October 1, 2021 - Romans 7:1-13
Every town, city, county and state has a set of laws that they have enacted for their wellbeing. They establish these laws in accordance with the standards they have agreed upon and residents as well as visitors are held to that set of rules. These guidelines cover a variety of activities and vary from place to place. To follow the established laws of a community or state you previously lived in will create problems in your current location.
Being a Christ follower can be difficult as we try to understand the Bible and how the writings of God apply to our daily lives and activities. The Old Testament gave laws and commandments that initially appear we are to have accountability toward and follow. The New Testament emerged from the Old and subsequently questions arose about sin and the observation of the Old Testament law. In Romans five through eight Paul seeks to assist the new believer in this quandary.
Paul continues to work through the series of questions regarding the problem of sin that he began writing in chapter 5 and, how sin affects the believer. He now approaches the third question in verse seven by asking, "Is the law sin?" His answer, "Certainly not"! The point he is seeking to emphasize is that sin is revealed for man to see and understand by the law. The law is good but does not have power over the believer as he is dead to it and remarried to Christ.
Paul uses the illustration of marriage in verses one to four to reinforce the point that the believer has been set free from the law by yielding to Christ and becoming a new person in a new kingdom. Paul's intent was not to discuss marriage but to use it to graphically describe the legal relationship God placed between a man and woman and correspondingly to the believer and the law.
In this passage the word "law" is used in every verse, one to nine, and then the word "commandment" is used in verses nine through thirteen. The importance of this, is seen in how we keep the law and its teachings for everyday living. We have died to the law to be married to Christ (v.4). Accordingly, we are to serve Christ by keeping His commands but not the strictness of the letter of the law.
In the book of Hebrews, the author tells us that we are now under a different priesthood in Christ, the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:11). By changing the priesthood of the believer there became a necessity also for a change of the law. Verses 15-19 of Hebrews 7 states that there is an annulment of the former commandment and "... a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God" (v.19). The law gives us instructions and we are to be obedient because we are desiring to follow Christ's instructions. Where the two, law and love, intersect we obey readily, not because we must but because we desire to demonstrate our love for Christ.
We all recognize that laws are important elements of maintaining order and decency in life and society. We are challenged to be obedient and good citizens in whatever state or municipality we are residing. Laws may change but we are to be obedient to a greater authority and bring honor to Him by maintaining His standards of abiding by man's and God's laws.
Please be aware that I will be out of the office for the next week so I will not be writing a Daily Hope during the dates of October 4-8. Thank you for your faithfulness and I look forward to starting again October 11.