Today would have been the anniversary of my in-law’s marriage. They lived through their 73rd wedding anniversary, she dying on that day and my father in law 18 days later. They were a beautiful picture of true wedded bliss, literally bound to one another “until death do us part”. On the other side was my own mother who buried two husbands and was widowed for several years after. What does all of this have to do with today? In Romans 7, Paul is using the analogy of marriage to show that just as my mother in law was bound to her first husband for 73 yrs; she was never was “unbound”. It was death that unbound my in-laws, if even for a short period of time. My own mother was married for 35 yrs upon which my father died. She then was, unlike my in- laws, free to marry another and several years later she did. It was death that ended my own parent’s marriage relationship. It was death that ended my in-law’s marriage. Death is the only “D” word allowed!
Paul reminds us that once someone is crucified with Christ, who was raised from the dead, so are we also “raised to newness of life” and no longer bound to the Law. Jesus’ death and our acceptance of that sacrifice for our sin rescinded our binding to the Law.
Therefore, once freed from the rules and regulations from the Law, what is the believer’s responsibility? It is to see the Law as God’s standard of righteousness, to see how it reveals man’s sin, and to see it as a guide for life. One’s position becomes one’s practice so to speak. We are now to live a life of holiness that we may honor and glorify Him who gave so much. In the past we were slaves to sin, now we are slaves to righteousness. But, as Paul says, it will be a struggle between the flesh and our new spirit in Christ until we take that last breath. We struggle between what we want to do and what we should do. It is at times like this that we can only come to Christ for cleansing. IJohn 1:9 “But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.” Thus Paul ends this chapter by saying: Romans 7:25 “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” And that should be our ending as well.
Hangest thou in there Beloved!