Faithlife Sermons

A New Relationship

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Romans 7:1–6 NKJV
1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 2 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. 3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. 6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.
We saw a few weeks ago that we have been freed from the Law. Paul uses the analogy of marriage to explain how that we are no longer bound to the Law.
1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 2 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. 3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.
Then in verse 4 he makes the connection of this principal with our situation as believers in Christ.
4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.
So we see then that the purpose of being set free from the Law was that we would be married to Christ. This is the new relationship that we now have. And we see that the purpose of this new relationship that we are in is that we should bear fruit to God.
It is this new relationship that I would like us to focus on this morning.
This is not the only place that Paul uses this image of marriage.
Ephesians 5:25–33 NKJV
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
I think that one of the reasons that many marriages fail is because we have this idea that the goal of marriage is my own personal happiness. Certianty happiness and joy can be one of the benifits of marriage but it is not the purpose. I believe that God gave us marriage to teach us love and respect. That is how to love and respect another. Another outcome of marriage, if God allows, is children. And again this fruit of marriage also teaches us love. How to love unconditionally which then gives us a framework for understanding the relationship which God desires to have with us.
Just as there is fruit in our earthly marriages there must be fruit in our union with Christ.

Bear Fruit Unto God

Romans 7:4 NKJV
4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.
What is this fruit?
Romans 6:22 NKJV
22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.
Galatians 5:22–23 NKJV
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
This is the fruit that comes from our marriage with Christ. When it says in Eph 5:26-27 that Christ is going to sanctify us by the washing of water by the Word so that He can present us to Himself holy and without spot, this is the fruit that will be produced and is being produced within us even now.
Note that it is fruit not works. fruit simply grows on the tree. The work is in the planting, watering, pruning and tending etc. by the fruit is the product.
John 15:1–8 NKJV
1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
So the vinedresser does all the work Christ who is the vine provides all the strength and nourishment and we only have to abide in Him and all the work of the vinedresser and the strength and nutrition from the vine produce fruit in us.
So what was the...

The Fruit of Our Union With the Law

Galatians 5:19–21 NKJV
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
So these things are the works of the flesh, not the fruit. This si the work that we do, the planting and watering and tending etc. These are the seeds that we sow in the flesh. So what is the fruit of these things?
Romans 7:5 NKJV
5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.
The fruit is death, or as it said it in Gal 5:21 those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But Paul says in
Romans 8:9 NKJV
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

The Power That Now Produces Fruit

Romans 7:6 NKJV
6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.
There is a new way that we serve our new master. We no longer serve him in the oldness of the letter.
What does that mean?
That means that we don’t serve God bases of lists of do’s and don’t’s. I have now entered into an intimate relationship with God through Jesus Christ. And my service is based on this relationship not on a Law. The new law is a law of love which is written on our hearts. The two greatest commandments, Christ said,
Matthew 22:37–40 NKJV
37 Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
These two commandments are based on relationship. If we love the Lord and we love our neighbors then based on that relationship we will not sin against either.
But if we couldn’t love before then what has changed now that will enable us to love?
we should serve in the newness of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit has now been planted within us. And as it said in
Galatians 5:22–25 NKJV
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
This is the key difference. When we were married to the Law we did not have the Spirit of God within us producing Love. But now that we have the Spirit of God in us the fruit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
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