Revelation 21:9 – “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”
Christians are the “Bride of Christ.” In the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul gives us an analogy of the marriage according to the law. However, believers are not under the law but under grace: Romans 6:14 – For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 7:1 – 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? (Verse 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. (Verse 3) So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if the husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.
(Verse 4) Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another, even to Him who raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.
We all were married to the law before becoming a believer, but after we believed we died to the law and are free to marry another, Jesus. Always remember: Satan is called the accuser of the brethren and will try to use the law against us. That is why it is so important for the Christian to know the difference. Paul spent his life trying to get people to understand this.
The husband, under the law, is the one always pointing out what is wrong and then points to the right way. The law is overbearing, fault-finding, and critical and always judging. So, how do we as believers become married to Christ?
The marriage is till death do us part, according to Romans 7:1, where it says, “The law has dominion over a man as long as he lives.” So how do we become free to marry someone else? God is the one that came up with this brilliant plan: We die to self! When we die to self, we are free to be married to another.
We are buried with Christ in water baptism and raised to live in Christ and Christ in us – this makes us married to another – Christ. However, there are things we need to understand about our first husband.
The Law Cannot Justify
The law cannot justify us in the sight of God: Romans 3:20 – Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:28 – Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.
There are too many that teach: Yes, we are saved through faith by grace, then they put the “but” in there, saying, “But in order to keep your salvation and be justified and live holy, you also have to keep the law.” Not so! There is no “but.” Paul had to continually deal with this.
Paul dealt with a group in the book of Galatians that were telling new believers that they still had to be circumcised in order to keep their salvation.
Galatians 3:1 – O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? (Verse 2) This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith? (Verse 3) Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?
If we weren’t good enough according to the law to begin our salvation, then how could we ever expect to perfect it after we were saved?
Grace plus law is heresy, false doctrine. Here’s why: You reduce Christianity to the same level of every other religion in the world when a person does that. This does not mean that we skip over the moral laws that God has set in place that will never change.
First, we have to remember that Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship. Every religion in the world teaches “works.” They all require the person to “do” something in order to be in right relationship with God, and some don’t have the same God. Christianity is the only one that is faith-based in Jesus Christ that will make a person in right standing with God. Christianity is a relationship with God by His grace through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. None of the others believe that.
The Law Cannot Empower Us
The law does not give us the ability or power to do the right thing. It can only show us how far we miss the mark. We die to self in order to produce fruit to God by staying attached to the vine, Jesus. Jesus is the husband that gives us fruit.
Galatians 2:21 – I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain. If we could have been righteous by the law, why would Jesus have had to die on the cross?
Breaking strongholds in our lives can only come through Jesus Christ. Even though we knew that it was wrong to steal, covet, lie, and murder, before we came to Christ, did it stop some from doing these things, even though there was a law against it? However, after becoming a believer, did we have the ability to stop doing what is wrong or against the law. Yes, to an extent for some, while others are still working through some tough strongholds.
Is it not much better to be married to a “person,” than to be married to a “list” of do’s and don’ts ?” We all were married to the law as the first husband. After receiving grace and dying to self we are married to our second husband, Christ. So, here’s the problem many Christians have in understanding this: They are trying to empress their second husband, by keeping a good relationship with their first husband. (Try that in the natural with an ex-husband and see how well that works out.)
Love Can Empower and Justify
Who is love? God is love! God can justify and God can empower! One time in Scripture, Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment. He responds by saying, “Love!” “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself!” Love is the strongest governing force in the world! The entire law is wrapped up in what Jesus said.
Some don’t like to teach on grace because they think it will give the people a free pass to sin and then they can just ask for forgiveness. No, grace does not produce sin, it produces righteousness. They think if they teach a bunch of “don’ts” then they won’t sin. We, as a society have all kinds of laws, but does it stop people from breaking them? No, it sure doesn’t.
God’s laws are the opposite of what we think: God says for us to give and He will multiply; if we want to have authority, then get under authority; if we want to live the abundant life that Christ died to give us, then we have to die to self. The law doesn’t produce holiness, grace does. Grace produces love and love is what will govern the Christian life.
So, what gives sin its strength? What causes sin to get stronger? 1 Corinthians 15:56 – The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. The more a person hears the teaching on law, the more sinful people will get. The more a person is under rules, rituals, and regulations instead of “relationship,” the more they will try with all their might to follow those rules, rituals, and regulations. However, a person can only do that for so long and when they mess up they give up. What is sad is that the person may “back-slide” for a time, but when they return and repent, they are still sitting under the rules again and start all over trying to be good on their own.
When we become believers, we are married to Christ, so don’t go back to your first husband because that husband did not die for you, your second Husband did! His name is Jesus the Christ!