If these great saints of the early days of the New Testament dispensation, now sleeping in their graves, were raised back to life today, to continue to live throughout the time remaining for the Messiah?s return, they would be walking orderly by obeying the Law while waiting for it to happen. That would be one of the ways that they would have to live while in expectation of the Lord?s return; let no one make no mistake about this.
The obvious truth is that, for these saints, whether they were present in the world in the flesh or only alive in spirit in their deaths, all they would know to do is to walk orderly by obeying the Law. Can one, therefore, think that Saul, who was himself very much zealous for the Law and kept it as his lifestyle, at the same time, teach the saints of his day, not to live by the Law, as some people today suppose and even accuse that he did?
Or have today?s readers of the scriptures misunderstood what he wrote in his letters to Romans and Colossians, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit? If it is not that the Word of Elohim, as written by Saul, has been misunderstood, then, was Saul a hypocrite?living differently from what he preached? Elohim forbid that Saul be a hypocrite!
So then, let us try to understand Saul and his teaching in Romans 7 and not suppose him to have been an anti-Sabbath preacher. In teaching my understanding of Romans 7, I will try to be as brief as I can in this, though this will be difficult, in view of the gravity of the issues raised by Saul and the importance of this teaching to myself, my questioners, and all salvation seekers.
Beginning from verse one of this chapter, is where many of today?s anti-Law readers of the Bible begin to get confused about Saul?s teaching. In this verse, the words ?the law? are mentioned twice?once within parenthesis, and the other outside of and after the parenthesis.
So then, if we take out all what is stated within the parenthesis, as we are allowed to do in such a critical study without marring what Saul is teaching, then, we may ask what is meant by ?the law? stated outside the parenthesis that Saul is referring to and in trying to draw similarity to ?the law? stated within the parenthesis?
Obviously, Saul is referring to any kind of law that exists between two people that must bind them. Anyone bound by any law that exists between men is free of it only when that person dies or in the event that the other person dies before him, or when such a law is annulled by mutual agreement.
Saul introduced the words in parenthesis to teach this fact and to make an analogy to the Law of Moses, which he believed his listeners were very knowledgeable about, had tested, and thereby trusted. So therefore, Saul?s mention of ?the law? within parenthesis, refers to ?the law of Moses?, while his mention of the same ?the law? outside the parenthesis refers to any kind of law that binds two people.
One must understand this first verse of Romans 7 very well and accept what I?ve said of it to be so, if one is to understand the teaching of this chapter in its entirety. This is because this first verse is, indeed, a preamble to the entire chapter. One must understand this verse as such, in order to be blessed by the teaching of Saul in this and all other chapters of the book, and even all of his other epistles.
In fact, the KJV translators should have rendered Romans 7:1 to be thus: ?Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that a (and not, the) law hath dominion over a man as long as he lives.?
If, at this point, anyone would want to disagree with me in these thoughts expressed, then he can only believe that the words ?the law? mentioned in both in and out of parenthesis mean the same thing?the Law of Moses! If it be so, then, our discourse must come to an abrupt end since that would emphatically be laying bare the fact that the Law of Moses has power over any man insofar as he is alive?every time and anywhere.
For salvation seekers to fully accept my conclusions on this first verse of Romans 7, let us move with Saul to verse two, where he talks about one such law that exists between men that binds a woman to her husband.
Here too, the translators have made another little slip in their difficult task. In the first half of this verse, we read ?by the law to her husband.? This, I find to be ambiguous. Actually, this should have been translated as, ?by the law of her husband? to remove any ambiguity.? May Elohim be praised; the translators somehow managed to correct themselves and ended this same verse with the appropriate translation, in the words??she is loosed from the law of her husband.?
So then, in just two verses?one and two?we see two errors that readers can easily get themselves into, in taking every mention of ?the law? to mean the Law of Moses! Now, therefore, if a correction to this error in translation is never sought, it will forever confuse our understanding of Romans 7 and ultimately, no one will benefit from this great teaching of Saul. We observe with a great sigh of relief, however, that, in the verse three, what was said to be ?the law? in the verse two, now becomes ?that law?, specific to that law which binds a woman to her husband.
In verse four, things begin to get very interesting and profound?another ?the law? comes in with reference to mention of one being in ?the body of Christ?. Here, the mention of ?the law? is again not in reference to the ?law of Moses? but to ?the law of sin and death? that has been in Saul?s discourse from earlier chapters in the Book of Romans. Our death to sin in our baptism into Yeshua makes it possible for us to break free from this ?law of sin and death? and to be united with Yeshua (cf. Romans 6:2-14), as is between a woman to her husband.
The law of sin and death, which from time immemorial reigned in the members of the bodies of all men, is that law which every truly born again person must be, and is, delivered from, by the power of Messiah?s sacrifice in the true expression of one?s faith in repentance and baptism.
This deliverance from the law of sin and death then enables one to gain the union with Yeshua, as in a grafted relationship between any particular specie of a native tree and a foreign branch of the same specie (John 15:5, Romans 11:17-24), and or in marital union.
By extension of verse two earlier on studied, verse four must then mean that the born again person enters into ?the law of Yeshua?, as the wife of one who is raised from the dead, to live forever and forever.
Therefore, this marital law that binds the wife?any saved person?to Yeshua, must be in full force and effect, forever, insofar as Yeshua lives forever. This wife of Yeshua is free of ?the law of Yeshua? as is the case too in any ordinary marriage, only when Yeshua dies?but praise to Elohim, Yeshua is alive forever and forever.
In verses five and six, obviously, ?the law? mentioned here is in reference to ?the law of sin and death?. The context of these verses makes this indeed obvious. The law of sin and death is what all men were held sway to until the Law of Moses was given?specifically to Israel?to help keep this law of sin and death in check.
It is this same Law of Moses that the Master obeyed and lived by in its entirety, and testified about, to his followers that it will never pass away until it is fulfilled. In fact, since sin is the transgression of the Law, Yeshua proved himself to be sinless in and by obeying every detail of the Law of Moses.
Again, this same Law of Moses had a very good effect on the lifestyle of one Nathaniel, to the extent that the Master could testify of him as a true Israelite who had no guile at all in him (cf. John 1:47).
And yet again, this same Law of Moses is what a young Jewish ruler said he was able to keep all his youth, for which the Master wanted him not to stop doing, but to even do more, so as to earn eternal life (cf. Luke 18:18-22).
Why then would any salvation seeker today, want to do less than what all his predecessors in the faith did? Is that what living in the Grace of Elohim means, or are people simply being lazy, deceived, and confused, with regards to their obligations to the Law of Moses? Or is it that, for some people, today, the Grace of Elohim means for Him to treat salvation seekers discriminatorily? Is Elohim now a respecter of persons because we now live in a dispensation of grace?
From verses seven to nine, every mention of ?the law? is in reference to the Law of Moses. In verse ten to thirteen, whenever mention is made of ?the commandment? it always refers to the ?Law of Moses?. And then, in verse fourteen, ?the law? is again in reference to the ?Law of Moses?.
In verse twenty one, we read of ?a law? referring to a kind of law that works against one?s capacity to do any good. Thus, this ?a law? here, can only mean ?the law of sin and death?. In verse twenty-two we see clearly mentioned for the fist time, ?the law of God? and this must be the same as ?the Law of Moses?.
And then, in verse twenty three, there is ?another law in my members? which must be ?the law of sin and death? that always wars against ?the war of my mind? which also is the will or desire to do good??the law to do what is good?. Finally, mention is made again of ?the law of sin? in this same verse and also in verse twenty-five, the last verse of the chapter.
So then, if we make a count of all these different laws, we would have the following: ?the Law of Moses?, ?the law? between any two people, ?the law of the husband?, ?the law of sin and death?, ?the law of Yeshua?, ?another law in my members?, ?the law of God?, and ?the commandment?.
So then, one must be very careful when reading Romans 7, in order to know what law is under consideration at any one point in time, since the many kinds of laws mentioned in this chapter, are all loosely termed ?the law?. If the reader is not careful in his reading of this chapter of Romans, he can be confused by this loose terminology and then end up not being blessed by Saul?s teaching. (—concluding part to this article is in Part 3 of 3: Soon to be published).
The writer is a Bible-expositor and author of the book: Beware of This False Doctrine: Of Reciting the Sinners? Prayer for salvation, published in Ghana and the USA. His e-mail address is: [email protected]