Are you committing Spiritual Adultery?

Do you know if you are?

How many times do you read a passage of Scripture without really thinking about it?

I’m sure most of you, like me, have read this passage over and over and yet given it little thought.

Romans 7:1-6 (KJV)
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.
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.
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.

Romans 7:1-6 (ESV)
1 Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives?
2 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.
3 Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.
4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.
5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.
6 But now we are released from the law
, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

Notice what this passage is saying.

The woman (Israel) was married to The Law and bound to her husband The Law.

However, we were freed by death from The Law.

Now we (The Church, The Bride) are married to Christ.

If we return to The Law, we are committing Spiritual Adultery.

You cannot serve two husbands!

Not only that you are trying to maintain a marriage to a dead man (The Law)!

Have you ever met a person that talked so much of her husband, said her husband wouldn’t like this and that, and might would say I’ll have to see what my husband says?  Then you find out that her husband has been dead for 15 years!  That is what it is like trying to maintain a marriage to a dead man (The Law).  We pity those who are bound by the dead husband, such that they can never live free, in Christ.

 

We cannot be married to The Law and to Christ!


Matthew Henry Commentary on Romans 7:1-6

We are married to Christ. The day of our believing is the day of our espousals to the Lord Jesus. We enter upon a life of dependence on him and duty to him: Married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, a periphrasis of Christ and very pertinent here; for as our dying to sin and the law is in conformity to the death of Christ, and the crucifying of his body, so our devotedness to Christ in newness of life is in conformity to the resurrection of Christ. We are married to the raised exalted Jesus, a very honourable marriage. Compare 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:29. Now we are thus married to Christ, (1.) That we should bring forth fruit unto God, v. 4. One end of marriage is fruitfulness: God instituted the ordinance that he might seek a godly seed, Malachi 2:15. The wife is compared to the fruitful vine, and children are called the fruit of the womb. Now the great end of our marriage to Christ is our fruitfulness in love, and grace, and every good work. This is fruit unto God, pleasing to God, according to his will, aiming at his glory. As our old marriage to sin produced fruit unto death, so our second marriage to Christ produces fruit unto God, fruits of righteousness. Good works are the children of the new nature, the products of our union with Christ, as the fruitfulness of the vine is the product of its union with the root. Whatever our professions and pretensions may be, there is no fruit brought forth to God till we are married to Christ; it is in Christ Jesus that we are created unto good works, Ephesians 2:10. The only fruit which turns to a good account is that which is brought forth in Christ. This distinguishes the good works of believers from the good works of hypocrites and self-justifiers that they are brought forth in marriage, done in union with Christ, in the name of the Lord Jesus, Colossians 3:17. This is, without controversy, one of the great mysteries of godliness. (2.) That we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter, v. 6. Being married to a new husband, we must change our way. Still we must serve, but it is a service that is perfect freedom, whereas the service of sin was a perfect drudgery: we must now serve in newness of spirit, by new spiritual rules, from new spiritual principles, in spirit and in truth, John 4:24. There must be a renovation of our spirits wrought by the spirit of God, and in that we must serve. Not in the oldness of the letter; that is, we must not rest in mere external services, as the carnal Jews did, who gloried in their adherence to the letter of the law, and minded not the spiritual part of worship. The letter is said to kill with its bondage and terror, but we are delivered from that yoke that we may serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness, Luke 1:74,75. We are under the dispensation of the Spirit, and therefore must be spiritual, and serve in the spirit. Compare with this 2 Corinthians 3:3,6, &c. It becomes us to worship within the veil, and no longer in the outward court.
(from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.)

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7 commenters so far

1.  terrybreathinggrace
March 17th, 2010 at 11:56 am

I can see that you are getting deep into study on this issue. I am amazed that I never really considered the implications of this passage of Scripture.

Thank you for sharing these posts. You know, you make a good point about not being married to the law and to Christ.

My husband and I were discussing this just this morning and I said to him, “I stand on the side of Christianity. I don’t want to take a chance with trying to cling to the law.”

As I’m sure you can imagine the issue is one we have discussed a lot in recent months, since we have been confronted with it head on.

[Reply]

Berean Wife Reply:

Terry,

You know I thought I would just deal with this and then move on. But the more I read, the more I find dealing with the Law and the New Covenant. The problem is writing it all out without jumping around like I do in my mind. :)

I was glad to share that Scripture. See I had read it many times but had never really thought seriously about it.

Definitely cling to Christ, the Law brings death!

2 Corinthians 3:6 (KJV) Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

Hopefully, something I’ve shared will be helpful in your situation. Although I know that others will not see the truth unless the Lord reveals it to them. (Of course, they might use that same excuse against us “law breakers”. :0)

Berean Wife

[Reply]

2.  Devarim
April 19th, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Did you read the NEW COVENANT?
The Hebrew word for “LAW” in verse 33 is “TORAH”. Is His Law written on your heart?

Jeremiah 31
31Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

32Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

33But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my LAW in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

[Reply]

Berean Wife Reply:

Devarim,

You are right that the word is a derivative of “torah” which simply means precept or statute and is translated by the KJV as Law. But there are many ways that the word Law may be used.

But your point is pointless because when we read the New Testament the word for Law is nomos in Greek. Hebrews 10:16 quotes Jeremiah 31:33 and the word used there is nomos. This one word is used to refer to the Law of Moses (1 Corinthians 9:9), the Law of Christ (Galatians 6:2), the Law of Sin (Romans 7:23), and the Law of the Mind (Romans 7:23). Which Law is written on your heart?

Christ has written his Law upon my heart and I have the Holy Spirit to guide me. But I’m under a New Covenant with the Lord and not the Old Covenant that Israel was under. I have a better hope and a more perfect promise. (Hebrews 7:19)

Berean Wife

[Reply]

3.  Devarim
April 19th, 2010 at 8:00 pm

I like the name of your website. But did you know that you named it after a synagogue of the Jews?

Acts 17
10And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.

[Reply]

Berean Wife Reply:

Devarim,

My website is named such because the people in the city of Berea were wise and tested everything they heard against the Scriptures.

Acts 17:10-11 (ESV)
10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue.
11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

But the city was named Berea and Scriptures refer to people from Berea. (Acts 20:4)

Berean Wife

[Reply]

4.  Devarim
April 19th, 2010 at 8:06 pm

My Lord, Jesus, kept the Law. Otherwise He would not have been the unblemished Lamb of God.

This is what HE said about HIS Law:

Matthew 7
21″Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

22″Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’

23″And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

Do unbelievers cast out demons in His name? Do they prophesy in His name?

Ecclesiastes 12
13The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.

[Reply]

Berean Wife Reply:

Devarim,

Jesus did keep the Law. He is the embodiment of the Law.

You asked:

“Do unbelievers cast out demons in His name? Do they prophesy in His name?”

Obviously unbelievers do cast out demons and prophesy in His name because Mathew 7:22 says so.

Matthew 7:22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’

If your point is about “lawlessness”, I’m by no means lawless but I’m under the Law of Christ which is different from the Law of Moses given to Israel.

Berean Wife

[Reply]

5.  terry@breathing grace
April 20th, 2010 at 8:38 am

Well, this was an interesting exchange indeed! I heard from a brother yesterday whose offered an impassioned plea for “Christians” to turn away from lawlessness. That the only facet of the law that has been done away with is animal sacrifice since Messiah is our sacrificial lamb. He said that we have twisted Paul’s words to mean something they did not mean because we do not understand. One passage of Scripture he used to support his argument was 2 peter 3: 14-17. (KJV, of course :))

[Reply]

Berean Wife Reply:

Terry,

There are really some strange teachings out there. I have heard from similar people, even circumcision still being required. I’m sorry but the claim that we have twisted Scripture and Paul’s writings are just absurd when you read how much time Paul deals with the issue of say circumcision or the Law.

But what is funny is there were more sacrifices offered than just the sacrificial lamb at Passover. Yet, so far :0, I haven’t met anyone that offers sacrifices for cleansing, trespasses, and thanksgiving. So contrary to what some think, all people break the Torah at some point. They also don’t have women marry their rapist nor do they force brothers to marry widowed sister-in-laws. So those who pick and choose the Torah, Old Testament Covenant laws to follow actually have a more precarious position than those who are under the New Testament Covenant which has the Old Covenant fulfilled by Christ.

I’ve learn so much that honestly I hadn’t really been interested in before. But no matter what, I know that only the Lord can open another’s eyes to the truth but at least I don’t have to say “I don’t know why” so often when questioned anymore.

Berean Wife

[Reply]

6.  Dell Russell
October 27th, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Hello Berean Wife,
Just browsing the web and looked up Romans 7 and came across your thoughts here.
You are correct to say many have read this and not really thought about it. For you to have posted on this subject you have given it some consideration, but I will have to humbly disagree with your view of it, as I do most others.
First, the wife here is not Israel and the first husband is not the Law. The wife is the spirit of the believer and the first husband is depicted in several ways, but mostly what should be understood of the husband is he is the flesh. Also if one followed carefully of what Paul says one would understand the husband as being Adam. Adam being the head of the human race is replaced by Christ when one becomes a believer. So now Christ is our head/husband, as our old one has been completely done away with. The husband is also depicted as “The old man crucified” and our flesh and members.

[Reply]

Berean Wife Reply:

Dell Russell,

We must always be careful when our understanding of Scripture is different than all other men. The Holy Spirit interprets Scripture for us and He is not a respecter of persons giving the truth only to one man. No one man today is privy to the truths of Scripture while others are denied the truth.

The woman is the Jews of Israel; they were bound to the Law. No Jew had to be told what the Law was they understood it clearly. The new Jewish (those who know the Law Romans 7:1) believers (my brothers) in Christ died to the Law and now belong to Christ.

Romans 7:4 (ESV)
4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.

You are adding to Scripture what it does not say. No where does it say the Law is the flesh. In Romans 7:21-25 another law is brought up the Law of Sin. Notice the key words “another law” and the “Law of Sin”.

Romans 7:21-25 (ESV)
21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.
22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being,
23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.
24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

The Law is well described in the Romans 7 passage.

In Romans 7:5 the Law arouses our sinful passions and flesh, it is not our flesh.

Romans 7:5 (ESV) For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.

The Law was called the “old written Code.”

Romans 7:6 (ESV) But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.

The Law revealed our sin and the Law is quoted – “if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.

Romans7:7 (ESV) What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”

Then the Law is called “the commandment” in Romans 7:8-13.

Romans 7:8 -13 (ESV) But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. Apart from the law, sin lies dead.
9 I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.
10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me.
11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.
12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.

Then in Romans 7:22-25 we are introduced to other laws – The law of God, law of my mind, and law of sin.

Romans 7:22-25 (ESV)
22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being,
23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.
24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

We cannot make the passage say other than it says nor should we ever allergorize a passage in a different manner than the passage says.

Never once in Romans 7 is Adam referred to as the Law.

The Law cannot defeat sin the Law can only reveal sin. Christ alone is the answer for sin.

Berean Wife

[Reply]

Dell Russell Reply:

Hello Berean Wife,
I am somewhat stumped by how you understood me to say the law is the flesh. I did not say the law is the flesh, I said the husband is the flesh, old man crucified, etc… The first husband is not the Law/law, the first husband is everything about the flesh that ties us to Adam. Adam and flesh is the source of the sin problem, that is the husband Paul is getting at. Adam is the head of the human race, Christ is the head of the Church. The Adam part of man is crucified and we lose our identity with Adam, then we are placed into the body of Christ and He becomes our new head and identity.
The law is not killed, we are!

Thanks for your time and hope to trade ides on this a little more, as I see you do have a heart for all things of God.

In Christ,
Dell

[Reply]

Berean Wife Reply:

Dell Russell,

You are adding Adam into a chapter which does not address Adam.

What does the passage actually say?

Romans 7:4 (ESV) Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.

It literally says “you also have died to the law“. Died to the Law!

Romans 7:6 (ESV) But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.

We have died to the law which held us captive and no longer serve the old written code but Christ.

You cannot make the passage say just whatever you want it to say. Romans 7 is speaking of dying to the Law. The Law is not Adam. The Law is not Flesh. The Law is not Sin (Romans 7:7).

Berean Wife

7.  Dell Russell
November 3rd, 2012 at 2:32 am

Hello Berean Wife,
It does say we have died to the law and you are correct to say it says that, but then you are turning right around and saying the law died. which one is it? Is it that we died to the law, which would mean we are the one that died, or was it that the law died, which would mean we did not die to the law, but that the law died to us?
We are told a number of times that “we” have been crucified and “we” are not in the flesh, that would mean it was “we” who died, not the law.
Again, I never said the law was Adam or that the law was the flesh or even that the law was sin. I only said what scripture says and that it was the flesh that was put to death.
The law is still intact and rules over and condemns the lost. We are not under the law, because we have already passed from death to life.
Where Adam comes into play is in Romans chapter 5. In that chapter we see the problem of sin began with Adam and we see that Adam is the head of the human race. We also see the cure for that problem is Christ. We can’t be of Adam and of Christ at the same time, and that is Paul’s point. We are either in Adam or we are in Christ. Our link to Adam is cut when we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, because we have been crucified with Christ and the flesh has been put to death. Our identity is no longer in Adam, but Christ. Either you are under the headship of Adam or under the headship of Christ.
The analogy Paul gives in 7:1-6 is a picture of some of his main points in chapters 5-8.
Romans 7:2 and 3 is about chapter 5.
Romans 7:4 is about chapter 6.
Romans 7:5 is about chapter 7.
Romans 7:6 is about chapter 8.

Go back and read each verse then read the chapter it goes with and see if it goes with that verse. Romans 7:2-6 is a summation of chapters 5-8 in the same order as they are laid out.

In Christ,
Dell

[Reply]

Berean Wife Reply:

Dell Russell,

I honestly do not understand your point or your quibble. I have said all along we have died to the Law. That is clear in Romans 7:4 and 7:6.

You have said “the first husband is not the Law” and “one would understand the husband as being Adam” and “The husband is also depicted as “The old man crucified” and our flesh and members.”

Then you said “The first husband is not the Law/law, the first husband is everything about the flesh that ties us to Adam.”

In Romans 7 we as believers have died to the Law and we now belong to another – Christ.

Romans 7:4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.

That is very clear and I see no point continuing to quibble.

Berean Wife

[Reply]

 

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