New Testament revelation rests on this as an historical fact. 1 Corinthians 15:22 "Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life." (NLT) Thank you dear Heavenly Father that you sent NOT an angel, nor some other created being, BUT you sent your beloved Son to save that which was lost because of my sin. Help me to live today in a way that belongs to Christ an His new life in me. Romans 3:28 - The Liberty of the Yoke Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude, etc. - Seeing these things cannot be denied, viz., that all have sinned: that all are guilty, that all are helpless: that none can deliver his own soul, and that God, in his endless mercy, has opened a new and living way to the holiest by the blood of Jesus, Hebrews 10:19-20, etc: therefore we, apostles and Christian teachers, conclude, λογιζομεθα, prove by fair, rational consequence, that a man - any man, is justified - has his sins blotted out, and is received into the Divine favor, by faith in Christ’s blood, without the deeds of the law, which never could afford, either to Jew or Gentile, a ground for justification, because both have sinned against the law which God has given them, and, consequently, forfeited all right and title to the blessings which the obedient might claim. Dr. Adam Clarke Romans 3:28 Justification: Justification and righteousness are inseparably united in Scripture by the fact that the same word (Greek, "dikaios", means "righteous"; Greek, "dikaioo", means "to justify") is used for both. The believing sinner is justified because Christ, having borne his sins on the cross, has been "made unto him righteousness" (1Corinthians 1:30). Justification originates in grace; (Romans 3:24); (Titus 3:4); (Titus 3:5) is through the redemptive and propitiatory work of Christ, who has vindicated the law; (Romans 3:24); (Romans 3:25); (Romans 5:9) is by faith, not works; (Romans 3:28-30); (Romans 4:5); (Romans 5:1); (Galatians 2:16); (Galatians 3:8); (Galatians 3:24) and may be defined as the judicial act of God whereby He justly declares righteous one who believes on Jesus Christ. It is the Judge Himself (Romans 8:31-34) who thus declares. The justified believer has been in court, only to learn that nothing is laid to his charge. (Romans 8:1); (Romans 8:33); (Romans 8:34). C. I. Scofield "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law." (NASB) "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." (KJV) "So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law." (NLT) "For we consider that a person is declared righteous by faith apart from the works of the law." (NET) Nothing is more maligned today than the meaning of these few words! All manner of confusion, deception, error and even heresy have been born from wrongly dividing these words of truth. Let us consider that the reason this is so is because there is a dynamic tension present in the very concept of Grace. Jesus invites us to find rest by taking on His yoke. Lewis Sperry Chafer, in Grace, over emphasized the concept of liberty to the point of entertaining unintentionally antinomian thought. Liberty by definition is deliverance from oppression and not necessarily the freedom to do what we please. Yet if you preach Grace hard enough that is the very thought that comes to mind (thus the warning from the Apostle Paul in Romans 6:1 — should we sin more so that Grace might abound?). Grace, recorded in Titus, says that we should deny the realities of our fleshly nature and rather live according to our new nature: For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. (Titus 2:11-13 NLT) The idea that salvation is a wonderful gift and yet cost us everything that we are remains a paradox but like God and country are not mutually exclusive concepts. Today we suffer because iniquity abounds and the love of many grows cold (Matthew 24:12). But we my also abound in hope because the comforter has been given and lives within those who call Christ Savior and Lord. We are not free to follow the carnal desires of the flesh but rather are empowered to live abounding in the Spirit (2 Corinthians 8:7). I read in the newspaper this morning of a new church where you can believe whatever you want. People come there because the did not like the message elsewhere. We do not want to hear the real truth but instead search for a truth we like! One that will allow us to cling to the vile creatures we are and thus begin the slow downward spiral of self-deception that leads to eternal separation. We are saved because we were surrounded by the fullness of Christ's love for the lost. His love is providential and brings us to that place where we can say yes to His wondrous forgiveness and say no to the sin that so easily entangles us. The liberty of the yoke! Romans 8:11 - Christ is in Us If the Spirit be in us, Christ is in us. He dwells in the heart by faith. Grace in the soul is its new nature; the soul is alive to God, and has begun its holy happiness which shall endure forever. (Matthew Henry) John 14:17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he resides with you and will be in you. (NET) But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. (NASB) But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (KJV) The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, He will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. (NLT) Moreover if the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through his Spirit who lives in you. (NET) Translation. And assuming that the Spirit of the One who raised up Jesus out from among the dead is in residence in you, He who raised out from among the dead Christ Jesus, will also make alive your mortal bodies through the agency of the Spirit who is resident in you. Wuest, K. S. (1997, c1984). Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament : For the English reader. Here we have a conditional statement that, along with a great many other conditional statements, is often overlooked. In the information age we could easily relate this to and If…then…else statement. If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead (dwells, houses, cohabitates) in you…then…will also give life… The question then that should be answered is, "Does the 'Spirit of Him' dwell in me?" How can I know? These questions should have been answered textually in chapter six. But the real question is found in our own hearts. The person of the Holy Spirit is the only one who can give the answer. For He is the assurance and earnest of our faith! This then is speaking of the quickening (regeneration) of our lives that is to be followed by sanctification. This is not necessarily without struggle. There have been many who have passed before us in time that have struggle mightily. Two dear souls that come to mind are John Bunyan and John Newton. The former wrote the book, "Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners," that give an at length account of his personal struggle. The latter is the author of the time-honored hymn, "Amazing Grace." So then struggle in victory rather than defeat till the day when all of our struggles are over. Be earnest in your endeavor so that you will be found faithful to the end not striving in the power of the flesh but confessing the failures of your faith and belief to Him who will cleanse you from all unrighteousness and give you the power to do those things that please him. (1 John 1:8-9, Philippians 2:13, paraphrase mine). He who here receives the grace and Spirit of Christ, and continues to live under its influence a life of obedience to the Divine will, shall have a resurrection to eternal life; and the resurrection of Christ shall be the pattern after which they shall be raised. (Dr. Adam Clarke) Rom 8:11 (13) But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that (o) dwelleth in you. (13) A confirmation of the former sentence. You have the very same Spirit which Christ has: therefore at length he will do the same in you, that he did in Christ, that is, when all infirmities being utterly laid aside, and death overcome, he will clothe you with heavenly glory. (o) By the strength and power of him, who showed the same might first in our head, and daily works in his members. These words are not to be understood as they are by some, of the continued work of sanctification in the heart by the Spirit of God; for regeneration, and not sanctification, is signified by quickening, which quickening occurs when the Spirit of God first takes up his dwelling in the soul; besides, the apostle had spoke of the life of the spirit or soul before; and they are mortal bodies, and not its mortal souls, which are said to be quickened, for these cannot mean the body of sin, or the remains of corruption, as they are said to be, and which are never quickened, nor never can be. To understand the words in such a sense, is not so agreeable to the resurrection of Christ here mentioned; whereas Christ's resurrection is often used as an argument of ours, which is designed here, where the apostle argues from the one to the other. (Dr. John Gill) What a difference it makes in your body when the Holy Spirit lives within. You experience new life, and even your physical faculties take on a new dimension of experience. When evangelist D.L. Moody described his conversion experience, he said: “I was in a new world. The next morning the sun shone brighter and the birds sang sweeter... the old elms waved their branches for joy, and all nature was at peace.” Life in Christ is abundant life. (The Bible exposition commentary) This verse affirms one of the most exciting of the Spirit’s ministries. He vitalizes us here and now, even though we are sinful human beings, infusing us with that same power which raised Jesus from the dead, enabling us to live holy lives. Every one of our spiritual failures shouts out, “We can’t.” And every spiritual victory affirms, “But He can!” (The Bible readers companion) Romans 6:07 - Free At Last Rom 6:7 For he that is dead - With Christ. Is freed from the guilt of past, and from the power of present, sin, as dead men from the commands of their former masters. (John Wesley) G1344 δικαιο?ω dikaióo?; contracted dikaio??, fut. dikaio??so?, from díkaios (G1342), just, righteous. To justify. Verbs which end in -óo? generally indicate bringing out that which a person is or that which is desired, but not usually referring to the mode in which the action takes place. In the case of dikaióo?, it means to bring out the fact that a person is righteous. (Word Study-General Editor: Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D) for he who has died is G1344freed from sin. (NASB) For he that is dead is G1344freed from sin. (NASB) For when we died with Christ we were G1344set free from the power of sin. (NLT) (For someone who has died has been G1344freed from sin.) (NET) and through Him everyone who believes is G1344freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses. (Acts 13:39 NASB) Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. (Romans 8:12 NLT) So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude He had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. (1 Peter 4:1 NLT) Whom do you choose to believe? This has to be one of the most amazing (and yet either unknown or one that lives in disbelief) verses in Scripture. Why is that so? Because we have not experienced it! The "highway of holiness" (which is Christ Himself) has a ditch on either side. The first it the ditch of arrogance where we say that we can do this-we can live this life of holiness in the power of the flesh. The ditch on the other side of the highway is the ditch of passivity where we wait for the holy lightening bolt to come and change us into super-Christian before we can take another step. What shall we choose? Shall it be deception number one or deception number two? The way in the middle is the "only way!" His name is Jesus, and we must follow Him by faith. We then begin to see that faith and obedience are toes on the same foot. They must step together! We may not feel like we have a new chooser, but indeed we do! I suppose our first confession should be that we really don't want to follow or turn loose of our sinful ways. That becomes our first point of honesty and the place where the Spirit of Holiness begins to change our heart. Can you imaging? All of the power of the universe waiting to help you walk in the light of Christ! We who are dead are now ready to be led in the way everlasting! For he that is dead - This is evidently an expression having a proverbial aspect, designed to illustrate the sentiment just expressed. The Rabbis had an expression similar to this, “When one is dead he is free from commands.” (Grotius.) So says Paul, when a man dies he is exempt from the power and dominion of his master, of him who reigned over him. The Christian had been subject to sin before his conversion. But he has now become dead to it. And as when a servant dies, he ceases to be subject to the control of his master, so the Christian being now dead to sin, on the same principle, is released from the control of his former master, sin. Is Freed - The design of the apostle is not to say that the Christian is perfect, but that sin has ceased to have dominion over him, as a master ceases to have power over a slave when he is dead. That dominion may be broken, so that the Christian may not be a slave to sin, and yet he may be conscious of many failings and of much imperfection; see Romans 7. (Dr. Albert Barnes) Romans 7:02 - Death and Marriage For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. (NASB) For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. (KJV) For example, when a woman marries, the law binds her to her husband as long as he is alive. But if he dies, the laws of marriage no longer apply to her. (NLT) For a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of the marriage. (NET) This is a simple illustration and one should not engage in puerile fantasy when gleaning its very upfront meaning—that death dissolves all those things that bind us to the law in life. Remember that in verse 4, "You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ," we can consider that our death to the law is brought about in union with our benefactor, the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul had to be precise here by not saying that the law died, but rather our obligation to the law. We can look upon this from several aspects. If we continue the contrast from chapter six where sin is the master and we are the slave, sin did not die but the slave did. Here again we have the contrasts of two husbands represented by Christ the creator of the law and the benefactor of Grace. In one sense the law remains and the wife (us) is dead brought about by our death in Christ yet we live on. Rom 7:1-6 So long as a man continues under the law as a covenant, and seeks justification by his own obedience, he continues the slave of sin in some form. Nothing but the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, can make any sinner free from the law of sin and death. Believers are delivered from that power of the law, which condemns for the sins committed by them. And they are delivered from that power of the law which stirs up and provokes the sin that dwells in them. Understand this not of the law as a rule, but as a covenant of works. In profession and privilege, we are under a covenant of grace, and not under a covenant of works; under the gospel of Christ, not under the law of Moses. The difference is spoken of under the similitude or figure of being married to a new husband. The second marriage is to Christ. By death we are freed from obligation to the law as a covenant, as the wife is from her vows to her husband. In our believing powerfully and effectually, we are dead to the law, and have no more to do with it than the dead servant, who is freed from his master, has to do with his master's yoke. The day of our believing, is the day of being united to the Lord Jesus. We enter upon a life of dependence on him, and duty to him. Good works are from union with Christ; as the fruitfulness of the vine is the product of its being united to its roots; there is no fruit to God, till we are united to Christ. The law, and the greatest efforts of one under the law, still in the flesh, under the power of corrupt principles, cannot set the heart right with regard to the love of God, overcome worldly lusts, or give truth and sincerity in the inward parts, or any thing that comes by the special sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit. Nothing more than a formal obedience to the outward letter of any precept, can be performed by us, without the renewing, new-creating grace of the new covenant. (Matthew Henry) Robertson says; “The analogy calls for the death of the law, but Paul refuses to say that. He changes the structure and makes them dead to the law as the husband (6:3–6). The relation of marriage is killed ‘through the body of Christ’ as ‘the propitiation’ (3:25) for us.” Translation. So that, my brethren, you also were put to death with reference to the law, through the intermediate agency of the body of Christ, resulting in your being married to another, to the One who was raised up out from among the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. (Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament : For the English reader) In this passage he used the illustration of a husband and wife to show that the believer has a new relationship to the Law because of his union with Jesus Christ.…But in Paul’s illustration from marriage, it was the husband who died and the wife who married again. If you and I are represented by the wife, and the Law is represented by the husband, then the application does not follow the illustration. If the wife died in the illustration, the only way she could marry again would be to come back from the dead. But that is exactly what Paul wants to teach! When we trusted Christ, we died to the Law; but in Christ, we arose from the dead and now are “married” (united) to Christ to live a new kind of life! (The Bible exposition commentary) How can we legally be free from the Law? (Rom. 7:1–3) Paul turned to marriage for an illustration. A married couple is bound to each other under the Law until one of them dies. The death of a partner frees both, so that the living partner is free to remarry. Our union with Jesus is a real union too, so when He died we were legally released from any obligation to the Law. God considers us to have “died to the Law through the body of Christ” (v. 4), and so to be free from any past obligation to live “under” it (6:14). (The teacher's commentary) To match the Christian experience of dying to sin and living to God, Paul used an illustration in which someone is set free by death, but still lives. Jesus Christ acted both as the husband in the believer’s bondage to the law and as the new and living husband in righteousness. The human illustration requires two husbands to make its point. But the great truth of Romans 7 is that Christ is at the same time the one husband who dies to the state of bondage and the one who brings his bride, the church, into a new state of freedom. Romans 6 shows that believers are dead to sin; Romans 7 shows they are dead to their old relationship to law. (Tyndale concise Bible commentary) When a woman is married to a man, she is bound to that man until he dies. Then she is free to marry again. Before we met Christ, we were bound by the Law and condemned by it. The Law, however, did not “die” when we were saved; instead, we died in Christ. We are no longer “married” to a system of regulations; we are “married” to Jesus Christ, and the Law has no control over us. Read v. 4 again and again and absorb its wonderful message. Our old “husband” has no control over us: we are in a wonderful new relationship through and in Christ. When we were lost, the Law triggered the “arousings of sin” in our old nature, and this produced death (v. 5). But now we are delivered from the Law and can serve Christ in newness of the Spirit, not in the oldness of the letter (v. 6). (Wiersbe's expository outlines on the New Testament). 7:1–6 Freed at last, from bondage to blessing. In a further effort to illustrate our freedom in Christ, Paul compared the law, with its tendency to make us want to sin (7:5), to a demanding husband. As long as the husband lives, his wife is bound to him; when he dies, she is free to marry another. Likewise, the law and the sinful desires it arouses have no more claim over the believer; he or she is now free to be united with Christ (7:4; compare John 3:29; Eph. 5:25–27; Rev. 21:2). (Willmington's Bible handbook) Comments are closed.