Wednesday, June 21, 2017


"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."(Romans 7:4)

Why would Paul make such an outlandish statement right in the middle of dealing with us living the Christian life? We have already found out that the law (the 10 commandments mainly) could not provide us our salvation, our deliverance from the penalty of sin, our justification before God. And now right in the middle of explaining our sanctification (our Christian walk of being set apart to God in this life now and the resurrected life of Christ living in us and out through us now in these mortal bodies) He brings up the Law again.

He even uses a law that has to do with the marriage between a man and a woman to explain what he means by being dead or delivered from the Law. That the death of the husband freed the woman to be married to another and likewise the death we experienced by dying with Christ when His body died on the cross freed us from the Law so that we might be married to the resurrected Christ so that we might bring forth fruit unto God.

"For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. 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." (Romans 7:2-4)

We don't have a problem believing we need deliverance from our sins, or deliverance from the world, or deliverance from self, but deliverance from the Law? Sins and the world system and self are bad but Paul states that the Law is not sin (Romans 7:7) and is holy and just and good (Romans 7:12).

"What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” (Romans 7:7). "Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good." (Romans 7:12).

So why would he state that we are dead to something that is holy, just and good? Well let's see if we can find out. Do you ever get irritated with someone who is always negative? It doesn't matter what the subject is they always look at the negative. Telling you where you are wrong. It seems that their whole purpose in life is to tell you where you are wrong. It seems that they delight for an opportunity to tell you that you are wrong. Always pointing out the things that are wrong, only condemning. Not only that when they keep telling you where you are wrong, it tends to make you want to do what is wrong more than ever. How do we get deliverance from a person like this? Well I guess we just have to reckon ourselves dead unto them.

Well that is what the Law does, it tells, it reveals but shows no way of deliverance. The Law could not deliver us from the bondage of sin and could only reveal, and sin used the Law to arouse passions in us that ended up producing just fruit of death, thus our master was sin. As far as deliverance by the Law was concerned we were dead. We needed deliverance from the Law that, in itself could not deliver us.

"But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead." (Romans 7:8)

"BUT NOW" (Romans 7:6) through the death and resurrection of Christ we are delivered from the Law that couldn't deliver us from our state of death. So we need no longer try to serve the Law with the expectancy of deliverance. So now we are free from any expectancy of deliverance from the Law because we have been delivered from the penalty of sin and now have this power within us to deliver us from the power of sin as we allow Him to, because He will eventually deliver us from the presence of sin.

"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." (Romans 7:6)

The Law could not deliver us from the penalty of sin (our justification) and neither can it deliver us from the power of sin in this life (our sanctification). And I might add that it will not be the Law that eventually delivers us from the presence of sin.

We have been saved from the penalty of sin and have a new nature within us, a new creation, the new man that desires to do the will of God and be delivered from this power of sin but just doesn't seem to have the power to accomplish it.

The new nature tries but just seems powerless to this power of sin within us that is not dead unto us. We just cannot command and control this old nature by presenting the Law to it and trying to make it straighten up and even making more rules for it to abide by (and some of our rules can be just as strict as God's). This tells us that we still have confidence in this flesh and God has no confidence in it, and all He could do with it is crucify it.

Making more rules and regulations is the way we are convinced we can make this flesh do right, even though it has been proved to us by God's Word that we can't even keep the rules and regulations God has set up, let alone more that we set up. This would be turning the Christian life into a religion of works. This would all be our pride; that we could dress up something that God saw no use for and crucified it. It is easier for us to make rules and regulations than to look to God by faith to live this Christian life His way.

Neither can we present the Law to the new nature and tell it to keep it. The new nature delights in the Law of God and wants to keep it, but just seems powerless to accomplish it.

I believe that Paul's experience in Romans 7 answers the vital question. Can the regenerate (saved, born again) person, apart from the dependence of the Spirit do the will of God, even though he delights in that will?

I believe we all have to experience what Paul experienced in Romans 7 before we will turn this Christian life over to the power of the Spirit to be lived out.

The victory of Romans 7 is for those who have experienced the defeats of Romans 7. Each time there is progress in our Christian life it is preceded by dissatisfaction with our current condition. All progress starts with dissatisfaction.

"For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. Romans 7:15-20

I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin." (Romans 7:21-25)

"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Romans 8:2-4)

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."(Galatians 2:20)

Mark Chandler

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