Main point summary
Brethren, in Christ we have become dead to the law and are alive to bear fruit to God.
Or do you not know, brethren
Ἢ ἀγνοεῖτε, ἀδελφοί,
(for I speak to those who know the law ),
γινώσκουσιν γὰρ νόμον λαλῶ,
that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?
ὅτι ὁ νόμος κυριεύει τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐφʼ ὅσον χρόνον ζῇ;
For * the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives.
ἡ γὰρ ὕπανδρος γυνὴ τῷ ζῶντι ἀνδρὶ δέδεται νόμῳ•
But if the husband dies,
ἐὰν δὲ ἀποθάνῃ ὁ ἀνήρ,
she is released from the law of her husband.
κατήργηται ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου τοῦ ἀνδρός.
So then * if, while her husband lives, she marries another man,
ἄρα οὖν ζῶντος τοῦ ἀνδρὸς
she will be called an adulteress;
μοιχαλὶς χρηματίσει ἐὰν γένηται ἀνδρὶ ἑτέρῳ•
but if her husband dies,
ἐὰν δὲ ἀποθάνῃ ὁ ἀνήρ,
she is free from that law ,
ἐλευθέρα ἐστὶν ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου,
so that she is no adulteress,
τοῦ μὴ εἶναι αὐτὴν μοιχαλίδα
though she has married another man.
γενομένην ἀνδρὶ ἑτέρῳ.
Therefore, my brethren, you also have become * dead to the law
ὥστε, ἀδελφοί μου, καὶ ὑμεῖς ἐθανατώθητε τῷ νόμῳ
through the body of Christ,
διὰ τοῦ σώματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ,
that you may be married to another—
εἰς τὸ γενέσθαι ὑμᾶς ἑτέρῳ,
to Him who was raised from the dead,
τῷ ἐκ νεκρῶν ἐγερθέντι,
that we should * bear fruit to God.
ἵνα καρποφορήσωμεν τῷ θεῷ.
For when we were in the flesh,
ὅτε γὰρ ἦμεν ἐν τῇ σαρκί,
the sinful passions which were aroused by the law * were at work in our members
τὰ παθήματα τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν τὰ διὰ τοῦ νόμου ἐνηργεῖτο ἐν τοῖς μέλεσιν ἡμῶν,
* to bear fruit to death.
εἰς τὸ καρποφορῆσαι τῷ θανάτῳ•
But now we have been delivered from the law ,
νυνὶ δὲ κατηργήθημεν ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου
having died to what we were held by,
ἀποθανόντες ἐν ᾧ κατειχόμεθα,
so that we should serve * in the newness of the Spirit
ὥστε δουλεύειν ἡμᾶς ἐν καινότητι πνεύματος
and not in the oldness of the letter .
καὶ οὐ παλαιότητι γράμματος.
How was the law at work in our members?
Sinful passion's purpose is to bear fruit to death.
Paul's explanation of how the law works.
Rm 6:11 instructs to consider ourselves dead to sin . (Imperative - simple present) Here in Rm 7:4 Paul informs that we have become dead to the law . (Declarative - Present Perfect)
Introduction How can a dead person keep the speed limit? He can't, because he is dead and therefore freed from the rule of that law. But someone alive is bound by the law to stay within speed limit. This truth is basic for understanding the believers unity with Christ. The believer died to sin and its serious legal consequences, to be brought to life in the perfection of Christ's resurrection. Now in Christ, the believer is free to live out (3:31) the law which Christ already fulfilled for us. 7:1 Paul lays the bases on a very easy truth of which the Jew knows already: The law rules only over the living, but has no power over the dead. 7:2-3 How does Paul illustrate the truth of the laws rule over the living only? He uses marriage as an example. In our western culture it sadly needs clarification because we've morally sank far from the biblical teaching of marriage. God's design of marriage is to be between a man and a woman only. Sex is enjoyed within the marriage bound only. And singleness is lived in abstinence. Now Paul explains that a married woman is called an adulteresses if she has sex with a man who is not her husband. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry and enjoy the privileges of marriage within the new marriage without being an adulteress. I struggle to see the parallels of what Paul is teaching. I probably lack some insight. As far as my understanding goes, Paul is saying that the first husband is sin. The second husband is Christ. We are free to be married to Christ only if our marriage to sin ended through death. We died in Christ's death for our sin to be set free to marry Him. 7:4 Paul continues with an inference at this point: Someone who is in union with the Lord, has become dead to the law and is engaged to the resurrected Christ. To see marriage to the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ as purpose (not result) was somewhat disappointing. But the preposition in verse 4c - " that ...may" suggests a denoting entrance into, or direction. Thinking back though (Verses 4a - 4b), what it means to have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, takes my disappointment away. Justification is granted by Christ's sacrificial death (Rm 3:21-26). And since God is the one who justifies us ungodly and wicked sinners by Christ's blood, the righteousness of God may be ours through faith in Him. With justification, God has legally granted us to be in marriage union with Christ. We are engaged, waiting to enter the fullness of marriage with Him when we will see Him face to face. Amazing! Death may come now. Death will only reveal more of Christ and His wonderful beauties, power and riches. 7:5-6 Now, Paul explains the inference. He explains the deadly function of the law because of sin, and the need to become dead to it. Alternatively, he presents those who have been delivered from the law and serve in the newness of the Spirit. What does in the flesh mean? The expression in 5a: in the flesh is a legal state, just as being married to sin. How were sinful passions aroused by the law? How did they bear fruit? Being in the flesh is a condition of death, in which sinful (selfish) passions, which were aroused by the law, were working in our physical body parts. So even though we knew by the standard of the law of what was right, our rebellious passions led us to wrong thoughts, motives, and acts which added to our brokenness in our condition of death. Why did we need to be delivered from the law? Because it held us back to serve God in the Spirit What does in the newness of the Spirit mean? It is a legal state, just as being married to Christ. We've become dead to our old legal bond to sin and were freed to enter in a new bond with Christ. Christ's death and resurrection, the marriage analogy and what its purpose is Meditation and application: One of the purposes of marriage is to intimately know and be known by the partner. This happens, among other things, by spending time with each other. They learn how to love each other. This is no guarantee for a married couple though, because the legal bound of marriage has to be lived out day by day. A partner who withdraws himself does not live out the purpose of marriage. Likewise with our engagement to Christ. A person that will be soon married, seeks eagerly to spend time with Him. Christ loves us perfectly, which motivates us to grow in our love for Him. We learn what He dislikes (and kills us) and put it away through the help of the Spirit, and also learn what He likes and develop a taste and do those things. This is what it means to bear fruit to God, i.e. by getting to know the Lord Jesus Christ (especially His amazing love in knowing what is true of us because of Him) and letting our character grow into His likeness. This is how we are living out our granted identity in Christ.