Romans 7:1-4. Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? 2 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.3 Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.
4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.
OK let’s review:
- “We are not under law but under grace” (Rom. 6:14). This is a huge statement and needs an explanation.
- “You are only under law as long as you are alive” (Rom. 7:1). This seems to contradict 6:14. I mean we’re alive aren’t we? And if we are alive, then we are under law and not under grace…right? Or maybe under both?
- “We were baptized into Christ’s death” (Rom. 6:3). Ah…yes. This is what we have forgotten. We died. Therefore we died to sin (6:2), and also we died to the law (7:4).
Paul uses a marriage analogy here in the beginning of chapter 7. He paints the picture of us being married to Mr. Law. And because we are married to Mr. Law we are obligated to him by covenant. The only way out of this marriage is for one of us to die. As you read through Romans 7:3 you fully expect Paul’s logic to take us to this kind of a statement in 7:4 – “so the law died.”
But that is not what he says in verse 4. Instead he says “you died.”
“To live is Christ” means being nothing less than dead to the law.
Take a deep breath. Let it out.
You can breath. You can rest. You can be OK with less than perfect. You can be OK with not being OK. You can stop chasing after whatever standard has kept you in bondage. Stop fighting the law, because the law WILL win.
I was watching the Vikings football game today and the announcers kept talking about quarterback Kirk Cousins. They said he keeps an Excel spreadsheet of his day down to ten minute intervals. I’ve read that Cousins keeps a huge container full of stones outside his front door. One stone for each month that he will live. Every day he removes a stone to remind him to live fully and leave a legacy. You might think that sounds like a great reminder but I think it sounds like a whole lot of pressure.
It all makes me want to my arm around this brother in Christ and say, “Relax Kirk, you’ve died to the law.” Say it with me Kirk- “I am dead to the law.” Death with Christ brought death to the law. The covenant of the law is broken by the death of Christ and your co-death with him.
Galatians 2:19-20. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
We are not called to leave a legacy. That is not what this new year is about for us as Christians. We are called to live within Christ’s legacy. We are not called to make a name for ourselves. We are called to live within his name. And honestly that may mean simply living a quiet and peaceful life of resting in his grace.
1 Thessalonians 4:11. …make it your ambition to lead a quiet life
Can you identify where you are still allowing law to rule over you? Are you a perfectionist? Are you trying to build your legacy? How can your death to the law free you today to let grace produce true rest filled holiness in your life?
We’re highlighting the music of Josh White this week – “Consumed by the fire of your holy love.”