Last week we wrapped up what we know as .
As you know the idea of chapters is something that I am very thankful for but this is something that wasn’t originally there.
Thankfully today we don’t have to sift through pages trying to find a passage, but there is a danger that comes along with that as well.
If we are not careful those big numbers can throw us off and make us think that we are changing subjects but that is definitely not true here in this passage.
This is something vital that we must grasp in our daily lives.
Then we start with what we call here today.
Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
As you can see he is continuing the whole conversation of death that he had in our previous chapter.
He starts with a statement of hey don’t you know this?
He says I am speaking to those that know the law.
The Roman church was made up of Jews and Gentiles but even the Gentiles would have known the law.
After this statement he is going to make a shift to an illustration that helps explain the point that he is making.
For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
This was a law for the Jews as well as for the Romans.
He is referencing this law when he states that.
Many people mistakenly believe that this passage is there to give us guidance on marriage and divorce but that isn’t the intention at all.
This is his illustration.
Guess what, the good news is that this is exactly what we have been talking about in this passage as well.
A woman can’t just marry another man while her husband is alive.
Death frees her from that law and through that she becomes free to marry another man.
This was a law that everyone reading this letter knew about and so because of that they understood the point that he was making.
Look at everything that it says about the law in these verses.
THE LAW HATH DOMINION
BOUND BY THE LAW
LOOSED FROM THE LAW
FREE FROM THAT LAW
All of this happened because of the cross of Jesus Christ.
What an incredible metaphor, we are married to Christ!
To be a Christian is to fall in love with Jesus and to enter into a legal, personal relationship.
A relationship that is as comprehensive as marriage.
Many single people think that if they were to get married that it would fix everything.
What they don’t understand and people that are married do is that marriage is putting two sinners in one house to live together with each other.
Not a recipe for happiness.
If Christ isn’t the center of their marriage then there is very little hope.
One vital thing to understand about marriage is that...
When you get married, no part of your life goes unaffected.
Even though Christians are not “under law” they have every aspect of their lives changed by the coming of Jesus Christ.
No area is untouched.
Being “married to Christ is the final answer to the question: Can a Christian live as he chooses?
NO, but not because there are rules against it.
We do not live as we choose because we are in love with Christ!
In marriage we have a significant loss of freedom and independence.
You cannot live as you choose.
A single person can make decisions unilaterally but a married person cannot.
There is duty and obligation.
On the other hand though there is the possibility of love, intimacy, acceptance and security that you could not have or even understand completely as a single person.
Because of this love and intimacy, our loss of freedom is a joy, not a burden.
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
In a good marriage, your whole life is affected and changed by the wishes and desires of your spouse.
You seek to discover the wishes of the one you love and are happy to make changes according to those wishes.
We are totally accepted in Jesus and he alone gives us our acceptance but our love for him consumes everything about my life.
You do understand that you can’t give a dead man a ticket right?
A dead person doesn’t have to follow the law.
Any law over us loses its power when we die and that is what Paul is saying with the previous illustration.
With this illustration he is teaching us about our relationship to the law
After Paul gives us this illustration he says YE ALSO.
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
You ARE dead to the law by the body of Christ.
Pretty cool thought here.
You know we love learning theology.
We love asking other people questions that they will not know the answer to so that we can show our superior knowledge.
You are now dead to the law and alive to Christ but there is a reason for that.
The reason isn’t so that we can sing in church on Sundays about how great our God is or even how great our lives are.
All this is true so that we bring forth fruit.
Rejoice in the truth no doubt about it but now go out and live in the truth.
Let our shoe leather be scuffed with attempts to live out what we say we believe since we are believers in Christ.
For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
This isn’t some new idea.
What would you say are the fruits of your relationship right now?
Would you say that the fruit that your life reflects is the fruit of one that is dead to sin and to the law?
If not then that might be something you need to consider in your daily walk.
This is a very powerful verse, don’t let it slip by.
But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
BUT NOW, one more time that these powerful words are used here in Romans.
Years ago, one of the first high rise hotels that opened in Galveston, Texas sat right above the Gulf.
It was so close to the water that the owners worried that people would want to drop their fishing lines into the water from the guest room balconies.
Their fear was that the high winds, the lead sinkers and the first story glass windows were certain to be a bad combination.
Because of that the management placed a sign in each room facing the ocean:
Absolutely no fishing from the balcony!!
Guess what happened.
Guests in the first story restaurant dined to the daily smack of lead weights against the windows.
Sometimes the glass even cracked.
After some time management realized their error and made a wise decision, they removed all the signs in the rooms.
No one ever fished from the balconies again.
This is what the law was to us.
we are dead to that law now and because of that we don’t live in harmony with the law by studying every letter of it (because we never really could anyway).
We now allow the Spirit of God to live through us.
Once again here goes Paul stepping on our toes.
Kind of goes against the grain of who we think we are doesn’t it?
Humility in service to our God is something that ought to consume us.
Humility in how we serve others should abound as well.
One of the places where humility is hardest to find is in the pulpits across our land.
I hope and pray that my life as well is marked by a servant’s heart.
We are to serve him in newness of spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.
Now we obey not because of some list of rules and regulations that we are supposed to live after.
We are not military looking through the book to see exactly what can and can’t be done.
And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
It becomes part of our DNA.
It becomes part of our DNA.
We want to please the one that has done so much for us so we live with that reality in everything we do.
Our spirit is a spirit of service.
Would this be said about us today?
I come from a background where serving him by letter was normal.
Am I allowed to do this or that?
Is the pastor ok with this?
Should we wear this or that?
That is serving by the letter.
We now serve him not by the letter but with a spirit that is new.
We desire to please the one that died for us.
In our day and age we have built legalistic systems and expectations.
Human nature makes us want to go to extremes.
Also humans love lists.
We say things like we are saved by grace so we can live however we please, we have a license to sin.
Prove to me that is wrong we scream at the top of our lungs.
Others would say we are saved by grace but we have to live under the law to really please God.
With this mentality we think we can measure spirituality by a list of do’s and don’ts.
We now serve in the newness of the spirit.
This is why Paul states in that the spirit gives life.
that the spirit gives life.
Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
This law when not approached correctly will:
Make you judgmental
Cause you to be bitter and give up
Cause you to learn to make excuses for your behavior
So big news we have died to the law but the question is this, how does our life bear fruit of that truth?
Are we loving our neighbors in ways that bring him glory?
Are we forgiving those that have wronged us in a way that can only be explained by the gospel?
Are we serving him and others that are around us?
May these things be said of us today.
May we ask ourselves this week how our week will show this truth.
Who am I?
Few questions are more important.
Am I a alive to Christ or to the Law?
Your answer to the question of who you are will dictate your values, your lifestyle, your future.
If I decide, for instance that I am an NBA prospect, then I might decide it is well worth it for me to quit my day job and concentrate on basketball and conditioning.
If I decide I am a child of God,
created in his image and redeemed from sin through his Son
then I will think quite differently about how I should go about my life.
I assume that most, if not all in here have made that decision.
Who am I?
I am a child of the living king of kings that lives under the grace that he has given me.
What we find in this passage we have looked over today and something I hope and pray you go home with is this.
This is what happens when we really apply this passage to our lives.
2. How does the image of belonging to Christ in marriage motivate you to live in a way which pleases him?
3. What practical difference does this image need to make in your life today?