#17 Married to Christ
We’ve come to chapter 7:1-11 in our study of Romans. Although this passage is all about marriage; our purpose in this passage is not to discuss the marriage of a husband and wife in its normal sense. That is an important subject, but it is not our topic in this message.
If you’ve been following along in this series in Romans, you are aware that this epistle is about how God, by His grace, takes a spiritually dead, guilty sinner, deserving of God’s judgment and wrath and turns him into a saint and a useable servant of God, fit for His use.
He does that by justifying or putting Christ’s righteousness to His account. Having justified him, God continues His work through His process of sanctification in the life of one who is justified.
In this chapter Paul uses some basic facts of marriage to illustrate and better understanding sanctification.
GENERAL FACTS ABOUT MARRIAGE
1. The marriage law is good and holy for God is the author of marriage. Genesis 2:18
2. Husband and wives are bound together as one for as long as they both shall live. Romans 7:2
3. The death of a partner does not nullify the marriage law. It simply ends the marriage of the married couple. Romans 7:3 The living partner is free to remarry.
4. There is no marriage in Heaven. Matthew 22:23-30 Luke 20:27-36
5. Though we will know and love one another perfectly in Heaven; our primary relationship will be with the Lord Jesus and with His spiritual Body, His beloved Church, His Bride, which is inter- generational, international and inter- racial.
THE TOPIC BEFORE US IN ROMANS 7:1-11
The primary purpose of this topic of two marriages before us is to illustrate God’s plan of victory over sin for Christians in this life right now. Remember, the whole theme of Romans 6, 7, and 8 is sanctification. Everything in these three topics is focused on this topic only. So let’s not get distracted with other topics. To illustrate sanctification, Paul illustrates it with two marriage examples. In each marriage we’re going to identify and consider:
1. The husband
2. The wife
3. The quality of the marriage
4. The fruit of that marriage.
THE FIRST MARRIAGE
In this first marriage the husband is The Law of God. This first husband is described as holy, just and good. Romans 7:14 describes it as spiritual. because it is spiritual. It also deals with our spirits; not just the acts of our body. Because it is spiritual, only those controlled by God’s Holy Spirit can keep it. In Romans 8:4 it is also described as righteous.
The Law is good for everyone keeping it. Breaking it brings heart ache, ruin and death.
The wife in this first marriage is the natural, unconverted child of Adam, also known as “the natural man” or the natural woman as I Corinthians 2:14 labels him or her. This is the condition of all human beings in their unconverted state. They are spiritually blind according to Ephesians 4:17-19 and dead, according to Ephesians 2:1-6, to spiritual truth from God’s Word. That’s why they seldom or never darken the door of a church where the Bible is faithfully preached.
The quality of the marriage
The marriage of the natural, unconverted man or woman to the Law of God is a fact that no one can escape. Whether they like it or not, every natural unconverted man or woman is married to the Law of God. It holds its absolute power over everyone of us in our unconverted state demanding that we obey it or die. There is no love between these two marriage partners. That does not make for a happy marriage, just as no woman is happy being married to a tyrant. The natural person is totally incompatible to such a husband. The only way the wife can get out of this marriage is to die, or for the husband to die. One thing for sure, God’s Law is not going to die.
The fruit of this marriage
According to Roman 7:5 the fruit of this marriage is death. Every human being who has ever been born on the face of this earth finds himself (herself) married to this absolutely unbending, holy Law of God. We are all required to obey it perfectly or we die. The problem is not with the holy Law of God. Rather, we as sinners are the problem. As natural, unconverted men and women, we try to ignore it and hope it will go away, but it stands over us in unbending holiness, requiring absolute, perfect obedience or death and hell.
How can the sinner be freed from this miserable marriage?
One party must die, either the sinner or the Law.
The Law does not die. There is nothing wrong with the Law. It is holy, just and good. Rather, the sinner must die to be freed from the power of the Law.
THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A SINNER PUTS HIS TRUST IN CHRIST AND IS CONVERTED!
The sinner died for having broken God’s Law, He died in the person of The Lord Jesus Christ when Jesus died on the cross. Read what the Scriptures say about this. Romans 7:4 “Wherefore, my brethren, you also are become dead to the Law by the (crucified) body of Christ that ye might be married to another. (We’ll get to this truth as we discuss the Second Marriage in a moment.)
Note also Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ” Read the rest of this wonderful verse and we’ll discuss it in a moment.
The point here is that we can get out from under our awful marriage to The Law of God by dying with Christ when He died on the cross two thousand years ago. God’s unbending Law is still in force upon all sinners, but I become dead to it when I put my trust in Christ to save me. In the words of Philip Bliss sing with us as we sing in our church,
Once For All
Free from the Law, O happy condition!
Jesus hath bled and there is remission;
Cursed by the Law and bruised by the Fall,
Grace hath redeemed us once for all.
Once for all, O sinner, receive it!
Once for all, O brother believe it!
Cling to the cross, the burden will fall.
Christ hath redeemed us once for all.
Now are we free, there’s no condemnation!
Jesus provides a perfect salvation;
Come unto Me, O hear the sweet call!
Come and He saves us once for all.
Children of God, O glorious calling!
Surely His grace will keep us from falling;
Passing from death to life at His call!
Blessed salvation once for all.
THE SECOND MARRIAGE
In the second marriage, Romans 7:4 tells us that He who died on the cross and rose again on the third day, that is, The Lord Jesus Christ, is our husband.
Christ’s wife is the redeemed sinner. In addition to Romans 7:4, read Ephesians 5:22-33 for a clear explanation of our relationship to Christ as His Church, His spiritual bride. He is our spiritual husband.
The quality of this marriage
What a difference this marriage is from our former marriage to the Law.
In our marriage to Christ
1. We receive His name, Christian
2. We partake of His divine nature. II Peter 1:2-4
3. We share in His glory now and throughout eternity. John 17:22
4. This marriage is not characterized by drudgery, misery and failure.
5. It is based on a love relationship with Christ.
6. As Christians we have a new spirit. See Romans 7:5 That new spirit is no less than the Holy Spirit living within our bodies as Christians. Imagine! The third person of the Trinity living within our bodies! I Corinthians 6:19-20
7. No longer are we under a code of laws to keep. Rather it is a person, the Lord Jesus, our beloved Bridegroom, to please.
The Fruit of this marriage
In John 15 Jesus shared with His disciples (and this applies to every Christian) of the new intimate relationship that we enjoy with Christ as Christians By abiding in Christ as our Heavenly Husband we bear fruit now and throughout eternity, even the Fruit of the Spirit as described in Galatians 5:22-25.
To whom are you married, the Law of God or The Lord Jesus Christ?
Is your religion one of drudgery, misery and failure; or do you have a personal, joyful, living relationship with Christ?
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