Romans 7:1-6

In Romans 7:1-6 Paul explains how the law and grace work together. Paul has already told us that we are no longer under the law, but covered by grace should we choose it. But that doesn’t mean the law goes away or is no longer important. The law that has dominion over man includes the Law of Moses, but there is a broader principle of law communicated by creation and by conscience, and these also have dominion over a man. “Or do you not know, brothers–for I am speaking to those who know the law–that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives?” Paul makes the point that death ends all obligations and contracts, including the law of that day.

Paul makes his point by saying a wife is no longer bound to her husband if he dies because death ends that contract. If her husband dies, she is free from that law. “For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.” Freedom from that marriage comes with death, but not if a married person violates the bond of marriage while both are alive. “Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.”

Paul carefully explained that we died with Jesus and we also rose with Him, although Paul there only spoke of our death to sin. Now he explains that we also died to the law.“ Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.” We are not free from the law so we can live unto ourselves. We are free so we can belong to Jesus and can bear fruit to God. That is the outcome of a surrendered life as a Christ Follower – we bear fruit God’s way.

Under the law, we did not bear fruit to God. Instead we bore fruit to death, because of the passion of sin within us. “For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.” We only come fully to the place of bearing fruit for God when we are free from the law. “But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.” The law does not justify us; it does not make us right with God. The law does not sanctify us; it does not take us deeper with God and make us more holy before Him. It is only faith in Christ that will set us free and give us eternal life.

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