You shouldn’t have any trouble understanding this, friends, for you know all the ins and outs of the law—how it works and how its power touches only the living. For instance, a wife is legally tied to her husband while he lives, but if he dies, she’s free. If she lives with another man while her husband is living, she’s obviously an adulteress. But if he dies, she is free to marry another man in good conscience, with no one’s disapproval. (Romans 7:1-3)
We are entering into the 7th chapter and this is a chapter that has provided a lot of confusion and frustration. However, when you remember it was a letter, and did not include “chapters and verses,” you combine chapters 6, 7 and 8, you can find a tremendous amount of liberty and victory! In chapter 6, Paul just showed us that because we are united to our Messiah, Yeshua, we have, not “going to get,” we have already won a great victory! We are victorious! So he continues that that thought with a beautiful analogy of “husbands” and “wives.” He is saying that all of us were married to the Law—it was our husband!
So, let’s follow through with his analogy, and describe this old “husband” of ours. This old “husband” of ours was a very demanding husband. He is always pointing out where we are wrong, (have you ever known a spouse—or parent—who was like that?). Worse yet, he never lifted a hand to help and not only that, his judgments were always right! (How infuriating). Also, while you are married to the Law (this “husband”), you could never be married to someone else! You were stuck with each other, “As long as you both shall live”
This does not make for a very harmonious marriage. You are permanently married to an overbearing; faultfinding; totally correct; never helping husband—and, he is never going to die!
So, my friends, this is what has taken place with you. When Christ died, he took that entire rule-dominated way of life down with him and left it in the tomb, leaving you free to “marry” a resurrection life and bear “offspring” of faith for God. For as long as we lived that old way of life, doing whatever we felt we could get away with, sin was calling most of the shots as the old law hemmed us in. And this made us all the more rebellious. In the end, all we had to show for it was miscarriages and stillbirths. But now [Oh, how I love that phrase: But Now!—that was then—But Now . . .] now that we are no longer shackled to that domineering mate of sin, and out from under all those oppressive regulations and fine print, we are free to live a new life in the freedom of God. (Romans 7:4-6)
Did you see that? Although the Law is never going to pass away—WE DID! We have been discharged from the Law! We have been released from the demands of the Law!
If interested, you can download the entire study of The Letter to Christians at Rome