1 Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? 2 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. 3 Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress 4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.
The Apostle Paul used the analogy of a marriage to emphasize the truth that a Christian cannot be joined to Christ and the Law at the same time. This is spiritual adultery and the Scripture used a strong term to describe those who practice it as playing “the prostitute with many lovers” (Jeremiah 3:1-2).
Our relationship with the Law ended on the Cross when we were crucified with Christ. And we were joined together in a new union with Christ when we were raised together with Him. By identifying ourselves with Christ’s death and resurrection, we are longer bound to the Law in any way. Thus having been set free from the Law, we are now free to marry Christ and free to be fruitful and multiply for God.
By implication, we were barren or unfruitful under the Law. In Romans 7:5, Paul tells us though the law is good and holy but we always end up in sin when we try to follow it. There is nothing wrong with the law but the problem lies within us. The Law tells us that we are sinners because we cannot live up to its standard—but the Law in itself cannot curb or cure our sin problem. We need Jesus to save us from our sin-sick self and heal us from all our sins.
Our union with Christ, however, infuses us with a new life of fruitfulness and fulfilment. Being the source of our fruitfulness, Christ supplies us the power to produce abundance fruits of righteousness that last (John 15).
Being released from the Law does not mean we can go and do whatever we want. Instead of the Law telling us what we can do and what we can’t do, we have the Spirit living in us who directs us from the inside out. It is He who gives us a new mind and heart to love and serve God.
Application: What is the Holy Spirit saying to me from today’s scripture reading? What is it saying about God and me and helping me in my Christian walk?
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
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