The Book of Romans is the most concise, detailed information ever recorded concerning the “Gospel”, the “Good News of Jesus Christ”. In it God speaks through Paul’s writings to reveal His righteousness from faith to faith (Rom.1:16) in a beautiful variety of ways.
One of the ways that I did not understand at all until recently is in Romans 7
1~ “Or don’t you know, brothers (for I speak to men who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man/person for as long as he lives? 2For the woman that has a husband is bound by law to the husband while he lives, but if the husband dies, she is discharged from the law of the husband. 3So then if, while the husband lives, she is joined to another man, she would be called an adulteress. But if the husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress, though she is joined to another man.
4Therefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you would be joined to another, to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit to God. 5For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were through the law, worked in our members to bring forth fruit to death. 6But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.
We were bound to the Law until Jesus died. Now we are bound to Jesus in the spirit! Notice that in v.5 he says “ When we were in the flesh…”
Because Romans 8 boldly declares ~“But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if it is so that the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if any man doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his…”
Back to 7:6 ~ We are discharged from the Law to serve him by the spirit and not in the old way by the letter.
That’s talking about serving him according to fleshly, natural appearances based on the written Scriptures. We must be like Paul in 1 Cor.2 ~”We speak wisdom, however, among those who are full grown; yet a wisdom not of this world, nor of the rulers of this world, who are coming to nothing. 7But we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery”…
But to us, God revealed them through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. … no one knows the things of God, except God’s Spirit. 12But we received… the Spirit which is from God, that we might know the things that were freely given to us by God. 13Which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things.
14Now the natural/soulish man doesn’t receive the things of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to him, and he can’t know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15But he who is spiritual discerns all things, and he himself is judged by no one. 16“For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct him?” But we have Christ’s mind.
Back to Romans 7:3 ~“So then if, while the husband lives, she is joined to another man, she would be called an adulteress.”
Jesus is now our husband, we are his bride. If we join ourselves to another “man”, like the LAW; we commit adultery! Galatians 4 and 5 say a lot about this because they were foolishly forsaking their freedom in the Spirit of God and attempting to please God/justify themselves based on the Law!
Paul spoke very bluntly with them in 5 ~”You are severed from Christ, you who desire to be justified by the law. You have fallen away from grace. 5For we, through the Spirit, by faith wait for the hope of righteousness.”
They weren’t “unborn-again”, God did not forsake them. They were no longer abiding in the vine. Christ was still in them but, they were not in Christ. They neglected relationship and became religious.
I believe this is the state of the spiritual harlot, Babylon in Revelation. The people of the world commit spiritual sexual immorality with her; she is described as the “foolish woman” all over Proverbs! Rev.18:11-14 describes the luxuries she provides to the world and interestingly enough bread and water are not mentioned! Because bread and water come through Jesus and Holy Spirit!
Rev.18:14 describes those things as “The fruits which your soul lusted after have been lost to you” because the things of this world aren’t bad of themselves but, when we lust after them with our mind, will and emotions; they can become idols which distract us from Jesus…from bearing fruits of the Spirit. As long as we abide in the Spirit we bear good fruit because Jesus has made our spirit the good tree. “Make a tree good and the fruit will be good.”
He doesn’t say; “Strive to bear good fruit!” He says “Remain in me and you will bear good fruit.”