For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband.Romans 7:2(NASB)
In Romans chapters 3 to 8, Paul makes many contrasts between living under the Law and living under grace. While the Law most certainly is the tool God has used to identify sin in our lives, the Law is powerless to save us from our sin. Sinning and breaking God's Law are two sides of the same coin.
Living under any law means that we are bound by certain rules and regulations, confined to certain legal codes of practice, and must not go outside an agreed charter or constitution. Because we are all sinners with a sinful nature, it is impossible for us to keep God's Law, which means that we are under its dominion and slaves to the Law. And while God's Law is perfect in itself and explains exactly how we should live our lives, Paul points out in Romans 7 the terrible limitations of the Law in connection with our great salvation.
Knowledge of God's Law helps us to identify our sin, but it cannot pardon us. The only way that we can be removed from the curse of the Law and its enslaving dominion over us is through faith in Christ. He freed us from the curse of the Law and its dominion over us when He willingly became a curse for us and died on the Cross in our place.
In Romans 7, Paul explains how we can be freed from the dominion of the Law by using the picture of a married couple and the binding pledge made between them. Paul points out that the law dictates that a wife is not free to marry another man while she is married to her husband. However, if the husband dies, then the law that prevented her from marrying another is made null and void. Following the death of her husband, any legal limitations of her marriage vows are immediately dissolved.
While many metaphors, similes, or analogies in the Bible have certain limitations, the parallel between the death of a husband releasing his wife from their marriage vows helps us to see that death plays an important role in releasing us from the dominion the Law has over us all. This verse is important as it tells us that the only way to remove fallen man from the demands of the Law is through death - the only thing that can remove you and me from the curse of the Law is through the death of ANOTHER - the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Romans 8, we are given a clue as to how the death of Another (the death of the Lord Jesus), is able to break the binding relationship we all have with sin, the Law, and its dominion over us. As fallen creatures, we all are born with an old sinful nature which is at enmity with God and is predisposed to do evil and not good. But by grace through faith, our old man, our old sin nature is nailed to the Cross with Jesus, and our relationship with sin is rendered null and void. By faith in Him, His death becomes OUR death, releasing us from the power the Law has over us.
Paul makes it very clear that if we have died with Christ (by grace through faith which releases us from the demands of the Law), we shall also live with Him because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again. Death no longer is master over Him, so sin and death is no longer master over us. Because of what Christ has done to save us from the PENALTY of sin (the wages of sin is death) and the POWER the Law used to have over us, we are also to consider ourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. We are no longer slaves to sin but gain our freedom in Christ.
Because Jesus did not sin at all, He did not have to die for His sin, but He CHOSE to die to pay the price for your sin, for my sin, and for the sin of the whole world. And His sinless death paid the price that God required to cover the sin of the whole world: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not condemned; he who does not believe has been condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
While Paul was specifically making this point to his Jewish brothers in Christ who were finding it hard to accept that they were no longer bound by the Mosaic Law, it is important for all Christians, Jews and Gentiles alike, to realise that the Law is to show us that we are sinners in need of a Saviour, and to point us to Christ.
Only through faith in Christ can the curse of the Law be lifted in our lives, and its crushing hold over us be broken. Only in Christ can we be released from the demands the Law places on us all.
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved from the penalty and power of sin, death, the Law, and Satan.
Heavenly Father, I am overwhelmed by Your goodness and grace that the penalty of sin, and the legal requirements of the Law can be met, simply by trusting in the Lord Jesus as the sacrificial offering for our sin. Thank You for sending the Lord Jesus to come to earth to live His sinless life so that He could fulfil the requirement of the Law on my behalf and release me from the curse of the Law. Thank You that He was willing to die as the sacrifice for my sin and the sin of the whole world. May I live and work to His greater praise and glory, for He alone is worthy. In Jesus' name, AMEN.
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