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. Romans 7:4
This verse was written by the apostle Paul after the crucifixion and has been used many times in an attempt to say that since the death of Jesus Christians are no longer beholden to GOD’s Ten Commandments. Unfortunately this is one of the most used out of context verses in the Bible.
Only three verses earlier we read,
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? Romans 7:1
How could Paul make such two blatantly contradictory statements within a span of only four verses? How could a Christian be under the law as long as he is alive and also dead to the law at the exact same time?
Later in the same chapter Paul continues to teach,
What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. Romans 7:7
Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Romans 7:12
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: Romans 7:22
Finally Paul finishes out the chapter by proclaiming that he chooses to follow the Law of GOD, instead of the law of sin which resides in his physical nature.
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:25
Jesus stated, “It is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of GOD” (Luke 4:4). Here in just this one chapter of the New Testament we have five verses supporting the importance of Christians to keep GOD’s Ten Commandments and one verse that appears to say that the commandments have nothing to do with our relationship with Jesus or our salvation. If we are to live by “every word of GOD” how do we reconcile such obviously contradictory verses? The answer lies in the very first verse of the very next chapter of Romans 8.
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1
What Paul is teaching is that as Christians we are dead to the “condemnation” of the law. As a quick example to what this means read this analogy...
A speed limit is posted on about every road in the
Paul is teaching this same example about GOD’s Ten Commandments throughout Romans chapter 7. He wants us to understand that even though we spend our entire lives fighting the “law of sin” which is the desires of our flesh and physical nature, we can with our minds instead choose to serve the law of GOD as Jesus asked us to do.
If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15
If we choose to love Jesus then we are expected to choose to serve the law of GOD. There is no acceptance of Jesus without a conscious choice to serve the law of GOD.
He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 1 John 2:4
Even though as fallible human beings we do and will make mistakes our entire lives we are expected that as we grow and mature as Christians to make better choices in line with GOD’s Ten Commandments.
The only real question left is what are “my commandments” as Jesus stated in the verse above. Jesus leaves no doubts as to what his commandments are.
Jesus answered them, and said, “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.” John 7:16
The only “doctrine” GOD wrote with HIS own finger was his Ten Commandments, and Jesus himself states he has the same doctrine.
“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled”. Matthew 5:18
The word “jot” in this verse in the original language of the bible is the Greek word “iota” which means “the least part”, and the word “tittle” is from the Greek word “keraia” which means “the apex of a letter” or a single part of a letter. So Jesus literally taught with his own words that until heaven and earth passed, which neither have, not the least part or even the single part of a letter will in no way pass from the law. The most obvious change accepted in Christianity today is the changing of the word “seventh” in the fourth commandment to the word “first”. Jesus directly taught that GOD’s Ten Commandments would not change by even a single letter. So why do most Christians believe it has changed against Jesus’ own direction on the matter?
Many Christians today are taught that we are under the “New Covenant” and that we are “dead” to the Ten Commandments in some way because of the New Covenant, but no where in the bible can you find that the New Covenant voids the Ten Commandments. It is simply an assumption of man.
We are dead to the condemnation of the law, in Jesus Christ who has paid for our sins we are dead to having to pay the price for our sin ourselves which is death. But Jesus never taught that we were given permission to sin, and we do no justice to the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ by teaching his commandments in that way. Always study our bibles to make sure that what we are taught is being used in context and we should always out of our proclaimed love for our savior Jesus Christ choose to follow the example of Paul.
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God… Romans 7:25
ken elliott jr – august 2010
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