Released from the Law
Rom 7:1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives?
Rom 7:2 For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband.
Rom 7:3 So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man.
Rom 7:4 Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.
Rom 7:5 For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.
Rom 7:6 But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.
v1 – Paul is no doubt speaking to the Jewish members of the Roman church, because the law was not known or at least followed by the non-Jewish population. The Jews believed that obedience to the Law brought God’s favor. The idea is that death releases a man from the laws by which he was bound to in life. It is a general principle, relating to the laws of the land, the laws of a parent, the laws regarding a contract, etc. This general principle, Paul states, also applies to the Mosaic Law as well.
v2-3 – He uses an example of the Mosaic Law regarding a wife to her husband, and the consequences of the death of the husband.
v4 – Upon our accepting Christ, the connection between us and the Law is dissolved, so far as the scope of the apostle’s argument is concerned. He does not say that we are dead to it, or released from it as a rule of duty, or as a matter of obligation to obey it; for there neither is, nor can be. any such release, but we are dead to it as a way to justification and sanctification. It now comes a matter as to how we live our lives. “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?” Romans 6:1-3. We are now to live by the law as a way to show our love to Christ. Jesus said as such, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15. We have become free from law through the body of Christ. However, we are not free from the law so we can live unto ourselves; we are free so that we can be “married” to Jesus and so that we can bear fruit to God.
v5-6 – Not that these sinful passions were originated or created by the law; for a law does not originate evil propensities, and a holy law would not cause sinful passions; but they are excited or inflames by the Law, which forbids their indulgence. The enemy will take the Law and tempt us to get us to commit the sin. We who are Christians, delivered from it as a means of sanctification, as a bondage to which we were subjected, and which tended to produce pain and death. It does not mean that Christians are freed from it as a rule of duty. The idea is that “we were slain to the law by the body of Christ”; language which, though harsh to the ear, is designated and fitted to impress upon the reader the violence of the death of the cross, by which, as by a deadly wrench, we are “delivered from the law.”