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4 In the same way, my friends, you have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God.


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4. Wherefore … ye also are become dead—rather, "were slain."

to the law by the body of Christ—through His slain body. The apostle here departs from his usual word "died," using the more expressive phrase "were slain," to make it clear that he meant their being "crucified with Christ" (as expressed in Ro 6:3-6, and Ga 2:20).

that ye should be married to another, even to him that is—"was."

raised from the dead—to the intent.

that we should bring forth fruit unto God—It has been thought that the apostle should here have said that "the law died to us," not "we to the law," but that purposely inverted the figure, to avoid the harshness to Jewish ears of the death of the law [Chrysostom, Calvin, Hodge, Philippi, &c.]. But this is to mistake the apostle's design in employing this figure, which was merely to illustrate the general principle that "death dissolves legal obligation." It was essential to his argument that we, not the law, should be the dying party, since it is we that are "crucified with Christ," and not the law. This death dissolves our marriage obligation to the law, leaving us at liberty to contract a new relation—to be joined to the Risen One, in order to spiritual fruitfulness, to the glory of God [Beza, Olshausen, Meyer, Alford, &c.]. The confusion, then, is in the expositors, not the text; and it has arisen from not observing that, like Jesus Himself, believers are here viewed as having a double life—the old sin-condemned life, which they lay down with Christ, and the new life of acceptance and holiness to which they rise with their Surety and Head; and all the issues of this new life, in Christian obedience, are regarded as the "fruit" of this blessed union to the Risen One. How such holy fruitfulness was impossible before our union to Christ, is next declared.




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