‘The woman who is under a husband, is bound…to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband has died, she is loosened from…her husband…. If her husband has died, she is free…; so that she is no adulteress if she becomes married to another man…. You too have become dead…by the body of Christ, so that you should become married to Another — even to Him Who has been raised from the dead, so that we should keep bringing forth fruit to God!’ Romans 7:2-4.
Calvin comments: “We are freed from the law in such a way, that it no longer properly and by its own right retains any of its power over us…. The example of marriage was very well suited to illustrate…. A woman, after the death of her husband, is freed from the bond of marriage. The law, which take the place of a husband to us, is dead to us” — as the husband is to the wife, once he has died.
“A woman is subject to her husband by the law, while he is alive. So that she cannot (at that time) become the wife of another. After the death of her husband, however, she is freed from the bond of the law — so that she may freely marry whom she pleases.
“The law was our ‘husband’ under whose yoke we were held, until it became dead to us. After the death of the law, Christ took us to Himself — i.e., He freed us from the law and joined us to Himself. Being therefore united to Christ Who has been raised from the dead, we ought to cleave to Him alone. And as the life of Christ is eternal after His resurrection, so hereafter we shall never
be divorced from Him!…
“Paul is referring here only to…part of the law…. We must never imagine that the law is in any way abrogated in regard to the Ten Commandments…, which…must stand for ever! The release here mentioned…, is not from the righteousness which is taught in the law — but from the rigid demands of the law and from the curse which follows from its demands. What is abrogated, therefore, is not the rule of good living which the law prescribes!…
“Christ raised the standard of His cross, and triumphed over sin…. By the cancelling of this handwriting, therefore, we are delivered in the body of Christ – even while it was fixed to the cross…. We have now been bound to another Husband! We have passed from one hand to another, from the law to Christ…. Christ is put in place of the law, so that no one should conceive of any freedom apart from Him. Or dare to effect a divorce from the law, if he is not already dead to himself!
“Paul, however, has employed this paraphrase to denote the eternity of that life which Christ has attained by His resurrection. In order that Christians may know that this union with Christ is to be perpetual…. Christ has offered us together with Himself as a sacrifice to the Father…. He regenerates us, in order that we may bring forth fruit to God…. The fruits which our heavenly Father requires from us…, are holiness and righteousness.”
We must be dead to sin, so as to bring forth godly fruit!