May 23, 2018

Holy Matrimony, Batman!

Romans 7:5–6

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For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.1

Footnotes

[1] 7:6 Greek of the letter

Holy Matrimony, Batman!



Central Truth

"We live to please who we are married to." (Timothy Keller, Romans 1-7 For You, p. 158.) Being married to Christ means we now live to please Him because of what He did for us.

Devotional | Romans 7:5–6

As you have probably noticed up to this point in Romans, Paul keeps referring to the law in chapter 7. We are in the thick of a section all about sanctification (chapters 6-8). Sanctification is a big...

As you have probably noticed up to this point in Romans, Paul keeps referring to the law in chapter 7. We are in the thick of a section all about sanctification (chapters 6-8). Sanctification is a big word that means the process of becoming like Christ as we live in a relationship with Him. Paul uses the law references to explain what a Christian's relationship to the law is supposed to look like. The law referenced here is the Mosaic Lawa set of commands showing how God wanted the Israelites to live.

Dr. Constable's Notes point out that the law in verse 5 is like an x-ray machine that reveals a tumor—our sin. (Dr. Constable's Notes, Romans 7:7-12, p. 105.) The law arouses our sinful nature by prohibiting the things our sinful nature craves. In verses 5-6, there's also a marriage metaphor. To understand it, we need to look at verses 1-4, which explain that the law of marriage only binds a woman to her husband when he is alive. Thus, a married woman who lives with another man is subject to the law concerning adultery only if her husband is alive. When we are married to the law (as a system of salvation), we bear fruit that leads to death from our sinful desires being aroused. But now we have been released from our old marriage to sin through our own death in Christ. "While it is the husband's death that frees the wife to remarry, in our case it is our death (in Christ) that frees us to 'remarry.'" (Keller, Romans 1-7 For You, pp. 157-58.)

These verses remind me that I serve Christ out of gratitude for what He has done for me. I am no longer married to my old desires—lust, pride, and man's approval—but to Christ. He (not me) is who I want to please and satisfy.

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Bio | Will Baxter

Hello, friends! My name is Will Baxter. I was born and raised in Tulsa, OK, to a family of God-fearing parents and a little brother, who is also my best friend. In May 2014, I graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Finance and started working in insurance.

I am married to my amazing bride, Emily Jane Baxter. We will be celebrating four years of marital bliss in a couple of months on July 6. I love grilling/cooking, eating good food, being at the lake, and doing any board sport. I accepted Christ as my savior when I was 8 years old. 

Discussion Questions

1. How can you live to please Christ today?

2. Is there a sin you need to confess or one that is holding you captive? 

3. How are you doing in serving Christ?

4. Who can you share your story with—that you have been freed from sin and are enjoying life in Christ?

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