Is the law done away? (part 2)

     Isn’t it terribly risky for God to remove the law’s authority over us? No, because it frees us up to “belong to another (Romans 7:4),” and whoever this “another” is it’s obviously a whole lot better than who we belonged to before. 

     So, who did we belong to before? To sin. We were sin’s helpless slaves. To our horrible frustration and embarrassment, our bodies constantly and willingly gave themselves to this evil witch called sin. We belonged to her. It was like being married to a control freak and never being able to do enough to please her. Her demands were never-ending, she never let up, and we were powerless to resist. And for years we were tied to her apron strings. We were married to sin, locked by God’s law into this horrible relationship that we couldn’t get out of or escape from. 

     But Christ united us with him in his death on the cross, and by having us die with him, the witch’s spell was broken. She could no longer wield any power over us because we were dead. The law that bound our marriage to sin no longer applied when we died, just like the law binding a wife to her husband no longer applies when he dies. The marriage is over. A wife is free to remarry, and so are we.  

     And that’s exactly how Paul phrased it in Romans 7:4. “So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another.” And who is this “another” that God freed us up to belong to instead? It is “to him who was raised from the dead.” We now belong to the living, resurrected Christ. We are totally his.

     Was it risky, then, for God to remove the law’s authority over us? No, because we have a much greater power over us who enables us to “bear fruit to God (verse 4).” Under the power of the law, that was impossible to do, because “we were controlled by (our) sinful nature (verse 5).” The law couldn’t do a thing about the “sinful passions at work in our bodies (verse 5).” In fact, the law only “aroused” them, verse 5, and made them worse. How? By making us aware of just how much we sin, Romans 3:20 – “Through the law we become conscious of sin.” The law doesn’t stop us sinning, it only makes our sins glaringly obvious, our powerlessness real, and our efforts useless. 

     So God frees us up from the old witch to experience a completely new way of life instead…       


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