Til Death Do Us Part

We have commonly heard this as a part of wedding vows but it is also a significant spiritual truth. In Romans 7:1-6 Paul uses the marriage covenant as an illustration of a spiritual principle that is vital in one’s Christian experience.

Paul begins by asking them, “Do you not know…that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives?” By saying it this way, Paul is assuming that they do know that and then uses marriage to illustrate his point. As long as one’s spouse is alive, one is bound to that person, and to have sexual relations with or marry another is adulterous. But if your spouse dies you are free to remarry without committing adultery. Paul is not trying to teach here about marriage and these verses are only a part of the whole of biblical teaching on the matter; he is simply using this principle to illustrate his spiritual point.

His spiritual principle that we need to focus on in this passage, then is that “likewise” we as Christians are dead to the law and therefore, free from the Old covenant. Our identity is no long with the first Adam whose life is characterized by sin and death, but we are identified with Christ and have died to sin and are alive to God. Because Jesus rose from the dead to life forever, we also will live forever. Our covenant with Him could also be described “til death do us part” but there is no death in Christ. Instead of a life of sin whose fruit is death, we are free to be in a new relationship with Christ, the fruit of which is for God. We are no longer under the old written code of the law which holds people captive, we are “serve in the new way of the Spirit.”

That is not to say that we have no law in our lives, but instead of the Old Testament Law, or man-made laws, we operate under a New Covenant, the Law of Christ which is the Law of love. This is one of the great paradoxes of the bible, but unless we die to ourselves, we cannot truly have life.

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