Our Relationship To The Law

Our Relationship To The Law

You also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another.
–Romans 7:4

What is our relationship to the Old Testament Law? In Romans 7, Paul said we have no obligation to the Old Testament Law. We have died to it. Its requirements have been fulfilled. Its penalty has been paid in Jesus Christ. I am not saying we do not have any obligation to obedience, but the Mosaic Law has no requirements over us any longer.

To show that the Old Testament Law has no authority over our lives now, Paul used two illustrations from everyday life. First, he used the illustration of human law. He said, “Do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives?” (7:1). You only have to obey human law while you are alive. For example, article 1, section 2 of the Constitution mandates that every United States citizen participate in a census every 10 years. There is one group, however, that is exempt from the requirements of that law. It is the residents of the cemetery. They are exempt from article 1, section 2 of the Constitution. Paul said it is the same way in our spiritual lives. We have died, in a sense, to our old way of living. We died when Christ died. He fulfilled the Law; we fulfilled the Law as well. The Mosaic Law has no jurisdiction over our lives whatsoever.

Paul used another illustration to show our freedom from the Law, and that is in marriage. “The married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man” (7:2-3). A woman is bound by her oath to be faithful to her husband as long as her husband lives, but when her husband dies, that marital obligation ceases. She is no longer bound to her husband. In the same way, when you become a Christian, you die to the Law. You are no longer bound to the requirements or penalties of the Law. They have been fulfilled in Jesus. When you were saved, you died to the Law; now you are free to marry–in a spiritual sense–Jesus Christ.

Romans 7:6 says, “We have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.” On an increasing basis, I see Christians, who have been freed from the Law, somehow become attracted by the Law and want to place themselves back under the Law. They want to follow the dietary restrictions of the Old Testament. Or they want to start observing the feast days and Jewish holy days. As Paul said in Colossians 2:17, those days were great pictures of Jesus Christ, but now that the substance has come, why would you want to go back to the shadow?


Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Uncivil War” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.