on Romans 7 :4
Wherefore, my brethren - This is a parallel case. You were once under the law of Moses, and were bound by its injunctions; but now ye are become dead to that law - a modest, inoffensive mode of speech, for, The law, which was once your husband, is dead; God has determined that it shall be no longer in force; so that now, as a woman whose husband is dead is freed from the law of that husband, or from her conjugal vow, and may legally be married to another, so God, who gave the law under which ye have hitherto lived, designed that it should be in force only till the advent of the Messiah; that advent has taken place, the law has consequently ceased, and now ye are called to take on you the yoke of the Gospel, and lay down the yoke of the law; and it is the design of God that you should do so.
That ye should be married to another - who is raised from the dead - As Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth, the object of God in giving the law was to unite you to Christ; and, as he has died, he has not only abolished that law which condemns every transgressor to death, without any hope of a revival, but he has also made that atonement for sin, by his own death, which is represented in the sacrifices prescribed by the law. And as Jesus Christ is risen again from the dead, he has thereby given the fullest proof that by his death he has procured the resurrection of mankind, and made that atonement required by the law. That we should bring forth fruit unto God - we, Jews, who believe in Christ, have, in consequence of our union with him, received the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit; so that we bring forth that fruit of holiness unto God which, without this union, it would be impossible for us to produce. Here is a delicate allusion to the case of a promising and numerous progeny from a legitimate and happy marriage.
on Romans 7 :4
Wherefore - This verse contains an application of the illustration in the two preceding. The idea there is, that death dissolves a connection from which obligation resulted. This is the single point of the illustration, and consequently there is no need of inquiring whether by the wife the apostle meant to denote the old man, or the Christian, etc. The meaning is, as death dissolves the connection between a wife and her husband, and of course the obligation of the law resulting from that connection, so the death of the Christian to the Law dissolves that connection, so far as the scope of the argument here is concerned, and prepares the way for another union, a union with Christ, from which a new and more efficient obligation results. The design is to show that the new connection would accomplish more important effects than the old.
Ye also are become dead to the law - Notes, Romans 6:3-4, Romans 6:8. The connection between us and the Law is dissolved, so far as the scope of the apostle's argument is concerned. He does not say that we are dead to it, or released from it as a rule of duty, or as a matter of obligation to obey it; for there neither is, nor can be, any such release, but we are dead to it as a way of justification and sanctification. In the great matter of acceptance with God, we have ceased to rely on the Law, having become dead to it, and having embraced another plan.
By the body of Christ - That is, by his body crucified; or in other words, by his death; compare Ephesians 2:15, "Having abolished in his flesh the enmity," etc. that is, by his death. Colossians 1:22, "in the body of his flesh through death," etc. Colossians 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24, "who bare our sins in his own body on the tree." The sense, is, therefore, that by the death of Christ as an atoning sacrifice; by his suffering for us what would be sufficient to meet the demands of the Law; by his taking our place, he has released us from the Law as a way of justification; freed us from its penalty; and saved us from its curse. Thus released, we are at liberty to be united to the law of him who has thus bought us with his blood.
That ye should be married to another - That you might be united to another, and come under his law. This is the completion of the illustration in Romans 7:2-3. As the woman that is freed from the law of her husband by his death, when married again comes under the authority of another, so we who are made free from the Law and its curse by the death of Christ, are brought under the new law of fidelity and obedience to him with whom we are thus united. The union of Christ and his people is not unfrequently illustrated by the most tender of all earthly connections, that of a husband and wife, Ephesians 5:23-30; Revelation 21:9. "I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife," Revelation 19:7.
Even to him who is raised ... - See the force of this explained, Romans 6:8.
That we should bring forth fruit unto God - That we should live a holy life. This is the point and scope of all this illustration. The new connection is such as will make us holy. It is also implied that the tendency of the Law was only to bring forth fruit unto death Romans 7:5, and that the tendency of the gospel is to make man holy and pure; compare Galatians 5:22-23.
on Romans 7 :4
7:4 Thus ye also - Are now as free from the Mosaic law as an husband is, when his wife is dead. By the body of Christ - Offered up; that is, by the merits of his death, that law expiring with him.