Not Subject to the Law
A Sermon on Romans 7:1-4
Released from the Law
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? 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. 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.
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. (ESV)
What does marriage have to do with our relationship to the law? Paul begins Romans 7:1-4 by discussing how our relationship with the law closely mirrors our relationship with our spouse. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones creates four points to show how Paul is using the marriage relationship as an illustration. Just as the woman is bound to her husband by law, so we too are bound to the law. This reflects the dominion that the husband has over the household. In a marriage, the spouses are bound until a death breaks that agreement. We are also bound to the law until a death occurs. At this point, we would then be able to enter into a relationship. Death brings a freedom from the law. In the same way, we have died to the law and are now able to enter into a relationship with righteousness. Finally, the purpose of marriage is to replenish the earth and our relationship with God is to bring forth fruit. We must be delivered from the power and dominion of the law if we are to produce fruit. To recap, the Doctor says that we must first be separated from the old in order to conform to the new.