“Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? 2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. 3 So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.
So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh, sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” ~ Romans 7:1-6
Here is the main idea of the passage:
“In Chapter 6, Paul explained how Christ delivered us from sin: when He died, we also ‘died’ to sin. But while we are alive in our bodies, we must continue to deal with our sin nature and its attempts to control our thoughts and actions. To describe this tension between our old and new natures, Paul used the analogy of slavery to sin verses slavery to God. He begins Chapter 7 by arguing the same point, using the analogy of marriage: Just as death breaks the marital vow, so death with Christ breaks our ‘marriage’ to sin. We were bound to sin because we failed to keep the law. The problem is not with the law; it is within us.” ~ Life Application New Testament Commentary
- 1-6- “The Apostle, in this chapter, discourses concerning the freedom of justified and regenerated persons from the law, and concerning the nature, use, and excellency of it; in which he removes several objections to it, and gives an account from his own experience of the struggle and combat there is between flesh and spirit in a regenerate person; and which shows, that though believers are justified from sin, yet still sin remains in them, and is the complaint of their souls.” (John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible)
- 1-6- “The law has power over a man as long as he lives, Romans 7:1. And a wife is bound to her husband only as long as he lives, Romans 7:2, Romans 7:3. Christian believers are delivered from the Mosaic law by Christ Jesus, and united to God, Romans 7:5-7. By the law is the knowledge of sin, Romans 7:8. But it gives no power over it, Romans 7:9-11. Yet it is holy, just, and good, Romans 7:12. How it convinces of sin, and brings into bondage, Romans 7:13-24. No deliverance from its curse but by Jesus Christ, Romans 7:25.” (Adam Clarke Commentary)
- “Through Christ, believers have not only died to sin, they have died to the law also, which means that their lives are now different. Paul gives an example. If a husband dies, the wife is no longer bound to him and is free to marry again. Likewise believers have died to the law so that the bond between them and the law is broken. However, they have been raised to new life and are now united to another, the living Christ.” (Bridgeway Bible Commentary)
- 5- “A declaration of the former saying: for he says that the fleshly desires which the law stirred up in us as if they were a husband, from whom we brought forth very deadly and cursed children: but now that husband is dead, and so consequently, being delivered from the force of that killing law, we have passed into the control of the Spirit, so that we bring forth now, not those rotten and dead children, but rather living children.” (Geneva Study Bible)
- 6- “Paul summarized Romans 7:1-5 We died to the Law just as we died to sin ( Romans 6:5). The same Greek word (katargeo) occurs in both verses. Christ’s death as our representative changed (lit. rendered idle) our relationship to both entities. It is as though God shifted the transmissions of our lives into neutral gear. Now something else drives our lives, namely, the Holy Spirit. Sin and the Law no longer drive us forward, though we can engage those powers if we choose to do so and take back control of our lives from God.” (Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable)
How is this text applicable in the 21st Century?
“The important point is that the marriage relationship had been broken by death of one of its participants. The death of the believer took place when by faith that person became identified with the Crucified Christ. Christ’s death to and for sin becomes our death to sin (Galatians 2:19-20). The purpose of this death is that we might belong to another husband- to the One who was raised from the dead. Our Savior becomes our new ‘Husband.’” (Shepherds Notes)
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” ~ Galatians 2:20-21
Additional Readings: Revelation 7
“Many wild beasts lie lurking under the skin of man.” ~ Charles Bovillus
Prayer: Father God, I pray that I genuinely live for You today. Rid me of myself and shine Your light. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.