Chapter # 7 Paragraph # 1 Study # 1
October 2, 2016
1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to [her] husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of [her] husband.
3 So then if, while [her] husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, [even] to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not [in] the oldness of the letter.
1901 ASV Translation:
1 Or are ye ignorant, brethren (for I speak to men who know the law), that the law hath dominion over a man for so long time as he liveth?
2 For the woman that hath a husband is bound by law to the husband while he liveth; but if the husband die, she is discharged from the law of the husband.
3 So then if, while the husband liveth, she be joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if the husband die, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress, though she be joined to another man.
4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ; that ye should be joined to another, [even] to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit unto God.
5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were through the law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
6 But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that wherein we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.
- I. The "Or".
- A. The Authorized Version ignores the existence in this text of the "disjunctive conjunction" "Or" ("e").
- B. That Paul had an "Or" in mind indicates that he had a prior fact in mind that the "Or" indicates; a fact that his readers may have overlooked.
- 1. This previous fact is given in both the immediately preceding context (6:22) and in the larger context (6:14): "believers" have been irrevocably delivered from "the lordship of The Sin" because they are no longer "under law" (6:14), and "believers" have been set free from The Sin" (6:22).
- 2. In other words, since "law" has been removed from the picture, "judgment" has to have also been removed since there can be no "judgment" where there is no "law" and the result is that this will only be misunderstood if there are those who are "ignorant" (they know not) of what has transpired regarding "law".
- 3. Thus, the "Or...".
- C. Therefore we can conclude that Paul has not yet left the "improbable" (I write as a man) notion that God would, for any reason, set "law" and "judgment" aside. But, all of Romans 6:1-14 was written to establish this reality (improbable as it seems to men): that because of Christ and the link between Him and those who trust Him, all "Justice" has been removed from the picture. In its place, "Grace" has arisen.
- II. The "Problem" of This "Ignorance".
- A. On the one hand, there is the parenthetical ("...for I am speaking to those who know 'law'..."). His readers are not unaware of "law".
- B. But, on the other hand, they are, apparently, ignorant of a basic feature of it: its temporary place in the dealings of God with men.
- 1. It was fundamental to Jewish theology in the first century to have "Law" as the overriding umbrella of God's dealings with men from birth to the final Judgment. They had no idea that "Law" would ever be set aside. For this cause they were died-in-the-wool legalists: it would be man's judgment by the law that would establish his eternal destiny.
- 2. But, there is a very easily understood reality about "law" that can be illustrated from every day life in Israel: "law" only functions under clearly defined limits. "Law" can only act as a lord over a man as long as he lives in his current world circumstances.
- III. The Illustration.
- A. This illustration is extremely plain, coming as it does right out of the daily lives of the Jews.
- B. If a woman is under subjection to a man (because she is married to him), the Law binds her to that man. But if that man should die, she is freed from the law of the man. Thus, if, while the man is living, she should be joined to another man, she is designated by Law as "adulteress". But, if the man should die, she is free from the law so that she is not to be an adulteress having been joined to another man.
- 1. The point: "Law" has a specific context and certain boundaries that define its dominion and if that context or those boundaries are removed so also is the dominion of "Law".
- 2. The greater point: God has, in Christ, removed the context and boundaries so that He is not going to use "Law" against those who are "in Christ" by faith.
- IV. The Application.
- A. "Brethren" were "made to die" (put to death/fundamentally separated from) to the Law through the body of The Christ so that they might be (joined) to another.
- 1. Here the analogy and application compel us to see ourselves as a union of two as are a man and his wife.
- 2. At this point the issue presses to "the dividing asunder of" man into his basic elemental parts -- one analogous to a man and another analogous to a woman.
- B. The method: union with The Christ in His body and death upon the Cross.
- C. The intention: that they might bear fruit unto The God.