that you might belong to another

Read Romans 7:1-6.

When reading and studying a passage of Scripture, I make it a point to read it in a number of different English translations. One that I regularly consult is Eugene Peterson’s wonderful paraphrase known as The Message. Peterson’s translation / commentary on this passage makes it all clear and brings the point home well.

“You shouldn’t have any trouble understanding this, friends, for you know all the ins and outs of the law—how it works and how its power touches only the living. For instance, a wife is legally tied to her husband while he lives, but if he dies, she’s free. If she lives with another man while her husband is living, she’s obviously an adulteress. But if he dies, she is quite free to marry another man in good conscience, with no one’s disapproval.

“So, my friends, this is something like what has taken place with you. When Christ died he took that entire rule-dominated way of life down with him and left it in the tomb, leaving you free to ‘marry’ a resurrection life and bear ‘offspring’ of faith for God. For as long as we lived that old way of life, doing whatever we felt we could get away with, sin was calling most of the shots as the old law code hemmed us in. And this made us all the more rebellious. In the end, all we had to show for it was miscarriages and stillbirths. But now that we’re no longer shackled to that domineering mate of sin, and out from under all those oppressive regulations and fine print, we’re free to live a new life in the freedom of God.” (Romans 7:1-6; The Message)

Heavenly Father, look what you have done for me in Jesus’ name; you have freed me, enabled me and gifted me with new life! I am free to serve you in a whole new way now, and I thank you and praise, I pray, with this new life you have given me. Amen.

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