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Romans 7:1-6

 

Or do you not know, brothers  - for I am speaking to those who know the law - that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives?  Thus a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.

 

Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.

(ESV)

The Law Is Dead

Thursday after Easter

9 April 2015

There is no end for the One who dies last of all and as the first fruit of all who are asleep in Him. The Apostle Paul tells us that Jesus is the first to die and the last. "In fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power" (1Co 15:20-24). 

 

The end is here once death's grip has been broken and life has been given over to the world in the life of Christ who was raised for us. This is why all the end times mania that arises from time to time is such bosh and nonsense. With the specter of Middle Eastern war now on the horizon some evangelical preachers are again beating that drum. The fact is that we are in the last day now and have been since Christ put a full stop to history by standing triumphant over death. For Christ has been raised to bring an end to death. In Himself He makes all alive.

 

At the end of history, Christ the Bridegroom has freed us from the law. As Paul says to the Romans if the law dies, the church is free from the law: "My brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God" (Rm 7:4). The resurrection of the Lord sets us firmly in the righteousness of Christ, because the living Lord is ever our righteousness. The Christ who lives forever lives eternally to save. He has done all. Everything worth doing has been done by Christ and in Christ. Everyone who is trying to make history now is just missing the boat. And where history is over the law also is over. 

 

John Chrysostom

 

"If, when the husband is dead, the woman is no longer liable to the law (Rm 7:4), much more when she is dead she also is freed from the law. Note the wisdom of Paul, how he points out that the Law itself designs that we should be divorced from it, and married to another. For there is nothing, he means, against your living with another husband, now the former is dead. Why should there be, since when the husband was alive it allowed this to her who had a writing of divorcement (Jer 3:8)? He does not write this, because it was rather a charge against the woman; for although this had been granted, still this kind of divorce was not free from blame (Mt 19:7-8)....

 

"The marvel then is this, that it is the law itself that acquits us who are divorced from it of any charge, and so the idea of it was that we should become Christ's. For it is dead itself, and we are dead; and the grounds of its power over us are removed in a twofold way. Paul is not content with only this, but also adds the reason for it. For he has not set down death without good reason, but brings the cross in again, which worked these things, and in this way too he puts us into an engagement [with the bridegroom, Christ]."

 

John Chrysostom, Homilies on Romans, 12
 
Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, Your victory over death and the grave has shown that the law has been vanquished by You. We have been divorced from the law's power and have become Your bride, because the law has died. Keep us from running back to adultery with the law, but make us ever faithful to You, who have died for us. Amen.

 

For the Regents of Concordia Theological Seminary, that the Lord of the church would give them wisdom and understanding

 

For Pastors Anssi Simojoki, Sakari Korpinen, Miika Nieminen , Markku Sumiala, and Martti Vaahtoranta, who have been defrocked by the Church of Finland for serving faithful Lutheran congregations in Finland, that the Lord of the Church would vindicate them and bring His gracious care to them in their hour of need

 

For those who are suffering with chronic illnesses, especially Joanna Karner, that the Lord would be their strength and shield

 

For Solomon Chafamo Abiye and his wife Ganet, who received the gift of a healthy baby girl, Wa'ame Solomon, that she would be kept safe until the day of her baptism, when Christ's new life is given 

Art: GRÜNEWALD, Matthias Resurrection (1515)

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