"But now we have been delivered from the law..."
Text: Romans 7:6
Paul knew that he had to write very delicately! The chances of upsetting his Jewish readers were very high! But more importantly, he had to declare the truth boldly, even if that meant offending some. Any attempt to write about the Law had to be undertaken skillfully. But truth must not be diluted for any reason. With great courage, Paul wrote the following words.
“But now we have been delivered from the law, having died
to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness
of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.”
Delivered from the law
What a bold thought to suggest! Paul knew that this word would not go down easily with the Jews who had a fanatical sense of adherence to the law! Nevertheless he had to state what had been revealed to him by the Lord! The ramifications of this statement may be stated as follows:_
a) To what we were held by
The Law held all who lived tenaciously! It wasn’t just the law of marriage that bound two people together until death! All laws bound the living till death ends its power and authority.
b) Having died
All who were identified with Christ may be described as “having died” to the law. The law had no hold over the dead (in the physical sense). Paul argued that the law also had no hold over those who were identified with Christ in His death.
c) Oldness of the letter
The authority of the Law may indeed be described as “the oldness of the letter”. But what does this phrase really mean?
i) The letter of the law
The law was encoded in strict legal words! Each word had a specific legal meaning. All were held by the strict legalistic meaning of the letter.
ii) The spirit of the law
Though there was such a thing as “the spirit of the law” it was difficult to argue this in court. The letter of the law tended to win the day.
d) Newness of the Spirit
In the new-found faith and life in Christ Jesus, the believer may speak of “the newness of the Spirit”. The letter of the law was the old way! The way to keep the law of God was in and through “the newness of the Spirit”.