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©Michael Player

Chapter 7:1-6 (ESV)

Posted on December 24, 2023  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 7:1-6 (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. 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.

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. 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.

Question to consider: How do we bear fruit for God?

Paul was not ashamed of the gospel, for all people (himself included) are condemned under the Law and have no hope of standing before God on their own. The gospel, however, gives us new life in Christ because we are baptized into His death and resurrection so that we can no longer be judged according to the Law because all of our transgressions of it have been washed clean by grace.

For those reading this letter who have a hard time buying that we are no longer bound to the Law, Paul emphasized that the Law is only binding on a person as long as he lives. As an example, Paul pointed to marriage no longer being binding upon the death of a spouse.

Being baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection means that we have died to the Law through Him just as we are raised up and clothed with His righteousness. As Paul wrote to the Galatians, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:27)

Because we have died to the Law through Christ, Paul argued that we belong to Him in order that we may bear the fruit of God. As he put it in yesterday’s passage, we are no longer slaves to impurity but slaves of righteousness. In his letter to the Ephesians, after describing the grace that has been given to us as a free gift, Paul wrote, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

We don’t do good works in order to earn God’s favor, for we have already received God’s favor in Christ and have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. Instead, we bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit. As Paul told the Philippians, we are “filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God,” (Philippians 1:11) “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)


Dear heavenly Father, thank You for raising us up in Christ and giving us to Him so that we may become Your instruments of righteousness to a world that is still trapped in sin and death. May we be used to bring true freedom to captives and healing to the nations in the name of Jesus. Amen.