Deliverance From the Law
The Illustration from Marriage, vs. 1-6.
In Chap. 6 deliverance was illustrated from slavery, here in Chap. 7 the subject is the same but the picture changes. There it was a slave set free from his master to serve another, here it is a wife set free from her husband to be joined to another.
The Marriage Law, vs. 1-3.
There is a law that binds husband and wife together. It is the marriage law. So long as the husband lives that law is in force. If a woman marries another man while her husband lives “she shall be an adulteress” says the Word of God. But if the husband is dead the way is clear, she is freed from that law and at liberty to marry another. Death has cancelled the law that bound her to her first husband.
The Application to Us, vs. 4.
Having given us the illustration Paul applies it to the believer. Death has delivered us from our first husband. In the picture it is the husband that dies and the wife is free. But the picture is reversed. It is we who have died and the law our first husband though living has no claim on us. “We are become dead to the law by the body of Christ that we should be married to another.”
This second Husband is the One “Who is raised from the dead.” What a picture we have here.
The law was our first husband. He was stern and exacting. There was no love on either side—only commands on his part and insubjection on ours. All that the law could do was to condemn us and, like the injured Roman husband sentence the unfaithful wife to death. This the law has done. But it is another Who dies in our stead. One Who takes our guilt upon Himself, wraps Himself around us as it were and shields us from the vengeance of the law. He dies and we die with Him. He is buried and His grave is ours. But He lives again and in rising He carries us with Him clasping to His bosom the one for whom He died. And now both the law’s righteous claims and Christ’s love for us are eternally satisfied and thus we have been delivered from legal bondage and brought into the joy of a union that is fruitful unto God.
The Change this Union has Wrought, vs. 5, 6.
Our lives are transformed by this union with the Risen Son of God. Our former life is contrasted with our present condition in these verses.
1. Our former state—“we were in the flesh.”
2. Our former activities—self life, evil deeds and thoughts and habits were put into action by the law.
3. Our former goal—“death. “
1. Our present state—delivered from the law, separated by death from our former husband.
2. 2. Our present activity—we serve our new bridegroom not in legal bondage but in the liberty of love as a bride who serves her living bridegroom.
1. In what does Paul’s second illustration of deliverance differ from the first?
2. What dissolves the marriage tie?
3. How are we delivered from the law?
4. Can we live as we please because we are not under law?