Monday, April 17, 2017

Reader asks for explanation of Romans 7:1 - 7

READER QUESTION: Hello. Please could you explain Romans 7, 1 to 7. Thank you for your guidance.

OUR RESPONSE: Thanks for the great question! Footnotes in the AENT explain:

Romans 7: 1. Or do you not know, my Brothers (for I am speaking to them that know Torah) that Torah has dominion over a man as long as he is alive? 2. Just as a woman, by Torah, is bound to her husband as long as he is alive: but if her husband should die, she is freed from the Torah of her husband.

3. And if, while her husband is alive, she should adhere to another man, she would become an adulteress: but if her husband should die, she is freed from Torah; and would not be an adulteress though joined to another man. [1] 4. And now, my brothers, you also have become dead to Torah [2] by the body of Mashiyach; that you might be joined to another, (even) to him who arose from the dead, and might yield fruits to Elohim.

5. For while we were in the flesh, the emotions of sin which are (listed) by Torah, were active in our members that we should bear fruits to death. 6. But now we are absolved from Torah and are dead to that which held us in its grasp: that we might from now on serve in the newness of the spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. [3]

7. What will we say then? Is Torah sin? May it never be! For I had not learned sin except by means of Torah: for I had not known lust, had not Torah said, You will not covet: 8. And by this Commandment sin found occasion and perfected in me all lust: for without Torah, sin was dead. (AENT)

[1] In these three verses “Torah” is intended as “Instruction” as in the instruction pertaining to marriage alone, not the whole body of the Covenant. When a marriage partner dies, the surviving spouse is no longer contractually bound to the marriage covenant, but this does not mean that the rules of marriage no longer apply to the survivor, or to the rest us.

[2] “Dead to Torah” refers to being dead to the penalty for sin, which is death, followed by destruction. The believer sins (misses the mark) as anyone else does; however, those who are “in Mashiyach” have atonement in him. From the beginning (Gen. 3:15) YHWH established a defense for His people against haSatan (the adversary). To be “in” Mashiyach means to live a life pleasing to YHWH and NOT break Torah (see also Romans 8:1-10).

Those who think that they can repeatedly break Torah without consequence, because of Mashiyach died for them, are very deceived. To “live in the spirit” means that the Spirit of Mashiyach is training up his followers so they can put away the carnal desires of the weak flesh, and that they are overcomers of the flesh.

[3] This is because faith in Mashiyach and Torah observance brings eternal life, but the consequence of sin is death. It does not mean Torah is “released” because, with or without Mashiyach, the penalty for willful sin still remains. If the penalty for sin remains, then Torah also remains. The “oldness of the letter” speaks of old religious ways which do not recognize Mashiyach as bringing the Living Word of YHWH to mankind.

Y’shua brought the correct understanding of Torah which is to be written upon the heart, so we don’t continue in sin. See also 6:12. Some might say they have Faith and claim to be “Believers,” but if they continue in sin their faith/belief is irrelevant.

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