Bethany Lutheran Church, Bigfork, MT

 

February 2019

By Pastor Christopher Miller

Dear Friends in Christ,

Before reading this, please read Romans 7:1-6.

Paul begins chapter 7 by turning to his brothers and sisters who know the Law, the Jews. He has spent most of this letter seemingly turning away from the Law, which had to make the Christians who came out of a Jewish context wonder what he was doing. Paul was a Jew himself, and was he now throwing away the defining characteristic of their system of belief? Did Jesus really make the Law the work of evil and not good? Paul takes these verses and relieves his hearers of that notion.

He does it by showing that the Law has limited authority. He uses the example of a woman who is bound to her husband by marriage, but that marriage vow only has power while the husband is alive. If he dies, she is not bound to be a widow forever. The law doesn't apply anymore. She is released from that law. Neither is the husband bound either, because he's dead. And that is where Paul really goes with the parallel. When we think back to the early part of Romans 6, we have been joined to Christ's death and resurrection. We are so joined to him that it is as if we have died too. We have died to this law, and this law no longer binds us.

The later part of Romans 6 applies in this too. We have been freed from bondage to following the Law, and have been bound to the one who raises us to new life, Jesus Christ. That means that

it is Christ working in us, not us working. When we were bound to the law, we were using the Law as a means to achieve salvation. When we are bound to Christ, we have salvation already, and so he lives through us, which coincidentally looks like we are following the Law. But we are merely following the one we are bound to.

So, was there a problem with the Law? Paul tackles that next month.

 

In Christ's Hope,                  Pastor Christopher Miller

 

 
 
 
 
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