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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

P2 Freed From An Old Life To Live A New Life - Romans 7:1-6

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Romans 7:1-6 "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? 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. 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. 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. 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. 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."

Introduction:

Years ago my wife and I had purchased a car that ended up being a true lemon. No matter what we did, the car would break down almost every week. We should had known better when we got nine miles from the dealership on the day of purchase and had to call them to tow the car back. Although they weren't happy about it, they had to fix the problem. The whole time we owned the car, things were breaking. The ceiling even fell in and when I would drive it to work, I would be coughing on the flecks of glue holding up the ceiling. The day we sold it (for $300), was a happy day indeed! We were free from the garage bills, free from the hassle. The next car we purchased was far better. We could once again enjoy owning an automobile that was hassle free. This illustrates our current subject: "freedom". Paul is advocating in his argument from Romans 6:20 into Romans 7:1-6. To those verses we turn once again to see how we are, in Jesus Christ, freed from and old life to live a new life.

Upon saving trust in Jesus Christ, the sinner's bonds to the condemnation of Old Adam and the old life are severed. A bad marriage comes to an end

In our last post, we probed into Paul's illustration of how the bonds of marriage are dissolved upon the passing of a former spouse. This truth is illustrated in the Old Testament in 1 Samuel 25:39-42 - "When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the LORD, who has pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal and has kept back His servant from evil. The LORD has also returned the evildoing of Nabal on his own head.” Then David sent ca proposal to Abigail, to take her as his wife. 40 When the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they spoke to her, saying, “David has sent us to you to take you as his wife.” 41 She arose and bowed with her face to the ground and said, “Behold, your maidservant is a maid to wash the feet of my lord’s servants.”     42 Then Abigail quickly arose, and rode on a donkey, with her five maidens who attended her; and she followed the messengers of David and became his wife."

If you read the back story of Abigail's marriage to Nabal, you find that Nabal was a mean-spirited controlling man, given oftentimes to fits of rage. His maltreatment of David resulted in David almost launching an all-out attack on Nabal. Due to Abigail's pleading for mercy, David chose to stay his hand. Nabal (whose name means 'fool') was feasting and drinking. The next morning, Abigail told him of how he narrowly missed being ambushed by David and his small band of men. Great fear seized Nabal and in ten days time, he was dead. 

Upon Nabal's death, Abigail was free to marry David, which is testified of in scripture as a "man after God's own heart" (Acts 13:22). Abigail was set free from the tyranny of her first husband and could not enjoy the blessings associated with David - God's man for that hour, the heir apparent to the throne of Jerusalem and the human ancestor of Christ's humanity (see Romans 1:1-3).
  
When I embrace the cross, my so-called marriage to unbelief in Christ is over.  The former husband or spouse dies at the cross. At that point I'm set free to embrace Christ. 

Why being in union with Jesus Christ is the perfect marriage, full of freedom and enjoyment

Now what kind of spouse is Christ in contrast to that old, former spouse of sin? Romans 7:4 explains "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." He brings me new life. He brings you flowers in the form of righteous living. He brings to light His love letters called the scriptures (see Ephesians 5:22-25). He clothes you in new garments called His righteousness. He is building for you a new home in Heaven (John 14:1-6). He loves you no matter what (Romans 8:32-37). 

Romans 7:6 sheds even more light - "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." The New Husband, Christ, makes all things new. The shame, regret and hurt of your former "marriage" to sin is erased. Now that old husband will attempt to come back through your thoughts and memories, habits and behaviors, old associations and current ones, to convince you that you need to go back to it. However, you need to say to your old self that you are Christ's, and that Christ is yours, and that you are in no way going back! The believer in Jesus Christ can truly say: I am His, and He is mine! As Jesus says in John 8:36 "So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed."

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