A life-giving husband

This is the third time Paul asks his readers ‘do you not know’ and proceeds to use the analogy of marriage to describe our relationship to the law and then to Christ. As believers we have died to our old husband the law and are now free to marry another. In Christ we have a new husband who is far better than the previous one. He is life-giving and life-saving, producing a fruitful harvest within us. Whereas the law simply stood over us in judgement, Christ dies to forgive our sins. Paul encourages us not to return to our old husband either for salvation or indeed to live the Christian life. Our new husband is Jesus, we are to give ourselves to him and his new way in the Spirit and not turn back to the old way that has no power to produce life.

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Romans 7:1-6

Released from the Law

7:1 Or do you not know, brothers [1]—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? 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. [2] 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. 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. 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. [3] (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 7:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 4
[2] 7:2 Greek law concerning the husband
[3] 7:6 Greek of the letter

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.

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