Slides: Free from the Law
Free from the Law
When is the law binding?
1 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? 2 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives...
Till death do us part
…but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. 3 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. 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.
Released from the law
5 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. 6 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.
Parents give a boy rules about hygiene: brush your teeth, take a shower, wash your hair, put on deodorant, dress well. The boy doesn’t like those rules and does as little as he can get away with. But suddenly his parents don’t have to push him or keep giving orders. He brushes more than required. He showers and washes and styles his hair; he never goes anywhere without deodorant and breath mints. He spends a lot of time in front of a mirror, and makes sure he looks his absolute best. Why is he suddenly so eager to do all this? Because he’s interested in girls! As a result, he does voluntarily what rules and threats couldn't make him do.
Is the law bad?
- Righteousness apart from law (3:21)
- The law brings wrath. (4:15)
- Sin is not counted where there is no law… the law came in to increase the trespass. (5:13, 20)
- Not under law but under grace. (6:14)
- We are released from the law. (7:6)
Is the law sin?
7 What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness.
Sin uses law to kill
For apart from the law, sin lies dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. 10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.
Effects of the law
- Law exposes sin: “If it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin.”
- Law arouses sin: “But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness.
- Law condemns sin: The commandment that promised life proved to be death to me.
Blame sin, not law
12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.
What puts you in prison?
But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. (Galatians 3:22-23)
- Sin imprisons you: “The whole world is a prisoner of sin.” Sin is bad and imprisons us by making us bad.
- Law imprisons you: “held prisoners by the law.” Law is good and imprisons us by condemning our badness. Law is good—but it’s bad for those who don’t obey it.
No longer our guardian
So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. (Gal. 3:24-25)
The end of the law
The power of sin is the law. (1 Cor 15:56)
… canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. (Col 2:14)
Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. (Romans 10:4)
Released from the law
- Declared righteous apart from law: We are right with God through faith in Jesus, who perfectly kept God’s law on our behalf.
- Free from law’s covenant curses: Jesus suffered the curse and canceled our debt.
- Empowered by Spirit, not law: The Holy Spirit writes God’s law on our heart, giving us the desire and the ability to obey.
- Old rituals replaced: Old Covenant signs give way to New Covenant reality of Christ.
New spouse, new fruit
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.