Guilt Replaced by Grace

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 in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code. (Romans 7:4-6 ESV)

So that you may belong to another, to Him who has been raised from the dead. It’s one thing to be freed, but now what do we do? Since the law no longer has its condemning grip on us, are we to wander aimlessly through life without any sense of direction? How are we to live if the law no longer dictates our day-to-day activities?

Focus on that word “belong” as translated by the ESV. The NAS translates it “joined to.” The NIV translates it “belong to” and the KJV “married.” Joined, belong to, married are relationship words. Compare those words to the description of the married woman found in 7:2, “the married woman is “bound.”

A question. If you had your choice, would you rather be “bound” or “joined”?

Notice that, just as death frees the married woman to marry another, death frees us to pursue a new relationship. When we come to know Christ, we belong to him, are joined to him, are “married” to him. We are called the “bride” of Christ.  Guilt moves out and grace moves in.

In a sentence: Jesus loves you. He didn’t die on a cross to give you a new system for living: he died on the cross to give you and became your groom, your Savior. He loves you.