Friday – March 16, 2018 – Life Triumphs Over Death.
Romans 7:1-6 (NIV) 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. So, my brothers, 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 controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, 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.
Marriage can be a wonderful relationship, especially when each spouse sees the beauty and goodness in each other. But marriage doesn’t always work that way. Paul uses the metaphor of marriage to help us understand that under the law, goodness and beauty cannot be seen because the imperfection of the wife is to obvious. If the law is your husband, he is very demanding and exacting. All he does is point out your flaws and accentuate them; he does not give you any remedy to overcome them. Every time you look into the law, you are reminded that you do not measure up because the standard of the law is perfection. When your husband speaks, he reiterates again and again, “you’re not good enough, you don’t measure up.”
Imagine that husband dying, and you remarry. This time you are not married to law, you are married to grace. Grace may see your flaws, but he does not exaggerate them. In fact, he offers the remedy for those flaws to be overcome. He enables you to no longer be controlled by the sinful nature and gives you the power to be controlled by the Spirit.
When you come into a relationship to God through the death of Christ, that is what happens. Your nature enters a process where you change. There are two key phrases in the above Scriptures. They are, “when we were,” and “but now.” There was a time when we were controlled by the sinful nature, but now that is no longer the case. Now we are dead to the law and alive to grace. In other words, we are no longer married to the law that points out our flaws (sins), we are now married to grace, which enables us to overcome our sins.
Prayer: Thank You, Holy Spirit, that we are no longer controlled by the sinful nature. We are controlled by the Spirit of grace that adds to our lives and does not detract from it. Thank You for Your abundant life.