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Volume 24 - Page 129 of 211 Index | Zoom | |
cold comfort. To escape from the further dominion of the law by being executed is not
"good news". The apostle has something more to say than that:--
"Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law BY THE BODY OF
CHRIST" (Rom. 7: 4).
Herein is the power of the gospel. Sin and law have issued in death, and their
dominion has thereby been nullified. The believer has died in the death of Christ. And
he can say: "I have been crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live." Because he has been
united with the risen life of Christ as well as with His death, he can contemplate with
some measure of hope and assurance the possibility of newness of life and service, and
fruit unto God:--
"Nevertheless, I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live
in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for
me" (Gal. 2: 20).
We have now considered two out of the four questions propounded by the apostle.
The concluding pair occupy the rest of chapter 7:, and must be considered separately.
Light on the relation of law and sin (7: 7-12).
pp. 230 - 235
In the foregoing argument (Rom. 7: 1-6) the apostle has dealt with that aspect of the
dominion of the law, and deliverance from it by death, that met the peculiar
susceptibilities and problems of those of the circumcision. There is, however, one
essential difference between deliverance from the dominion of sin (Rom. 6: 1-14) and
deliverance from the dominion of law. Deliverance from sin and death is expressed in
the words of Rom. 6::--
"That like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we
also should walk in newness of life . . . . . that henceforth we should not serve sin"
(Rom. 6: 4-6).
We see here that newness of life and the service of sin are incompatible. Deliverance
from the dominion of law just as surely necessitates union with the risen Christ:--
"Wherefore my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ
. . . . . now, being delivered from the law, having died to that wherein we were held: that
we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in oldness of the letter" (Rom. 7: 4-6).
This is, however, a vital difference. So far as sin is concerned, no service of any kind
is to be recognized. So far as the law is concerned, it is true that service connected with
the letter that killeth is for ever abolished. But since the law, unlike sin, is "holy and just
and good", those who are no longer under its condemnation, and who no longer look to