Romans 7:4 “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.”
What does being “dead to the Law” mean to you?
Your salvation is a liberation from Law and unification with a living Person, Jesus Christ—who, according to Romans 6:9, will never die again. Which means your salvation is eternal and secure.
And the verse goes one step further and explains not only why we died to the Law—namely, to be joined to the living Christ—but also why we are joined to the living Christ—”in order that we might bear fruit for God.” This fruit is love.
When we were bound by the Law, when we lived under the Law, under its tyranny, under its authority, its demands, its commands, its mandate, but unable to obey it and therefore under its condemnation, the one thing we could not do was bear any fruit to God. The Law was given then to condemn us. The Law was given to cause our sin to be revealed.
So now we have Paul’s answer to why being freed from the Law does not produce lawlessness, but love. It’s because of this new union with Jesus. We are not cut free from the Law so we can float aimlessly, free from all guidance and help. We are freed from the Law precisely to be joined to Jesus. Your relationship with Jesus becomes everything. Paul said, “To live is Christ.” To live is not law-keeping. To live is Christ.
Trusting God hour by hour to guide our lives and meet our needs and be our treasure is what we need more than anything. For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. All that matters is faith, sustained by hope, expressed through love.
What have we learned about the terms of the new covenant?
- We learn in the new covenant the Law will no longer be external, written on stone, but will be internal, written on the heart (Jeremiah 31:33). In other words, the decisive thing about the Law will no longer be that it is a demand from outside, but it will be a desire from inside.
- Or, as Jeremiah 31:34 puts it, knowing God will not be an external command so much as an internal experience.
- And the last part of verse 34 gives the foundation for these internal experiences of grace: “For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
So in the new covenant, God provides a way to wipe all our sins away, gives us an experience of personally knowing him, and writes the Law on our heart so that we love to please him.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”
The death of Christ—the blood-shedding of Jesus—is the foundation of the blessings of the new covenant.
When Jesus says the new covenant is “in My blood,” he means that everything that the new covenant promised is provided by the blood of Christ:
- Because of the blood of Christ, our sins are forgiven, as Jeremiah 31:34 promises
- Because of the blood of Christ, we are given the Holy Spirit, as Ezekiel 36:27 promises
- Because of the blood of Christ, we know God personally, as John 17:3 promises
- Because of the blood of Christ, the Law is written on our hearts, not just on tablets of stone, as Jeremiah 31:33 promises
This means that your freedom from the Law is because of what Christ did on the cross. Christ bore the Law’s penalty and fulfilled the Law’s demand for all who believe. The Law’s condemnation and demand for righteousness have been satisfied for all who are in Christ.
Romans 7:6 “But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.”
A new Spirit has been given to you; God has put his own Spirit within you. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. He is the Spirit of Christ, and the Spirit of the Father.
Therefore, you know the Father not just as the first great commandment, but as a Spirit-given experience. And you have fellowship with the Son by his Spirit. You died to the Law so that you might be joined to another. You know him and you walk with him and you fellowship with him. To live is Christ.
Therefore, the Law of God is being written on your heart. The will of God does not crush you from outside with its demand for unattainable perfection. That Law is satisfied in Jesus. Now the will of God rises in your heart as the Spirit transforms your desires and makes you free.
You were bought for a price to bear fruit. Know what it is to be the beneficiary of the new covenant. Turn from self-reliance, and receive Christ as the treasure of your life.
If you want to be a loving person, the way to pursue it is to die to the Law and to pursue a vital, all-satisfying union with Jesus Christ. Embrace Him by faith as the Lord and Treasure of your life.
Colossians 3:12-14 says “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
Paul explains in 1 Timothy 1:5 that “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” The goal of our ministry aims at the fruit of love. People who love from a pure heart give selflessly and sacrificially.
Love is not attained by focusing on a list of behavioral commandments and striving to conform to them. That is what we must die to. To live is Christ.