Dead to the Law - What Does It Mean?


#1

What does it mean to be dead to the law?? Is being made to die to the law a past event in the life of a believer? Is this tied to the definition of justification in the book of Romans? Is it a process?

Romans 7:1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives?
2 For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband.
3 So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man. 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.
5 For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.
6 But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.

May God Help Us All…


#2

drbo.org/chapter/52007.htm

This is a link to that passage in the Douay-Rheims Bible. You may want to read the commentary on it there.


#3

Hi Linkowski,

You will recall that, at the Last Supper, Jesus referrred to His blood as the blood shed to introduce the New Alliance. The Old Alllance (the Law of Moses)died with Jesus and the New Allilance was born with His Resurrection. In the same way, we “die” to the old and are re-born to the new in baptism.

Verbum


#4

Yes, I think Paul is referring to the Mosaic Law, for he shows that they were once under this law, but now they are not. Catholic Culture puts it this way:

Paul reminds them that they know law (Romans had a flair for that). So they know that the law has power over a person only while he is in this life. Then Paul takes up a special example of this: a wife is bound to her husband while he lives. But when the husband dies, she is free from that law. If she is with another man while her husband is alive, she will be an adulteress. But when he dies, she is free. She is no longer an adulteress if she is with another man.

Similarly, Paul says that they died to the law through the death of Christ. So they can be away from the power of the law, their former husband, and now are with Christ. When they were in the regime of the flesh, the passions of sins aroused by the law worked in their bodies, bearing fruit leading to death. But now in the new regime, they have been freed from the law, they have died to the law that once held them. They are in slavery to the Spirit in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.


#5

Christians are no longer under the Mosaic Law. They are under the Law of Christ.

God Bless,
Michael


#6

So if we are dead to the law, can we be charged with sin??

Cross Ref…

Romans 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

Note at the beginning of Romans 7…

Romans 7:1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives?

So…if you are dead…can you be charged with a crime?


#7

If you are dead to the Law, then you would not sin. Those who follow the flesh, are of the flesh, no matter what they say otherwise.

Most of us seem to have our feet in both worlds, hence though we strive for perfection, we often fall short. Thank God for the Sacrament of Penance (sorry, bad pun!)!!!


#8

But, we are alive in Christ. The new law is to be perfect. Therefore we can still fall short (=sin).

So…if you are dead…can you be charged with a crime?

Moot point. We are alive.


#9

I do not think that is what it is talking about - that we would not sin. But, it is clear that we are dead to the law, those who have been justified…so, what is this meaning? What does it mean that the law has no more jurisdiction over us? Who is the blessed man that the Lord does not impute sin to? I have the scripture references above.


#10

In accordance with divine justice, sin must be punished. The wages of sin is death. When we are justified, we are transferred from ungodliness to righteousness and the sins we committed are no longer held against us. The debt has been paid by Christ.

Those who perservere to the end will not face condemnation for only those who persevere to the end will be saved. In other words, they must remain justified until the end.

God bless,
Michael


#11

You must keep it in context. Look, for example at Romans 8:5-8

5 Those who are living by their natural inclinations have their minds on the things human nature desires; those who live in the spirit have their minds on spiritual things. 6 And human nature has nothing to look forward to but death, while the spirit looks forward to life and peace, 7 because the outlook of disordered human nature is opposed to God, since it does not submit to God’s Law, and indeed it cannot, 8 and those who live by their natural inclinations can never be pleasing to God.

You can not live by the flesh and have the Spirit in you.


#12

All those who live under the Graces of the new covenant are subject to the Commandments of the new covenant.

We are called to Love God and neghbor.

Failure to do so is an even greater Sin for those who claim membership in the body of Christ for we can compound our sin through scandal and presumption.

Chuck


#13

Link, you seem to think there are no exceptions once you are “alive in the Spirit”. If I’m mis-stating your opinion, my apologies. But this sounds like Once Saved, Always Saved.

But in Romans, we already see that there are exceptions even to those who are born in the Spirit.

’ The Spirit himself joins with our spirit to bear witness that we are children of God. And if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, provided that we share in his suffering, so as to share his glory.


#14

[quote=Linkowski]So…if you are dead…can you be charged with a crime?
[/quote]

No.

All of the charges against the believer, and the debt that he owed, were nailed to the cross, and the charges and the debt against him were removed, at that time, when the believer himself was crucified with Christ, and forgiven all of his transgressions (Rom 6; Col 2:13, 14).


#15

Don’t get too hung up there folks. I think this is one of those passages 2Peter 3:15 was talking about…FTR, I am not calling anyone here ignorant or unstabe. :smiley:

God’s Love.


#16

Link-

I think Robert Sungenis covers this issue at length in his book, Not By Faith Alone.

Hope this helps. :tiphat:


#17

One thing we need to understand is that the Bible addresses not only believers but non-believers, for both are caught up in the dragnet…

Mt 13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,

What is the difference between the two?

Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Galatians 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Those that are habitaully led by the flesh **are not **the sons of God - they are professed believers caught up in the dragnet…tares…

Mt 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.

The wages of sin is death, yes…but those who are the good seed have a promise…

Romans 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

I read an essay by James Akin yesterday that tried to give scriptural support for a mixture of sanctification and justification. Unfortunately, it is in error. The idea is this…

Ro 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed (same word for justified) from sin.

The context, he is saying, is about sanctification - but then the greek word for justified pops up in verse 7! However, this is the sense of being sanctified at salvation - a past event. There is progressive sanctification and positional sanctification.

Also, at justification, we are freed from the law…therefore freed from sin…what does that mean. The answer is in Romans 7:

Ro 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, "YOU SHALL NOT COVET."
8 But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead.
9 I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died;
10 and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me;
11 for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.

So, when we become free from the law we become free fromt he law in the sense that we are no longer servant to the law (which includes the 10 commandments - as indicated by verse 7). You see then, how the law works sin…but then becoming freed from the law…we now can serve righteousness. So, the passage in Romans 6 is not speaking of progressive sanctification (so that we can say justification is also progressive), but positional sanctification…

1Co 6:11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Once justified - the next step is glorification! Freed from the law AND ITS PENALTY… Ro 8:33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;

May God Show Us…


#18

I don’t know if this will help but Kimberly Hahn makes the point that it is related to the chapter before… remember there were no chapter and verse separations back then. It is in the book Catholic for a Reason.


#19

One thing we need to understand is that the Bible addresses not only believers but non-believers, for both are caught up in the dragnet…

Mt 13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,

What is the difference between the two?

Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Galatians 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Those that are habitaully led by the flesh **are not **the sons of God - they are professed believers caught up in the dragnet…tares…

Mt 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.

The wages of sin is death, yes…but those who are the good seed have a promise…

Romans 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

I read an essay by James Akin yesterday that tried to give scriptural support for a mixture of sanctification and justification. Unfortunately, it is in error. The idea is this…

Ro 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed (same word for justified) from sin.

The context, he is saying, is about sanctification - but then the greek word for justified pops up in verse 7! However, this is the sense of being sanctified at salvation - a past event. There is progressive sanctification and positional sanctification.

Also, at justification, we are freed from the law…therefore freed from sin…what does that mean. The answer is in Romans 7:

Ro 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, "YOU SHALL NOT COVET."
8 But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead.
9 I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died;
10 and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me;
11 for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.

So, when we become free from the law we become free fromt he law in the sense that we are no longer servant to the law (which includes the 10 commandments - as indicated by verse 7). You see then, how the law works sin…but then becoming freed from the law…we now can serve righteousness. So, the passage in Romans 6 is not speaking of progressive sanctification (so that we can say justification is also progressive), but positional sanctification…

1Co 6:11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Once justified - the next step is glorification! Freed from the law AND ITS PENALTY… Ro 8:33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;

May God Show Us…


#20

That was good…


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