SUBJ: The fact that we are no
longer under the Law by virtue of our death in Christ and the manner in
which the release takes place.
AIM: That we should give due
diligence to the relationship to which we are brought in Christ and with
Christ that we might bear fruit consistent with this new relationship.
INTR: Having already said much
regarding the matter of bondage in the life of man, Paul would take the
matter on to a matter of grave religious error as something that
detracts from the grace and glory of God.
1. In the sixth of Romans,
Paul addressed the matter of the dominion of sin along with urgings to
resist sin and rather yield our members as instruments of righteousness.
2. He was not ready to leave the topic and so continues in the seventh
with relating sinfulness to a wrong approach to the Law and the
commandments – namely clinging to the Law in any form to gain acceptance
3. Assuming that there was a Jewish element among those at
Rome he would set forth a powerful declaration concerning the degree of
separation from the Law and the confirming result of our new
relationship to Christ.
Paul wrote that “the strength of sin is the Law;” thus, being delivered
from the Law, we are delivered from the strength of sin and the way of
the “newness of spirit” accomplishes that which the Law could not –
fruitfulness in and unto Christ.
I. The end of dominion seen in
death (vv. 1-3)
1. The exhortation to that which should be known
again appears as an intensifier.
1) The use of the term brethren is
certainly one of endearment but,
2) The reference to them that know
the Law indicates that some members of the church at Rome were Jews and
quite knowledgeable in the Law (as well as the traditions).
is the further indication that they may have had tendencies to cling to
the old way.
2. What they would have know would have been the terms
under which the Law was given and divinely enforced which was quite
intense and exacting – the terms were full and complete obedience to it.
1) This resulted in a sense of bondage in that sin was evident and they
were deemed failed
2) Yet, they persisted in believing that the
ceremonies and outward obedience would avail.
3. Paul offers a
powerful illustration by turning to something that was written in the
1) The issue of divorce and remarriage is not in question here –
the focus in on separation unto Christ.
2) The issues are plain and
would have been well-known by the Jews and those taught by them as to
the whole of the Word of God.
3) The point is that there is an
unbreakable connection to the Law unless death intervenes and this is
the point to which we come.
II. A productive relationship
established (v. 4)
1. Having set forth the terms of demarcation, Paul
now confirms the means whereby this is done.
1) Dead to the Law. This
is obviously not a release from moral responsibility and the principles
of the Law (they are spiritual). Neither is it the desire of any to be
without the Law as to its beauty and function among the Lord’s people.
2) It is by the body of Christ having a distinct reference to the death
of Christ and all were included in His death.
3) It is important here
that we understand that the point is that by the illustration and the
precept Paul would have us to know that a legal bond is severed.
He continues the illustration with the thought of being married to
another – our resurrected Christ with the further aim that we should
bring forth fruit.
1) See Romans 6:22 and Galatians 5:22-23.
Included are good attitudes, aspirations, words, and works – And he
shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth
his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever
he doeth shall prosper. Psalms 1:3
3) But, especially it is to be
seen that the fruit is unto God.
III. Newness of Spirit (vv. 5-6)
1. Or, a further explanation of the Law and the matter of sin
Being in the flesh refers to being under sinful government the outcome
of which is lust, anger, hatred, animosity toward others, etc.
reference here to the motions of sin is to the active pursuit of sin and
the sinful passions that are aggravated because of the Law.
would not be an issue except that the Law along with the evidence of and
presence of God calls these to a confrontation with God so that there is
a knowledge that sin is sin (not such knowledge as accompanies
2. But, death with Christ and a death to sin in whose
grip we languished effects a discharge from the Law
1) Freed from the
domination and curse of the Law – debt paid
2) Sin still tries to
maintain a rule and reign in our lives,
3) But, in “newness of
spirit” the Law becomes a thing of beauty owing to its divine origin –
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John