A New Way

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We walk by the Spirit to bear fruit to God

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Introduction

I. An Illustration from Marriage (1-3)

Romans 7:1–2 ESV
Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.
Romans 7:1-2
Paul beings his argument with an illustration from marriage. We know that the marriage relationship is one that God takes very seriously, but it is one that points forward to Christ's union with the church and is therefore an institution that is temporary. Whether you are married or not you are likely familiar with the traditional vows used in weddings to this day:
Paul beings his argument with an illustration from marriage. We know that the marriage relationship is one that God takes very seriously, but it is one that points forward to Christ's union with the church and is therefore only temporary
"for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part"
This is one of the criticisms that people have about Christianity. They think its just a bunch of rules that you need to follow just like every other religion. But there is also the other side of the coin where many think that because of grace, we can now do anything that we want. I’ve met a few Jewish apologists who actually criticize Paul for this. I’ve actually never met a Jewish person who greatly criticized Christ, but instead went after Paul. They think that when Paul says we are free from the law that he is actually contradicting what Jesus says in Matthew chapter 5:

II. Bound to Another (4)

While Paul is not making any definitive statements about widows and widowers who choose to considered themselves married once for life even after their spouse has departed, he does make it clear that once death has taken place, it is permissible to remarry:
Romans 7:3 ESV
Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.
I have a friend who is a pastor who put it beautifully at a wedding:
"Heaven isn't the end of your marriage, its the perfection of all your relationships".
However, we can't deny that once death has occured, though we may be reunited in heaven with our loved one, our relationship will be changed. In fact it will be even better.
However painful death may be, we know that it changes things.

Death changes things

Paul isn't here to talk about marriage though, he's making a connection that a similar death has taken place in the lives of all those who are found in Christ.

II. Bound to Another (4)

Romans 7:4 ESV
Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.
Matthew 5:17–18 ESV
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
This verse alone is packed with implications for our lives as Christians. I believe that there are three main points that Paul is making here. First:

A. We have a new relationship to the law

Paul says, "you also have died to the law through the body of Christ". This phrase has sparked controversy both within Christianity and against it. I've met a few Jewish scholars. None of them every criticize Jesus much. They say he was a good teacher who made some mistakes and then move on. It's really Paul that that they spend the most time criticizing. They see Paul as the founder of Christianity, not Jesus himself. Why? Because they think that Paul is contradicting Jesus. Most often they point to Jesus's statement in , during his introduction to the sermon on the mount.
Matthew 5:17–18 ESV
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
Matt 5:
Aha! Jesus says that the law doesn't pass away, but Paul says that the law is dead! Or does he? Look again. Paul doesn't say the law has died. He says that you have died! The law remains, just as Christ said. Just as when a spouse dies they aren't gone forever, but death has changed the relationship. Paul isn't speaking against the law at all. He is saying that the relationship we had with the law before is inadequate. Therefore a death had to take place so that we could belong to another. There's only two ways this could happen. Either we die a natural death and then are found wanting in our fulfilment of the law, or we can be bound with Christ in his death so that we have new life.

B. We have a new life in Christ

"so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead"
Paul completes the marriage illustration here. Instead of belonging to the law, we now belong to Christ. "But what's the difference?" some may say. "Either way we means adhering to a bunch of rules doesn't it?"
Paul completes the marriage illustration here. Instead of belonging to the law, we now belong to Christ. "But what's the difference?" some may say. "Either way we means adhering to a bunch of rules doesn't it?"
Yes and no. Either way does mean obedience but there is still a huge difference between being united with the law and being united with Christ. Imagine being a child with parents who are never home, but there is a list of rules that they are expected to follow stuck to the refrigerator that they are expected to follow. It just wouldn't work. It would be Lord of the Flies, it would break down so fast. How do I know? Go to a pool without an active lifeguard. See if anyone even reads the rules that are posted on the wall. That situation is entirely different from having loving and caring parents or guardians around to guide the child. Are there still rules to be followed? Yes, but the experience is entirely different.

The Law Commands

Jesus Guides

But being bound to Christ is even more important than just being bound to a good and loving guide. Instead we are bound to the one who the law is all about! The one who fulfills the law. This is what people always forget when they read the passage in . Jesus declares that the law will not pass away because the law is fulfilled in him. This is the reason it is important that we are bound with Christ!
"so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead"

C. We have a new life in resurrection

so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead
Our binding to the death and resurrection of Jesus is very important. Why? Because although we were not able to fulfill the law, Jesus was. This is what people always forget when they read the passage in . Jesus declares that the law will not pass away because the law is fulfilled in him. This is the reason it is important that we are bound with Christ!
There are basically 3 types of laws found in the old testament. The sacrificial laws, the ceremonial laws, and the moral laws. Sacrificial laws are all about the worship practices or Israel and how different sacrifices are to be prepared. However, we know that those sacrifices in themselves couldn't save anyone, instead all of those sacrifices are fulfilled in the death of Jesus at the cross.

C. We have a new opportunity for holiness

Revelation 21:22 ESV
And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.
Both in heaven and now here on earth there are no more need for the sacrificial laws, because Christ is the ultimate sacrifice once for all.
The ceremonial laws similarly point to Christ himself. For instance when Jesus is confronted for picking grain to eat on the sabbath, he says "you don't get it, I'm the Lord of the Sabbath!" Does he say that the concept of Sabbath rest is gone? No. But he is demonstrating that the codes and regulations of the Sabbath are no longer necessary because we find our rest in him. We are no longer bound to the ceremonies of the past because they are fulfilled in Christ.
If we no longer keep the sacrificial and ceremonial law then how is it that Christ says the will not pass away? Because the spiritual realities of the entire law, whether the moral law or the ceremonial law or the sacrificial law, last forever, eternally realized in Christ.
So where do we go from here? Why are we free from the law? Why are we bound to Christ? Paul says “in order that we may bear fruit for God.”

C. We have a new opportunity for holiness

II

III. The Old Way (5)

Matthew 5:17–20 ESV
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:17-
They see Paul saying that we are no longer bound to the law while Jesus is saying, “no, the law isn’t going anywhere”. Today we are in Romans chapter 7, and we’re going to

IV. The New Way (6)