7:1–12 Paul now expands on the theme of the believer’s relationship to the law. Although the law is holy, just, and good (v. 12), the sinner’s subjection to it resulted only in condemnation, because law in its justice uncovered every transgression and failure. In this section the relationship of the sinner to the law is compared with marriage. The point of the comparison is that death brings an end to these relationships, and the widowed partner is free to be in a new relationship. Because the “marriage” with the law was broken by death, the believer is not an adulteress and cannot be condemned by the law. The believer dies through being united with Christ in His death, breaking the chain of disobedience and death that bound the sinner together with Adam in his destiny (5:12–21). The other side of the illustration is that union with Christ in His resurrection gives the believer a new relationship, in which a true, if not yet perfect, obedience is offered to God in love and gratitude. In the new relationship with Christ, the energy of the Spirit ensures that there will be life and fruitfulness.
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