An Illustration From Marriage—Romans 7:2-3
"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 of marriage. So then, if she marries 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, even though she marries another man" (Romans 7:2-3)
Throughout the New Testament Paul uses the illustration of marriage to show us awesome truths. The intuition of marriage existed before the fall in the perfect state of the garden and continues in every tribe, nation and society no matter how remote. This dates back to early recorded history. Marriage is something that is universal in our understanding.
There are so many parallels between marriage and Christ and the Church in the Bible, so to understand these, gives us insight into Christ. Today, Paul is contrasting our marriage relationship to the Law and how death frees us from that so that we may belong to another without being unfaithful. In Genesis, when Eve was given to Adam, he said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman, ' for she was taken out of man." For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." ( Genesis 2:23-24 ). Do you see that the result of marriage is a uniting together, no longer two but one flesh. Marriage is holy, even among unbelievers. The same union happens when two become one flesh, God blesses that union.
By law we are bound to our spouse until death because the two has become one flesh. In the same way, by law, we are bound our sin nature because that union came when we were born into this world. It is our default nature and we operate as one with it. The only way to be separated from that nature is to die to it. Paul said in Romans 6 "For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin" ( Romans 6:6 ). Meaning that when we believed in Jesus as our savior our sin nature was crucified with Christ. He goes on to say in verse seven, that "anyone who has died has been freed from sin" ( Romans 6:7 ) If we died to it, then by law we are no longer bound to it. We are free to be joined to another without being unfaithful.
This is so important, not only did God redeems us legally ( Romans 7:1 ) he did it in a way that allowed us to remain faithful to what we were bound by. Now, by Christ's gift of grace, through association in His death, we are freed from that old nature of sin ( Romans 6:3 ). We were set free in order to be bound to another ( Romans 6:4 ). The law has no legal claim on us because we died to be freed of it ( Romans 7:1 ). Today I pray that you know you are free in Christ, I pray that you understand you are his bride and have become one with him through faith in his blood. May this revelation change your life, amen!
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Original article published October 28, 2009.