Monday, May 29, 2023

2023.05.29 Hopewell @Home ▫ Romans 7:1–4

Read Romans 7:1–4

Questions from the Scripture text: What does Romans 7:1 ask? What is the implied answer? To whom is he speaking? How long is the law someone’s lord? What type of person does Romans 7:2 talk about? What binds her to her husband? For how long? What happens if her husband dies? What does the law call her if she marries another while her husband is alive (Romans 7:3)? What is she free from? What is she free to do? What does the apostle call them a second time in Romans 7:4 (cf. Romans 7:1)? What has happened to them? Who/what was their master by covenant, while they were under the law? Through Whose body did they become dead to this law and free from this master? To Whom are they married now? What has happened to Him? What does this mean that they are free to do?  

How can a man bear fruit unto God?  Romans 7:1–4 looks forward to the sermon in the midweek meeting. In these four verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that for a sinner to be free to be married to the risen Christ, free to bear fruit unto God, he must die first to be released from his slave-marriage to sin; and, this can only happen through the body of Christ.

We’ve just heard that the path to everlasting life must go through holiness (Romans 6:22). But here is a great problem. However he tries in himself, man cannot be holy. Ultimately, the solution is that man must come out of being in himself and be in Christ instead. Being in Christ is the only way to bear fruit unto God, because it is the only way to come out of being a slave of sin.

For worse or for worse. Adam’s children have been bound by law as slaves to sin because this is what they deserve. The wages of sin is death, and the path to death is “those things of which you are now ashamed” (Romans 6:22). So, since we “know the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death” (Romans 1:32), we know that for worse or for worse, we are married to sin precisely because the law demands our death.

Till death do us part (or join). But here, in these four verses, is an amazing reminder of something else that we know: marriage is “until death do us part.” And so is the marriage in which the law has bound us to sin. It does so because the wages of our sin is death. But what if that wage is paid? What if the obligation is fulfilled? We would be free from the law that demands that we stay bound to sin.

Happily ever after. But wouldn’t we then be dead? Not at all, for if we die to that law “through the body of Christ” (Romans 7:4), that death comes by way of a new marriage. And that new marriage is to One Who has risen from the dead. So, it is now “adultery” when we sin. And, our new marriage, in which we bear fruit to God, can never end. In fact, it is those who arrive at the judgment still bound to sin that will die the second death that keeps on going forever.

What end does the law demand for sin? To what must sinners be bound until this happens? What is the only way to die and still live? What kind of fruit does this life produce?

Sample prayer:  Lord, we thank You for killing our old self in Christ. That self was married to sin, as deserved and demanded by Your law. Now, give our new self to bear fruit for You, since we are married to Christ, Who has risen from the dead and lives forever, we ask in Jesus’s Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH466 “My Faith Looks Up to Thee”

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