Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Romans 7:4 - Dead to the Law

Romans 7:2-4
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. 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.

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.

Focussing mainly on V4 (Paragraph 2)

"Died to the law" does not mean that we don't have to obey it. Paul is following on from Chapter 6 where he has clearly explained that when saved, we need to obey the law and serve God. So what does dead to the law mean? Well, (as far as I can tell) it means dead to the condemnation of the law. To be accepted by God through the law, one must be perfect. Yet "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). We cannot please God through the law. Yet we (christians) are dead to the law - Christ lived perfectly, and took our sin and God's wrath against our sin (the condemnation) when he died on the cross. By turning to Christ, we are 'dead to the law' and belong to Christ. "Belong" can be translated "married", so it's linked to the analogy from v2-3. We are united to Christ, we belong to him, therefore we need to do what he says. One verse that comes to mind: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."
We don't belong to ourselves, we belong to God. When Paul mentions that Jesus was raised to life, I think he is referring back to Chapter 6, where he explains that we are alive with Christ, to live for God. We metaphorically died to the law and to sin when Christ died and we were converted and we metaphorically rose with him to new life, leading to obedience or 'bearing fruit'. Once genuinely saved, a Christian will act like it, we need to bear fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). So are you obeying God? Or are you trying to live for yourself? Christ is the only way to be saved from God's just wrath against our sinfulness! Repent and Believe for the Kingdom of God is at hand! (Mark 1:15)

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