Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
In chapter 7 the apostle Paul tells us that he was speaking to Jews here. He stated that he was speaking to those that know the law. The law here is the same law that he has been talking about throughout the book of Romans. There were parts of the law that applied to all mankind, and there were parts of the law that were specific to the nation of Israel. Jesus showed us that the law of marriage applied to all mankind for all time. Jesus took the Pharisees back to God’s law of marriage in Genesis 2 when He answered their temptation in Matthew 19.
In verse 2 of our text, God directed Paul to bring in the matter of marriage. We have mentioned before that marriage is an institution brought in by God, not man. No God-fearing man or woman needs permission from the government in order to get married. I did not know this when we were getting married. I was told that we needed a license from the government and so we obediently went and got a license. No God-fearing pastor needs a license from the government in order to officiate at a wedding. God is the One Who ordained marriage, not the government.
We can see the mess we are in due to trusting the government with marriage laws. We have all kinds of wickedness condoned by the government. They have no clue what a marriage is or Who initiated the law of marriage. To them it is all part of the “evolutionary” process.
True churches have the privilege of teaching God’s law on all things. Christian couples have the blessing of teaching God’s law on marriage.
God established marriage as a blessing for man. God declared that it was not good for the man to be alone. He created the woman to be the help meet for the man. There are men who cannot get along with a woman. They marry and then get divorced and marry someone else and then get divorced, etc. There are women in the same situation. Infidelity was a problem in the days of Moses. It was a problem in the days of Lamech in Genesis 4.
However, God set a standard for marriage that works. The woman is bound to her husband so long as he liveth. That is God’s law. That was God’s law for Adam, and it was God’s law when the Pharisees came to tempt Jesus. It was the law when Jesus met with the Samaritan woman in John 4.
Paul stated that the woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. The Greek word translated as “bound” means “to bind”. It is to bind something together. In a marriage, it is not the piece of paper that the couple signs that binds them together. It is not any government authority.
When I finally took God at His Word and understood where the authority for marriage resides, it became comical but also sad to hear the preacher announce that he was vested with authority by the government to pronounce the couple husband and wife.
Every God-fearing preacher needs to study this matter out and understand what God has declared. Marriage is God’s business. His law supersedes every law of man. In the Catholic religion, they do not allow for divorce. However, if the couple will pay enough money to the priest, he will “annul” the marriage and it will be gone.
We managed an apartment building for a few years. A man who lived in that building was all excited that he was getting married. He had been married a couple of times before already. He stated that this one would work because he was marrying someone from his own culture this time. He had no problems with the whole matter because the priest had declared him a single man. He was good to go, or so he thought. He was not interested in the truth because he had a plan and he had a religion that supported his plan.
Paul was directed by God to declare that if the husband dies, then the woman is loosed from the law of her husband. She is then free to marry another man. Paul gave some further teaching on this in I Corinthians 7. Jesus also taught on the matter of marriage. Of course God initiated the whole law of marriage back in Genesis 3.
In verse 3 of our text, Paul was directed to draw the conclusion to this matter. He did so with the words “So then . . .” God says that if the husband is alive, and the woman is married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress. Paul did not come up with this idea. This was God’s Word.
Paul repeated the fact that “if her husband be dead, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.”
I know that when I got married I did not understand the significance of marriage. I wanted to be married. I wanted us to have a family. Lord willing, we will reach our 50th wedding anniversary on February 22 of this year! That is quite a milestone for us! God has been very gracious to us. We have learned a few things over the years. It is very important for pastors to teach the importance of marriage. This should not be overlooked.
God used marriage as a picture of salvation. In the book of Romans Paul has been writing of the importance of understanding what God’s salvation is. It is a gift of God that cannot be taken away from man. It is not something that man can earn and it is not something that man can lose. It is God’s gift to man.
I know when I was young and seeking a wife, I did not know how to go about it properly. I knew about prayer and I did pray. I was already saved at that time. However, I was very ignorant of how to go about seeking a wife. The Bible tells us that a man needs to seek a wife. The Bible also tells us that the man needs to seek a wife on his knees. He needs God’s direction in seeking a wife. In order to seek God’s direction he needs to be saved. He also needs to be walking humbly with the Lord. He cannot expect to hear God if he is walking carnally. It is also important to have the input of a godly pastor and godly parents. In spite of my ignorance, God led me to a godly woman. I cannot take credit for what He has gifted me with.
I have learned that marriage is a very important ordinance of God. It needs to be entered into carefully and with humility. It is a very important ordinance. It is meant to be kept pure for the lifetime of the couple. It is not something we can experiment with. It requires much more than good looks or a certain amount of money.
When God is given His rightful place in a person’s life, marriage will be the blessing that God designed it to be. There are many ungodly people who also have long lasting marriages. They miss out on having the blessing of the Lord in their lives.
In verse 4 the apostle Paul took the matter of marriage and now ties that to salvation. He did that by using the word “wherefore”. The born again Christian has become dead to the law. The law referred to here is the law of death. The saved person has been given life by the body of Christ. It is not by His spirit, but by His body. Jesus Christ needed to rise from the dead in order to be able to provide salvation for mankind. He needed to have a physical body to die for us, and to shed His blood for us. He also needed to rise again to make His sacrifice on the cross effective.
Those who are saved are married to Christ. This is not talking of polygamy or any other twisted thinking. This is talking of a spiritual marriage. Those who are saved are joined to Christ. We have been given eternal life through faith in His finished work. The bonding that takes place in salvation is stronger than that which takes place in a physical marriage. In the physical marriage, the Bible says the couple becomes one flesh. There is a union there. However, emotionally, and mentally and even spiritually they are still two individuals. A good marriage is one where the couple works at becoming more united in all aspects of life. The husband is to be the head and the wife is to be the help meet for him. There is a blessing when the couple is saved and works on that relationship properly.
In salvation, God begins with the heart of the recipient. He changes the heart and this change will affect the mind and the emotions. As we see in the book of Romans and elsewhere, the saved person needs to be taught and reminded of the change that God has affected and the changes that need to be made as the child of God grows in Christ.
As the true child of God is changed, he or she will bring forth fruit unto God. This again reminds us of why we cannot continue to live in sin. You cannot produce fruit unto God when you are committing sin. Sin cannot reign in the mortal body if the person is saved.
God is very methodical and very clear in what His salvation is. The devil has been busy seeking to distort that gift. God has written down His Word. We can always study His Word and learn the truth. He protects His Word from distortion and He places His Holy Spirit in the heart of every born again Christian. The Holy Spirit will bring agreement into the heart and life of the saved person as he obeys the Word of God. The true child of God will desire that agreement with his Lord and Master. He or she will become more effective in shining the true light of the Gospel to others as he humbly submits to God’s will.