Re: Rom. 7.1-6

From: Mark Goodacre (
Date: Wed May 21 1997 - 07:56:54 EDT

Jim Beale excerpted what I wrote, as follows:
> >i.e. overall - the situation has changed. The Law is irrelevant in
> >God's plan of salvation for it is the thing that bound the
> >individual to the past / sin / the flesh. Not surprisingly, this
> >turns out to be the theme of the rest of Chapter 7, and, indeed of
> >much of the rest of the Epistle.
And replied:

> I must say that this conclusion does not follow from your exegesis.
> The woman that remarries is bound by Law to her new husband, and the
> believer that has died to sin presents his members as instruments of
> righteousness to his new master (Romans 6:13) -- having been freed
> from sin, he becomes a slave of righteousness (6:18,19). Certainly
> the apostle jealously guards against the conclusion which you draw
> (cf. Romans 8:4).
To which I will briefly respond by saying:

But the woman is not 'bound by Law to her new husband'. This is not
in the passage. If you want to try to push the analogy further, I
suppose one would have to say that in the new marriage the woman
is united to Christ by the Spirit - the believer now serves EN KAINOTHTI
regime (the Law), one was married to sin. Under the new
regime (the Spirit), one is married to Christ. One has died to that
in which one was held captive (7.6) - captive to sin, under the Law.

I do not see that Paul ' jealously guards against the conclusion
which [I] draw'. 8.4 certainly does not show this. On the contrary,
here one walks according to the Spirit (in the new marriage to
Christ), not according to the flesh (as in the old marriage to sin).
The great irony of the new regime is that TO DIKAIWMA TOU NOMOU
PLHRWQH EN hHMIN - this does not contradict my reading but enhances

Kind wishes


Dr Mark Goodacre
Department of Theology
University of Birmingham
Birmingham B15 2TT

Tel.: 0121 414 7512 Email:
Fax.: 0121 414 6866

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