Freedom from the Law
In Romans 7 Paul talks about the “law”. Paul is not referring to the “law” as we might understand it in our society, a code of rules and regulations that law enforcement uses to keep the peace. Rather, Paul is talking about the Mosaic law, commandments given by God to govern the conduct of His people. But Paul is not speaking to the specific commandments but the general law, the principle of how “law” works spiritually in one’s life. Paul is talking to how ineffective the “law” is in curbing sin or providing salvation. There are some very interesting verses here: 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. 6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. These verses come after an analogy related to marriage; that two people were bound together in marriage unless one of them died. Paul uses the same analogy in relation to the law. Each person is bound to the law unless there is a “death”. When a person receives Jesus Christ as Savior, they become “dead” to the law and its condemnation. Instead, they become alive in Christ, now “married” to Him and His righteousness.
This is a very good way to understand the transformation that happens through Christ. Without Christ, each person is bound to the law…the need to keep it, to live by the rules, and the punishment that comes when one inevitably cannot keep the rules…as none of us can. The only way to escape that law is to “die” to it by receiving Jesus Christ. There is no other way to escape the law. And through Christ, we now have the ability to “serve in the newness of the Spirit”. That doesn’t mean that there are no longer “right and wrong”. Rather, it means that through Christ and the Holy Spirit, we will desire to do what is right and wrong. If your idea of Christianity is keeping rules, and an overwhelming sense of guilt because you can’t keep them, then you are still bound by the law and have not been made free in Christ. Two deaths are required. The first death has already been accomplished…Jesus’ death on the cross provides the way to salvation and freedom. The second death is yours and mine…a death to the law through faith in Jesus Christ. Have you “died” yet?