Blogging the Bible Day 22: Romans 7 & 8

Just in case you are wondering, the snow has begun!

In today’s posting I want to focus solely on the first 6 verses of chapter 7.

“The law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he (she) lives.” (7:1)

You and I are obligated to keep the law perfectly until we die. The law is a contract with humanity only nullified through the power of death. There is no other way out. Now there are luckily two ways to die, there is the death that all humanity will experience if Jesus does not come in our lifetime, the physical death at this point we are no longer obligated to keep the law because we can’t…we’re dead. Now if you live your entire life in this type of relationship to the law you will die a guilt ridden, miserable, desperate person. Luckily though there is another death that gives us a way out of the demands of the law. The death of self…many Christians call it “being born again.” In order to be “born again” you have to “die to self” if you’ve never been in a church this is all very churchy language. The basic point is this, inside of all humanity is sin, the root of sin is selfishness or self love, or self absorption. The only way to get rid of self is to allow someone else to be in control, for the Christian this someone else is God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit; when we give control of our lives to Jesus then this is what Christian are referring to when they say “I must die to self.” This means when I want to lust I remember that Jesus tells me to lust in my heart is to commit adultery and therefore rather than doing what I want I ask Jesus to give me the power not to lust. When I want to get revenge against someone, I remember that the inspired scriptures said, “do not seek revenge” and therefore rather than doing what I want I ask Jesus to give me the strength to not seek revenge. Really we could use any example. I’m dying to self because rather than doing what “I want” or what my sinful nature wants (see 7:15-24) I allow Jesus to do what He wants in me. Well the law condemns all those things “I want to naturally do” and so I am constantly failing at keeping the law perfectly. But when I surrender to Jesus, I through His power keep the law. Not because I have to but because I want to.

Which is where verses 2 & 3 come in of chapter 7—

“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. 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.”

Here is how I read this Paul is telling us before Jesus we are married to the law and being married to the law is like being married to a spouse that no matter how hard we try we find we are never quite good enough! We aren’t clean enough, pretty enough, loving enough. Eventually we are going through the motion of marriage not out of a “right” spirit but because that is simply what we must do. But then there is a death and we meet someone else and we marry this someone else and we discover that where we come up short which seems to be everywhere this spouse “helps us out” they don’t condemn (Romans 8:1) because we are ONE with them. We now strive to keep the law not out of obligation to try and be good enough, but because we are in love. (7:5, 6)

But maybe the greatest verse of all in these first 6 is verse 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.”

This verse tells me that I deserve that I was made to have the “great” marriage with Jesus! It’s not something I earn, it is something I was made for!

I am glad to be married to Jesus. I want to be a law keeper. I want to obey. I want to be perfect. Not unto salvation but because of my salvation, my new life, my new love, my perfect love in Him!

Tomorrow’s Reading: Genesis 12-15

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