David Lee Brown
Importance of the Law
In chapter 7 of Romans, Paul describes the importance of the Law of Moses, as well as reinforcing the new covenant of grace. He uses the example of a married woman. In the law, she is an adulterer if she divorces her husband and remarries. In the new covenant of grace, if she is divorced and remarries and then repents of the sin of adultery and never divorces again, she is forgiven. If a person repents of any sin and never commits that sin again, God pronounces that person not guilty. The importance of the law is to remind us of what God considers sin. It is impossible to keep the law perfectly, so God provided the current covenant of grace. Grace and mercy are obtained by genuine repentance.
"But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet."
Paul says that we are delivered from the law. Specifically, the moral law was written by God and provided through Moses by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. More importantly, God's moral Laws were written by the finger of God Himself on the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments. These Laws are steadfast and immutable, but we can receive grace from God if we repent of these offenses and stop doing them.
In the case of the example Paul used in Romans 7:2-3 if any person is divorced and remarried, they are committing adultery with their new spouse. But they are forgiven if they repent of that sin and have a proven track record of being faithful to their new spouse. They should be forgiven by their peers and treated as forgiven, redeemed, and justified by their fellow Christians. They should be treated as if their current marriage was their only marriage.
Yet another similar occurrence is the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11. She was caught committing adultery. She was brought before Jesus to test what He would do, and He said to the men, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." So, they wandered off, and Jesus said to the woman, "hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." Jesus imputed grace to her, stipulating that she doesn't commit that sin again. If she commits it again, the grace she receives is forfeit.
Importance of the Law
The law is important because it shares what thoughts and deeds are sinful. We need to know this to be obedient to God's will. Without the law, we cannot know right from wrong. Therefore, the law is profoundly vital. So, we're not under the law but require it to keep ourselves within the law and repent of violations of the law. Thus, we can receive the mercy and grace of God as we serve Him according to His perfect will.
Importance of the Law Conclusion
The concepts in Romans chapter 7 can be misinterpreted if you don't apply them considering the whole counsel of God – the entire Bible. Some would pull Romans 7:2-3 and claim that no one should ever divorce and divorced people are unredeemable and should never remarry. In contrast, that is the ideal scenario for a non-Christian. Christians have the option of repenting of their sin in genuine earnest prayer. If they are genuinely repentant and remarry and "sin no more," God grants them grace. Unfortunately, non-Christians are not under grace. So, if non-Christians divorce and remarry, they are indeed guilty of adultery and will be judged by God.
The law is profoundly important because it provides God's commandments concerning what is right and wrong. As Christians, we must strive to obey God's moral law because all Christians should want God's will instead of their own will. Remember, our righteousness is as filthy rags. God's righteousness and will demonstrate His infinite knowledge and wisdom. So, always choose God's will and trust His perfect righteousness.