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Romans 7:02 - Death and Marriage Bookmark

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. (NASB)
For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. (KJV)
For example, when a woman marries, the law binds her to her husband as long as he is alive. But if he dies, the laws of marriage no longer apply to her. (NLT)
For a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of the marriage. (NET)

This is a simple illustration and one should not engage in puerile fantasy when gleaning its very upfront meaning—that death dissolves all those things that bind us to the law in life. Remember that in verse 4, "You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ," we can consider that our death to the law is brought about in union with our benefactor, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Paul had to be precise here by not saying that the law died, but rather our obligation to the law.  We can look upon this from several aspects.  If we continue the contrast from chapter six where sin is the master and we are the slave, sin did not die but the slave did.  Here again we have the contrasts of two husbands represented by Christ the creator of the law and the benefactor of Grace.  In one sense the law remains and the wife (us) is dead brought about by our death in Christ yet we live on.

Rom 7:1-6
So long as a man continues under the law as a covenant, and seeks justification by his own obedience, he continues the slave of sin in some form.  Nothing but the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, can make any sinner free from the law of sin and death.  Believers are delivered from that power of the law, which condemns for the sins committed by them.  And they are delivered from that power of the law which stirs up and provokes the sin that dwells in them.  Understand this not of the law as a rule, but as a covenant of works.  In profession and privilege, we are under a covenant of grace, and not under a covenant of works; under the gospel of Christ, not under the law of Moses.  The difference is spoken of under the similitude or figure of being married to a new husband.  The second marriage is to Christ.  By death we are freed from obligation to the law as a covenant, as the wife is from her vows to her husband.  In our believing powerfully and effectually, we are dead to the law, and have no more to do with it than the dead servant, who is freed from his master, has to do with his master's yoke.  The day of our believing, is the day of being united to the Lord Jesus. We enter upon a life of dependence on him, and duty to him.  Good works are from union with Christ; as the fruitfulness of the vine is the product of its being united to its roots; there is no fruit to God, till we are united to Christ.  The law, and the greatest efforts of one under the law, still in the flesh, under the power of corrupt principles, cannot set the heart right with regard to the love of God, overcome worldly lusts, or give truth and sincerity in the inward parts, or any thing that comes by the special sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit.  Nothing more than a formal obedience to the outward letter of any precept, can be performed by us, without the renewing, new-creating grace of the new covenant. (Matthew Henry)
Robertson says; “The analogy calls for the death of the law, but Paul refuses to say that. He changes the structure and makes them dead to the law as the husband (6:3–6). The relation of marriage is killed ‘through the body of Christ’ as ‘the propitiation’ (3:25) for us.”
Translation. So that, my brethren, you also were put to death with reference to the law, through the intermediate agency of the body of Christ, resulting in your being married to another, to the One who was raised up out from among the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God.
(Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament : For the English reader)
In this passage he used the illustration of a husband and wife to show that the believer has a new relationship to the Law because of his union with Jesus Christ.…But in Paul’s illustration from marriage, it was the husband who died and the wife who married again.  If you and I are represented by the wife, and the Law is represented by the husband, then the application does not follow the illustration.  If the wife died in the illustration, the only way she could marry again would be to come back from the dead.  But that is exactly what Paul wants to teach!  When we trusted Christ, we died to the Law; but in Christ, we arose from the dead and now are “married” (united) to Christ to live a new kind of life! (The Bible exposition commentary)
How can we legally be free from the Law? (Rom. 7:1–3)  Paul turned to marriage for an illustration.  A married couple is bound to each other under the Law until one of them dies.  The death of a partner frees both, so that the living partner is free to remarry.  Our union with Jesus is a real union too, so when He died we were legally released from any obligation to the Law.  God considers us to have “died to the Law through the body of Christ” (v. 4), and so to be free from any past obligation to live “under” it (6:14).
(The teacher's commentary)
To match the Christian experience of dying to sin and living to God, Paul used an illustration in which someone is set free by death, but still lives.  Jesus Christ acted both as the husband in the believer’s bondage to the law and as the new and living husband in righteousness.  The human illustration requires two husbands to make its point.  But the great truth of Romans 7 is that Christ is at the same time the one husband who dies to the state of bondage and the one who brings his bride, the church, into a new state of freedom.  Romans 6 shows that believers are dead to sin; Romans 7 shows they are dead to their old relationship to law. (Tyndale concise Bible commentary)
When a woman is married to a man, she is bound to that man until he dies.  Then she is free to marry again. Before we met Christ, we were bound by the Law and condemned by it.  The Law, however, did not “die” when we were saved; instead, we died in Christ.  We are no longer “married” to a system of regulations; we are “married” to Jesus Christ, and the Law has no control over us. Read v. 4 again and again and absorb its wonderful message.  Our old “husband” has no control over us: we are in a wonderful new relationship through and in Christ.  When we were lost, the Law triggered the “arousings of sin” in our old nature, and this produced death (v. 5).  But now we are delivered from the Law and can serve Christ in newness of the Spirit, not in the oldness of the letter (v. 6). (Wiersbe's expository outlines on the New Testament).
7:1–6 Freed at last, from bondage to blessing.  In a further effort to illustrate our freedom in Christ, Paul compared the law, with its tendency to make us want to sin (7:5), to a demanding husband. As long as the husband lives, his wife is bound to him; when he dies, she is free to marry another.  Likewise, the law and the sinful desires it arouses have no more claim over the believer; he or she is now free to be united with Christ (7:4; compare John 3:29; Eph. 5:25–27; Rev. 21:2). (Willmington's Bible handbook)
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. (NASB)
For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. (KJV)
For example, when a woman marries, the law binds her to her husband as long as he is alive. But if he dies, the laws of marriage no longer apply to her. (NLT)
For a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of the marriage. (NET)

This is a simple illustration and one should not engage in puerile fantasy when gleaning its very upfront meaning—that death dissolves all those things that bind us to the law in life. Remember that in verse 4, "You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ," we can consider that our death to the law is brought about in union with our benefactor, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Paul had to be precise here by not saying that the law died, but rather our obligation to the law.  We can look upon this from several aspects.  If we continue the contrast from chapter six where sin is the master and we are the slave, sin did not die but the slave did.  Here again we have the contrasts of two husbands represented by Christ the creator of the law and the benefactor of Grace.  In one sense the law remains and the wife (us) is dead brought about by our death in Christ yet we live on.

Rom 7:1-6
So long as a man continues under the law as a covenant, and seeks justification by his own obedience, he continues the slave of sin in some form.  Nothing but the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, can make any sinner free from the law of sin and death.  Believers are delivered from that power of the law, which condemns for the sins committed by them.  And they are delivered from that power of the law which stirs up and provokes the sin that dwells in them.  Understand this not of the law as a rule, but as a covenant of works.  In profession and privilege, we are under a covenant of grace, and not under a covenant of works; under the gospel of Christ, not under the law of Moses.  The difference is spoken of under the similitude or figure of being married to a new husband.  The second marriage is to Christ.  By death we are freed from obligation to the law as a covenant, as the wife is from her vows to her husband.  In our believing powerfully and effectually, we are dead to the law, and have no more to do with it than the dead servant, who is freed from his master, has to do with his master's yoke.  The day of our believing, is the day of being united to the Lord Jesus. We enter upon a life of dependence on him, and duty to him.  Good works are from union with Christ; as the fruitfulness of the vine is the product of its being united to its roots; there is no fruit to God, till we are united to Christ.  The law, and the greatest efforts of one under the law, still in the flesh, under the power of corrupt principles, cannot set the heart right with regard to the love of God, overcome worldly lusts, or give truth and sincerity in the inward parts, or any thing that comes by the special sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit.  Nothing more than a formal obedience to the outward letter of any precept, can be performed by us, without the renewing, new-creating grace of the new covenant. (Matthew Henry)
Robertson says; “The analogy calls for the death of the law, but Paul refuses to say that. He changes the structure and makes them dead to the law as the husband (6:3–6). The relation of marriage is killed ‘through the body of Christ’ as ‘the propitiation’ (3:25) for us.”
Translation. So that, my brethren, you also were put to death with reference to the law, through the intermediate agency of the body of Christ, resulting in your being married to another, to the One who was raised up out from among the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God.
(Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament : For the English reader)
In this passage he used the illustration of a husband and wife to show that the believer has a new relationship to the Law because of his union with Jesus Christ.…But in Paul’s illustration from marriage, it was the husband who died and the wife who married again.  If you and I are represented by the wife, and the Law is represented by the husband, then the application does not follow the illustration.  If the wife died in the illustration, the only way she could marry again would be to come back from the dead.  But that is exactly what Paul wants to teach!  When we trusted Christ, we died to the Law; but in Christ, we arose from the dead and now are “married” (united) to Christ to live a new kind of life! (The Bible exposition commentary)
How can we legally be free from the Law? (Rom. 7:1–3)  Paul turned to marriage for an illustration.  A married couple is bound to each other under the Law until one of them dies.  The death of a partner frees both, so that the living partner is free to remarry.  Our union with Jesus is a real union too, so when He died we were legally released from any obligation to the Law.  God considers us to have “died to the Law through the body of Christ” (v. 4), and so to be free from any past obligation to live “under” it (6:14).
(The teacher's commentary)
To match the Christian experience of dying to sin and living to God, Paul used an illustration in which someone is set free by death, but still lives.  Jesus Christ acted both as the husband in the believer’s bondage to the law and as the new and living husband in righteousness.  The human illustration requires two husbands to make its point.  But the great truth of Romans 7 is that Christ is at the same time the one husband who dies to the state of bondage and the one who brings his bride, the church, into a new state of freedom.  Romans 6 shows that believers are dead to sin; Romans 7 shows they are dead to their old relationship to law. (Tyndale concise Bible commentary)
When a woman is married to a man, she is bound to that man until he dies.  Then she is free to marry again. Before we met Christ, we were bound by the Law and condemned by it.  The Law, however, did not “die” when we were saved; instead, we died in Christ.  We are no longer “married” to a system of regulations; we are “married” to Jesus Christ, and the Law has no control over us. Read v. 4 again and again and absorb its wonderful message.  Our old “husband” has no control over us: we are in a wonderful new relationship through and in Christ.  When we were lost, the Law triggered the “arousings of sin” in our old nature, and this produced death (v. 5).  But now we are delivered from the Law and can serve Christ in newness of the Spirit, not in the oldness of the letter (v. 6). (Wiersbe's expository outlines on the New Testament).
7:1–6 Freed at last, from bondage to blessing.  In a further effort to illustrate our freedom in Christ, Paul compared the law, with its tendency to make us want to sin (7:5), to a demanding husband. As long as the husband lives, his wife is bound to him; when he dies, she is free to marry another.  Likewise, the law and the sinful desires it arouses have no more claim over the believer; he or she is now free to be united with Christ (7:4; compare John 3:29; Eph. 5:25–27; Rev. 21:2). (Willmington's Bible handbook)


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