[The index for the series is here.]
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The Believer’s Relationship to the Law
(NET) Romans 7:1 Or do you not know, brothers and sisters1 (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law is lord over a person2 as long as he lives? 2 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives, but if her3 husband dies, she is released from the law of the marriage.4 3 So then,5 if she is joined to another man while her husband is alive, she will be called an adulteress. But if her6 husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she is joined to another man, she is not an adulteress. 4 So, my brothers and sisters,7 you also died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you could be joined to another, to the one who was raised from the dead, to bear fruit to God.8 5 For when we were in the flesh,9 the sinful desires,10 aroused by the law, were active in the members of our body11 to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we have been released from the law, because we have died12 to what controlled us, so that we may serve in the new life of the Spirit and not under the old written code.13
1 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:13.
2 sn Here person refers to a human being.
3 tn Grk “the,” with the article used as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215).
4 tn Grk “husband.”
sn Paul’s example of the married woman and the law of the marriage illustrates that death frees a person from obligation to the law. Thus, in spiritual terms, a person who has died to what controlled us (v. 6) has been released from the law to serve God in the new life produced by the Spirit.5 tn There is a double connective here that cannot be easily preserved in English: “consequently therefore,” emphasizing the conclusion of what he has been arguing.
6 tn Grk “the,” with the article used as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215).
7 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:13.
8 tn Grk “that we might bear fruit to God.”
9 tn That is, before we were in Christ.
10 tn Or “sinful passions.”
11 tn Grk “our members”; the words “of our body” have been supplied to clarify the meaning.
12 tn Grk “having died.” The participle ἀποθανόντες (apothanontes) has been translated as a causal adverbial participle.
13 tn Grk “in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.”
Biblical Studies Press. (2006; 2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press.
- How does “Law” relate to this “Gospel” of Jesus Christ?
Paul now teaches us: God has “released us from the law” through
union with Christ.
- Principle: law has authority over people—as long as they live.
illustration: death frees from the law of marriage
- Principle: death frees from obligation to law.
Release from law through union with Christ: In our union with Christ and His death (6:1-11) — we also “died to the Law”—so that we now “belong to Another.”
- Believers are delivered from obligation to live by law —through spiritual union with Christ in His death.
- God’s purpose is to free us from obligation to law—that we might “belong” completely to Christ.
- God’s intent for our lives is “that we might bear fruit to God.”
- The old life: “in the flesh”
The new life: “serve in the new way of the Spirit”
- God’s good design for His people is for us to live in the daily experience of “serve in the new way of the Spirit.”
- What is the connection between having “sin” as “master”—and being “under law”? (6:14)
- Why is it necessary for the follower of Christ to be “not under law but under grace”? (6:15) What is the problem with “law”?
- How do we explain that we have “died to the law through the body of Christ”? (7:4)
- What are the advantages of being “released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit”? (7:6)
- What does it personally mean to you to live “in the new way of the Spirit”?