The Old Man is Dead

“For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband.” (Romans 7:2 NKJV)

Many think this passage is a doctrine on marriage. However we must remember that the book of Romans is Paul’s methodical and meticulous argument for the gospel of grace. In Romans 7, Paul uses the illustration of marriage to further explain our relationship to the Law and grace. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, The Gospel of grace tells us that if any man is in Christ, He is a new creation. The Old covenant has become null and void and the New covenant has now been enacted. In effect we have entered into a new marriage covenant: one of grace and acceptance.

Some wives refer to their abusive husbands as their "Old Man." Paul uses this same illustration here (Romans 7:2) that if your old man, your abusive husband (the Law) is still alive (lording over you) you cannot marry your new loving and gentle husband (grace). Once your old husband (The Law) dies, you are free to marry your new Husband (grace). Paul used this illustration to show that the Law and grace can’t live together under the same roof. You either live by the Law or live by God’s grace. The new Husband (grace) is loving, kind, patient, gentle, forgiving, generous, etc. The old husband (the Law) is a ruthless, abusive, demanding, harsh, rude, brutal, unbending, unyielding, obsessive-compulsive perfectionist (Galatians 3:24). Satan is our abuser and acuser. He uses the law cruelly to beat so many down into bondage. Way too many Christians have a bad case of the abused-woman-syndrome. In other words, even after marrying their new Husband (grace) they find it hard to believe that He is a gracious and loving Husband.

This is why your mind must be retrained in the perfect law of LIBERTY (James 1:25) so you will be able to accept and fully trust your new Husband (grace). Through Christ’s finished work, the Law has lost its dominance over you. In effect the Law (your old husband) is dead. Grace is your new Husband. Once you have revelation knowledge that your new Husband (grace) is nothing like the rude, abusive husband (the Law) you were once so used to living under, only then you will learn to break free from all types of behavior patterns, ungodly temperaments and insecurities and be able to enjoy the freedom of love that your new Husband (grace) has for you. It may take awhile, but there is plenty of time to learn to be free as you enjoy your newfound relationship with your new Husband (grace). This is a beautiful picture of the awesome work of grace in our lives. While we may be righteous before God, we will still have the tendency to think and perform in those old mindsets. That is why we must be transformed in our thinking (Romans 12:1-2). We must first believe we are made holy apart from good works or self-effort to attain to righteousness. From this new mindset will flow the life of Christ and the power of God. We are free to run, free to dance, free to live in the forgiveness of Christ. That’s why Paul said, “IN HIM (Christ) we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28).”

The Law demands. Grace accepts. Now under our new Husband (grace) we can live in the constant light of His love, never to fear if we are unacceptable. God doesn’t require that we serve Him to please Him. Rather OUT of His heart of love for us we are free to live and serve IN His good pleasure for us.