Romans 7:1-6 (No Longer Slaves Series)
Jason White


We are no longer slaves to the law. We have been freed from the law and now we live by the Spirit who dwells in us and works through us.

Romans 7:6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.






Now remember, Paul has already taught us about how when we put our faith in Jesus for salvation that we experienced a death. The “old us,” Paul said died w/Christ. And Paul’s already mentioned one thing that we died to…or have been separated from, do you remember what that was? “To sin,” we died to the power of sin in our lives. So…here Paul says that the second thing we died to is “the law,” which means that it has no authority of us any longer. Remember Paul’s principle: the law has authority only over people who are alive…AND YOU ARE NO LONGER ALIVE (the old you…in Adam). The question becomes, “why?” “Why did we have to die to the law and its’ authority over us?” And Paul is going to answer that here, but first he makes sure that we know how we died to the law…look at what he says… 4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, “Through the body of Christ” here is a reference to Jesus’ death on the cross. So the question is, “How does Jesus’ death on the cross make us dead to the law?” And the answer is that he satisfied the demands of the law on our behalf. The law condemns everyone of us…it shows us that we cannot measure up to the standard of a holy and perfect God. We all fail in our ability to keep the law and stand condemned by it as guilty sinners. But look at what Paul says about Jesus in Co. 2:14… 14 (Jesus) canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. So Paul says here in Ro. 7:4 that we died to the law through Jesus’ death on the cross which satisfied the demand of the law…He fulfilled it for us. Okay, so let’s keep going…b/c next Paul shows us the purpose of separating us from the law… 4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, So Paul is saying in a sense, you were married to the law…you belonged it…you were a slave to it…you were in bondage to it and condemned by it…so Paul is saying that the purpose of you dying to the law was so that you would be free now to be married to the living Christ…united to Him. BUT… why did we need to be united to Jesus? 4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. Jesus is the only Source which can produce fruit. Jesus said in John 15 that He is the vine and we are the branches and as we abide in Him we will bear much fruit. Fruit gets produced NOT from the branch, but FROM the life-giving stuff in the vine that flows through the branch…and that life giving stuff was not in us to produce good fruit. With the law, we were under a system of externals. We were trying to follow the rules and be good so that godly fruit would come out of our lives…but how can godly fruit come out if God is not in there in the first place? So God had to remove us from the system of externals which produced nothing…we had to die to that…so that God could put Himself in us…& now w/life flowing through the vine, we as a branch can actually bear fruit. And Paul goes on to show us that next… 5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh,…which is the realm of no God in us…the realm where sin was our master and it was up to us to make our own way… “when we were in that realm…the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. IOW, Paul says that the law actually aroused sin in our lives…that’s why we had to die to it! In our flesh we respond one of two ways to the law…we either rebel against what we are told not to do (don’t touch the stove…so it makes us want to touch the stove)…so we either rebel against it… OR in our flesh we fill up with pride as we pour our strength into obeying it… We look down on everyone who is not able to carry out the rules as good as we are. So either way, Paul says the fruit we bear is for death…it’s meaningless, evil. We either break the law and sinful fruit is produced, or we stick our chests out & the fruit we bear is pride & judgementalism. So this is why we had to die to the law. V6 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. We are no longer slaves to the law…we have been set free from what once bound us, and now since we’ve been changed and regenerated into a new creation…one with life-giving stuff flowing in us, we can actually produce godly fruit as He works in us and thru us. So because that is true, we serve in the way that this godly fruit will come out, and that is by the Spirit not by the law. It’s thru the Holy Spirit that we are united to Jesus and Paul said in verse 4 that we were separated from the law so that we might belong to Jesus in order that we might bear fruit. The Christian life is lived by the power of the Spirit living in us and through us. Do you remember in Ro. 6:13 where Paul said “to offer every part of yourself to God as an instrument of righteousness?” This is what He is talking about. As you make yourself available to the Holy Spirit living in you, He will manifest Christ’s life thru you so that there is visible fruit. IOW, Paul has been saying throughout this entire letter that you cannot be saved by works…it is not by the works of the law that you are saved…it is only faith in Christ, but here he goes further and says “not only is the law incapable of saving you, the law is incapable of producing righteous and holy living.” The law, while holy and good, highlights our sin and it even passively promotes sin, but just like we are justified apart from the law, Paul is saying that we live the Christian life apart from the law. (bible truth) YOU – Okay, so how does this then specifically apply to us today? Well, first of all, if you are here and you’ve never received Jesus into your life, then this shows us that it’s impossible to make yourself into a better you by following rules and doing good things. You can’t change a broken, sinful heart on the inside by getting better at living by external rules on the outside. Which is why we need a whole new heart…and Jesus went to the cross to die for your sins which caused your broken heart in the first place so that you could be forgiven…and when you put your faith in Him, he will forgive you & your old heart will die, & He will join Himself spiritually to you, giving birth to a new heart inside of you, which now has the capacity to produce good fruit b/c you have a new Life Source in you, working through you…will you receive Him today? Now for those of us who have received that new heart, Paul says that we now serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code. So, for us the application is to make sure that we are not focused on the law and combing through the O.T. to find out what all the rules are and then trying to do our best to follow them in order to be more holy and make sure Jesus is proud of us. NO, we trust in the Spirit now to guide us to where He wants us to go…He will show us what to do when we get there…and not only that, He will empower us to do it… It means that we are careful when we study the O.T. to do it through a N.C lens and remember what Paul says here in Ro. that we serve in the new way through the Spirit. Over and over again, we are told to fix our eyes on Jesus…we don’t fix our eyes on “do this and don’t do that.” (external)…we focus on Jesus and He will lead us in His ways and produce good fruit through us.”]