Wherefore - This verse contains an application of the illustration in the two preceding. The idea there is, that death dissolves a connection from which obligation resulted. This is the single point of the illustration, and consequently there is no need of inquiring whether by the wife the apostle meant to denote the old man, or the Christian, etc. The meaning is, as death dissolves the connection between a wife and her husband, and of course the obligation of the law resulting from that connection, so the death of the Christian to the Law dissolves that connection, so far as the scope of the argument here is concerned, and prepares the way for another union, a union with Christ, from which a new and more efficient obligation results. The design is to show that the new connection would accomplish more important effects than the old.
Ye also are become dead to the law - Notes, Romans 6:3-4, Romans 6:8. The connection between us and the Law is dissolved, so far as the scope of the apostle' s argument is concerned. He does not say that we are dead to it, or released from it as a rule of duty, or as a matter of obligation to obey it; for there neither is, nor can be, any such release, but we are dead to it as a way of justification and sanctification. In the great matter of acceptance with God, we have ceased to rely on the Law, having become dead to it, and having embraced another plan.
By the body of Christ - That is, by his body crucified; or in other words, by his death; compare Ephesians 2:15, "Having abolished in his flesh the enmity," etc. that is, by his death. Colossians 1:22, "in the body of his flesh through death," etc. Colossians 2:14; I Peter 2:24, "who bare our sins in his own body on the tree." The sense, is, therefore, that by the death of Christ as an atoning sacrifice; by his suffering for us what would be sufficient to meet the demands of the Law; by his taking our place, he has released us from the Law as a way of justification; freed us from its penalty; and saved us from its curse. Thus released, we are at liberty to be united to the law of him who has thus bought us with his blood.
That ye should be married to another - That you might be united to another, and come under his law. This is the completion of the illustration in Romans 7:2-3. As the woman that is freed from the law of her husband by his death, when married again comes under the authority of another, so we who are made free from the Law and its curse by the death of Christ, are brought under the new law of fidelity and obedience to him with whom we are thus united. The union of Christ and his people is not unfrequently illustrated by the most tender of all earthly connections, that of a husband and wife, Ephesians 5:23-30; Revelation 21:9. "I will show thee the bride, the Lamb' s wife," Revelation 19:7.
Even to him who is raised ... - See the force of this explained, Romans 6:8.
That we should bring forth fruit unto God - That we should live a holy life. This is the point and scope of all this illustration. The new connection is such as will make us holy. It is also implied that the tendency of the Law was only to bring forth fruit unto death Romans 7:5, and that the tendency of the gospel is to make man holy and pure; compare Galatians 5:22-23.
Other Barnes' Notes entries containing Romans 7:4:
DISCLAIMER: Church of the Great God (CGG) provides these resources to aid the individual in studying the Bible. However, it is up to the individual to "prove all things, and hold fast to that which is good" (I Thessalonians 5:21). The content of these resources does not necessarily reflect the views of CGG. They are provided for information purposes only.