Rom 7:1-3 “Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.”
In the previous chapter, Paul tells us that he “speaks after the manner of men.” He uses natural things to give us a glimpse into spiritual things by the leadership of the Spirit. We know from the tone of Paul’s letters that he had a deep understanding of the grace of God. He understood that grace surpassed the law, but (speaking after the manner of men) he used the law to teach the principles of grace.
Seeing that his audience knew the law, he called their attention to a fact of the law. The law only has dominion over us as long as we are alive under the law. If we are alive under the law, then we are not yet dead to sin. It is the law that makes sinful behavior apparent: only grace covers our sin.
Again, Paul was using a natural situation to teach us something wonderful about out spiritual condition. As long as the law (seeking our own righteousness) is alive to us, we are married to the law. If we are seeking to please God according to the law then we are still bound to the law. Being bound to the law, we are still subject, in our experience, to the judgment of the law.
Paul will tell us later in this letter that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes (Romans 10:4). We receive this belief from the Spirit of truth that Christ promised to us in John 6:13-14. It is the Spirit of truth (the Holy Spirit) that shows us the things of Christ. When we are blessed to see that Jesus Christ is our only hope of salvation, then the law dies.
No matter how long we might have been married to the law, when we are made alive to the truth of Jesus Christ we are loosed from the law. The word “loosed” here carries the idea of something being “completely useless.” Once we have been made to see our condition in Adam, we realize that the law is utterly powerless to save us when left in our hands. By the might of Jesus Christ alone is the holy law of God satisfied; in Christ alone are we freed from the law.
Our union with Christ is glorious and wondrous! There is no law that remains to condemn us in our walk with Him. We are loosed from the legality that doomed us to failure and joined to Him who has imputed all His righteousness to us. We are covered by His blood and made spotless in the sight of God.
May God bless us with the Spirit of truth so that we might understand that Jesus is truly the end of the law for us, and our devotion belongs only to Him!