Romans 7:4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.
Paul now applies the marriage illustration from vv. 1-3 to the spiritual life of the Roman Christians. The key idea to understand is what the phrase “died to the law” means. From the context of ch. 6, “die” means to end relationship and control. To die to the law means to end its control over a person. The law controls a person when he or she struggles to obtain righteousness by prideful obedience. This only ends up with further struggle. Paul will illustrate this prideful obedience in this chapter. The problem is not the law but how one obeys it. We die to the law “through the body of Christ.” Paul may be referring here to the literal body of Christ broken and pierced on the cross. When we identify ourselves with Christ’s death by submitting ourselves to total obedience to God’s will just as Jesus did, then the law ends its binding control over us. We see from a different perspective. We see through the cross now, what can be termed “cross-style.” We have a new master, no longer pride, self, flesh, or anything else in this world but Christ alone. The outcome is a different type of obedience that is fueled by God’s Spirit. This is what Paul means by the “obedience of faith.” Our total faith in Christ leads to a life of holiness and righteousness, not because of what we do but because of what God does in us and our act of faith in agreeing, saying “yes,” and following the leading of the Holy Spirit. When we approach our spiritual life this way, we will bear “fruit for God.” The Holy Spirit will help us become more like God intends for us. This will be evident in how we behave, think, and speak.
For older posts, click here.