January 22 - Romans 7:1-6

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Romans 7:1-6 – Released from the Law; Bound to Christ

Paul spends a great deal of time explaining how the Law worked into God's plan. Those who were Jewish constantly opposed him. To them, the Law was the centerpiece of their lives – a gift from God to their people and any person who wanted a relationship with God began with the Law. Paul, a learned Jew, had to balance the importance of the Law and the fact that the way to salvation came from Jesus Christ, not from the Law. He agreed that, if used rightly, the Law was very important.

In this passage, Paul compares our release from sin to a woman's bond of marriage. As long as her husband is alive, she is bound to him. When he dies, she is released from marriage. If, at that point, she marries another, she is not called an adulteress. It was death that released her, nothing else.

For a believer, it is death that releases us from sin. I don't believe that Paul is casting any aspersions on marriage, but is using a very common and well-known binding metaphor to describe the only thing that will separate it.

We have been bound by sin and it is in death that we are released from sin. It is because of Christ's death that we are released from sin.

For Paul, the Law represents sin. It isn't sin, but it is the manner in which sin was dealt with in Jewish culture. Everything about the Law is to either guide the people in ways to avoid sin, or, by sacrifice, to cover their sin. With Christ's death and resurrection, the link to sin is gone. We no longer need to be bound by the rules of the Law which govern how we deal with sin. We are given freedom to serve in the new way of the Spirit (Romans 7:6a).