Is the turkey in the oven yet? Mine's not. I got up at 5:30 to start preparing things for the noon meal. I checked the back of the turkey wrapper to see how long my bird would take, only to find out I could have slept until about 7:30. I remember my mother used to get up before the crack of dawn and put her turkey on. I would wake to the smells of roasting meat and baking pies. I would then drag myself out of bed, (blanket and pillow in tow) and crash on the couch in front of the television until the meal was ready...those were the days! But, no one showed up at my house today to cook for me. I do enjoy making Thanksgiving, and I feel like I have missed out if I don't do it so I am not complaining. It is just David, me, and our fur baby Nikki today, but we still have a lot to be thankful for!
In our study today we will be beginning the 7th chapter of Romans. Paul continues with his teaching of the call to a sanctified life.
Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
Marriage is both a commitment of heart and emotion. God desires the same response from us in our relationship with Him. Those that were under the Law of Moses were bound to its precepts just as a man and woman are bound together in marriage. The vows until death do us part could be applied to the Law as well. God intended marriage to be forever, and those who were under the Law were to stay faithful to it until death as well. The only way for a marriage vow to be broken in God's eyes is in the event of death of either the husband or wife. Jesus tells us the only exception to this rule in Matthew 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. It is possible to "put away" or divorce our self from our spouse if they have committed fornication, or in other words have gone outside the marriage vows with someone else. But if we then marry again while the otherwise faithful spouse is still living then we have committed fornication. We cannot just grow tired of each other and move on to someone else! Often in the Old Testament the Scriptures speak of those who have committed spiritual adultery when one turns from serving God to idols.
4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. Paul uses this analogy here to tell us that since the death of Christ, we are released from the bonds of the Law, and become the bride of Christ. The "fruit" that we are to bring unto God is the good works we do for Him in our new sanctified life. Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. We have been "ordained" or appointed to do good works by God. He has a specific plan for each and every one of us. No one is without a duty to perform for the Kingdom. It may seem small and insignificant or daunting, but He has called us to do it to the best of our abilities. Be assured that if we feel the calling on God to a specific area, He will equip us to handle it. Sometimes we just need to get out of His way!
5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. 6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. "When we were in the flesh" points to the fact that we are still residing in this body of flesh, but we are no longer servants to its demands. The Law taught man what sin was, and what offended God, but it could not save eternally. But! Christ's sacrifice "delivered" us from the "oldness of the letter" or ordinances of the Law which brought death into the "newness of the spirit" where there is life forevermore. Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Christ's death on the cross "quickened" or made us alive forever "having forgiven you all trespasses" or sins. Through the work of the cross He was successful at "blotting out the handwriting of ordinances" or the Law. The Law was "contrary to us" in that it was almost impossible to adhere to every one of its demands. But, Christ took the Law and ordinances to Calvary "nailing it to His cross" whereby it was put to death, but He "spoiled principalities and powers" that had the power of death and hell and lives forevermore! He made a "shew" or show of them "openly, triumphing over them" when He arose from the tomb! Now, there is something to be thankful for today and every day!
I pray that you all have a wonderful holiday, and remember the One who made it all possible. I am thankful for each and every one of you that reads this blog. God is so good!
In the love of Christ,