Read Romans 7:1–6
Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? 2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. 3 So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.
4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectHas God told you to do something lately? What was your response?
Paul’s analogy of marriage is not a precise metaphor. He is making one main point: death ends legal obligations. Just as a woman is free to marry again when her husband dies, so through Christ’s death we are free to begin a new life without the obligations of the law. Furthermore, just as God blessed marriage with fruitfulness (Gen. 1:28), so in our new life we can “bear fruit for God” (4). God’s righteous requirements remain the same, but the Christian’s behavior comes from a new source, “the new way of the Spirit” (6).
My wife would often leave me lists of jobs to do. I resented being given them and would
procrastinate, much to her frustration. Then I had a revelation! I loved my wife and wanted to please her. She was giving me a list of things that would help me to show my love. I would do the jobs not because I had to, but because I wanted to.
Through Jesus the Old Testament prophecies are fulfilled: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws” (Ezek. 36:26,27).
Today, if God prompts you to do something or say something, respond in loving obedience and joy.