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Romans 7:4


Darlene

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Heavenly Father,

 

So often these days, it seems like I have one issue after another going on in my life. While that's true, and while there have been so many times when I've poured my heart out in prayer publically and privately, this morning, I wanted to say a few things I have been noticing along the way...

 

I talk often about Your faithfulness, especially when looking back and seeing how You were somehow able to get me safely through one disaster or another, but this morning, I want to talk about some little things I've noticed lately...

 

My garden is doing spectacular this year. Last year was almost a disaster and I didn't get much from it, but this year, with some changes I made, it is flourishing. I want You to know that I know Your hand of blessing is over it and want to thank You for all the lives it will supplement with food.

 

My kitchen has been a tragic eyesore for 2 years. The kitchen is always one of my most favorite rooms in a home and it's been very sad trying to deal with all that's been wrong there. Conversely, it's 'been enough' for me to function in...the girls and I lived for a year without a dishwasher or microwave. We had a refrigerator that froze all produce, etc etc etc. Over the past 2 years, I've been able to slowly replace things which has meant alot, especially after having to live without for a while. But the other day, I don't know what happened, and as stupid as fixing up a kitchen might sound to most, it is really filling my heart with gratitude and joy to finally be able to get it where it reflects my personality and style. Just this morning I was telling You that I KNOW that this drive, this spurt of energy I have to tackle things that I'm not experienced in (plastering walls, etc), has come from You. It has been hard work because I'm doing alot of things I've never done before, but it's starting to take shape and I'm really getting excited about it, so I wanted to thank You for helping me get to this point. I'm so used to trying to start something and have it become a complete failure, but this time it isn't. Even my daughter, when she got home last night and saw the walls finished remarked over and over again how much nicer it looked and how good it felt to have that old yucky wallpaper gone. I could see her heart being filled with Your blessing, which in turn filled mine. I may not be able to gut and do what I'd 'like' to do, but I really AM grateful for this facelift that means so much to me.

 

I'm getting a little better organized around here...I still have a long, long way to go, but I'm grateful for the strength and motivation You have given me to do what I've done this past week. There are glimpses where I can see the results and that (especially after some really draining crises) has meant the world to me.

 

My point is Father, that I can see Your balance filtering into my life. It isn't all good or bad things, but a balance between the two. Yes, we live in a fallen world and it's an uphill climb (as best), but You know Your children, You know what truly makes them happy, You know what they truly need and You supply it...even with tiny little things (that some people would think are not that big a deal) like gardens and kitchens.

 

So this morning Father, I just want to praise You, acknowledge You, thank You and give You all the credit because some of these projects I've been trying to gear up for 2 years to do, and haven't succeeded.

 

I love You so very much.

 

Bless this study today and may You breathe life once again, over these words.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

 

 

4. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also were made dead to the Law, through the body of Christ, that ye should be joined to Another, - to Him who was raised from among the dead, that we might bring forth fruit unto God.

 

The rvbv writes, "If we undertake to apply verses 4 to 6 directly to any but Jewish believers, we encounter this difficulty: that it is distinctly said, and that repeatedly, that the Jews, being under the Law, were in contrast to the Gentiles, who were "without law." These verses then must first be applied to those who were under the Law, knew themselves to be under it, and were exercised by its commands. Otherwise verse 5 becomes unintelligible:

 

When we [Jewish believers] were in the flesh [they were now in Christ, and so in the Spirit] the arousings of sins which were through the Law wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

 

These words would not be written by Paul concerning Gentiles, but they express exactly the state of Jewish believers as exemplified in the latter part of our chapter.

 

And now for the gospel, which lies in verses four and six:

 

Verse 4: Wherefore my brethren, ye also were made dead to the Law through the body of Christ.

 

As touching Gentile believers, this latter fact was to be reckoned on for the disannulling (Chapter 6:6) of "the body of sin," relieving them of sin's bondage. But for the Jewish believer, there was the additional fact that he was under the Law, which bound his conscience, and gave sin very peculiar power over him. For he must obey the Law, for it had been given his nation by Jehovah, and they had covenanted at Sinai to let their obedience be the condition of their relationship to Him.

 

To the Jewish believer, then, the announcement is now directly made that he was made dead to the Law through the body of Christ, in order to be to Another, to the risen Christ, thus to bring forth fruit to God; and that he has been [verse 6] discharged from the Law [literally, annulled with respect to the Law], thus bringing him out into service in newness of spirit. (The expressions dead to the Law (vs 4) and discharged from the Law (vs 6) cannot possibly be referred directly to Gentiles, who had never been alive to the Law - it never having been given to them; and who could not be discharged therefrom, because they were not under it.) This was the startling announcement made to those who, for 1500 years had known nothing but the Law: they had died to it all; the Law knew them no more.

 

Now what Paul affirms in Romans 6:14 covers, of course, both the Gentile and Jewish believer: "Ye are NOT UNDER LAW": that is, not under that principle in any sense. The Gentiles had moral obligations as responsible children of Adam, though not under the Law, indeed, "without law." There was the work of the Law in their hearts (as we saw in Chapter Two), with which their consciences bore witness. To Gentiles, therefore, the announcement that in Christ they are not at all under the principle of law, sets them free to delight in Christ, and to surrender to the operations of the Holy Spirit within them. The additional announcement is made to those under the Mosaic Law that they have the same liberty, having died to that wherein they were held.

 

The great lesson which each of us must lay to his own heart, is, that those in Christ, whether Jew or Gentile, are not under law as a principle, but under grace, - full, accomplished Divine favor - that favor shown by God to Christ! And the life of the believer now is 1. in faith, not effort: as Paul speaks in Galations 2:20: "The life which I now live in the flesh, I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God"; 2. in the power of the indwelling Spirit; for walking by the Spirit has taken the place of walking by external commandments; and 3. exercising ourselves to have a good conscience toward God and men always: particularly, not wrongly using our freedom.

 

While the form of the language in the first six verses makes it evident that the Mosaic Law was before Paul's mind, at the same time it is of profit to us because: 1. We all have a moral responsibility to produce a righteousness and holiness before God and we cannot; 2. Both Jew and Gentile are included in the tremendous statement of Chapter 6:6, "our old man was crucified."

 

Through the body of Christ - This is a peculiar manner of speech. God speaks not here of propitiation or justification, which are through the blood of Christ (Rom. 3:25; 5:9, Eph. 1:7). But God speaks here of that identification with Christ in which, in God's view, all believers were brought to the end of their history at the cross, so that their former relationships (to sin, law, the world), are ended. It is to be noted that both concerning Christ's death for us, and our death with Christ, Christ's own body is mentioned. As to the first, we remember I Peter 2:24: "Who His own self bare our sins in His body upon the tree." And as to the second, the present verse: made dead...through the body of Christ. (To any one who has examined their writings, there is the inescapable conclusion that the Reformed theologians - truly godly men - have kept the vision of believers confined generally to the propitiatory work of Christ, not seeing - at least, not setting forth clearly, the ending of our history in identification with Christ, - thus freeing us from sin, law and the old creation, and setting us wholly on resurrection gruond, in Christ Jesus.

 

God's identifying us with Christ in His death was just as sovereign an act as was God's transferring our sins to Christ. It did not proceed from His incarnation: for He was "holy," and "separated from sinners." There was absolutely no union with sinful humanity except at the cross! There was no "union with humanity" with Christ in His earthly life! We would be horrified at the teaching that Christ was bearing our sins from His incarnation! But, if these were "laid on Him" at the cross, so also was "our old man" then, at the cross, and not before, so identified with Him as to be crucified with Him. It was God's sovereign, inscrutable act, in both matters: done at the cross, not before!)

 

That ye should be joined to another, to Him who was raised from among the dead. The great lesson to learn in this whole passage lies in what we might call the two Christs: first, there is "the body of Christ," of Christ made sin, and our old man crucified with Him: our history in Adam thus ended before God; and, second, Christ raised from the dead. It is this latter Christ to whom we are now vitally united, to Him only."

 

Watcham Nee comments on verse 4 and writes, "Since our old man, who was the old husband, has been crucified with Christ (6:6), we are freed from his law and are joined to the new Husband, Christ, the ever-living One. As believers, we have two statuses. The first 'you' in this verse refers to us in our old status as the fallen old man, who left the original position of a wife dependent on God and took the self-assuming position of husband and head, independent of God. The second 'you' in this verse refers to us in our new status as the regenerated new man, restored to our original and proper position as the genuine wife to God (Isa. 54:5; 1 Cor. 11:3), dependent on Him and taking Him as our Head. We no longer have the old status of the husband, for we have been crucified. We now have only the new status of the proper wife, in which we take Christ as our Husband.

 

This 'joining' indicates that in our new status as a wife, we have an organic union in person, name, life and existence with Christ in His resurrection.

 

As the regenerated new man and the wife to Christ, everything we are and do is now related to God, and God is brought forth by us as the fruit, the overflow, of our life. This is in contrast to the fruit born to death (v. 5), which was previously brought forth by us as the old man, the old husband."

 

 

Heavenly Father,

 

Thank You that this study didn't get deleted today lol...it actually almost did once, but You rescued it.

 

As I go into the work that lays before me this day, may Your hand bless and protect it so that my efforts will glorify You, and Your very real presence in my life.

 

I love You Lord.

 

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

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