1-3: The law here is again the Mosaic Law. Paul is speaking to both Jews and Gentile converts to Christianity who are familiar with the Old Testament. The law is enforced as long as a person lives, in this example on the wife whose husband is still alive.
4: The analogy goes that believers are no longer bound to the law since we have died to the law through the body of Christ. Just as death breaks bond between a husband/wife, so our identification with Christ’s death breaks the bond that yoked us to the law.
5-6: We no longer live under the law but under grace due to Christ’s death and resurrection. Through the Spirit we can fight our sinful temptations and desires.
Question: Because of Christ, we are not under the Old Testament law. Because of this our motivation for how we live our lives should be much different then that of obligation to do the right thing. If we don’t “have” to, why should we honor God with our lives?
7-8: Even though we know longer live under the law because of Christ that does not make the law “bad.” For the law revealed what sin was.
10-12: God’s commandments that promised life but that proved to be death did so in this regard; following all God’s commands would give us eternal life, however they lead to death because no one can follow them perfectly. Therefore God’s commands are holy and good.
Question: If God’s commands are good, why then does Christ make it so that we no longer live under the law? Jesus often takes the law and goes a step further (compares lust to adultery, anger to murder, etc.). How does following Jesus cause us to take even the seemingly smallest things seriously?
13-14: Paul explains that the law is not what brought death, but our sin. The law only exposes our sin.
15-17: Sin is powerful force in our lives. We often find ourselves struggling with things we wish we no longer struggled with.
18-20: Paul says that nothing good dwells in me. We are all sinners, more fallen than we could fully comprehend. This is why Jesus says no one is good except God alone (Luke 18:19). We need a savior and the power of the Holy Spirit to fight sin in our lives.
24-25: It is God through Jesus Christ that delivers us from death. The desire for self-improvement is futile on our own strength.
Question: When was a time you tried to fight a sin struggle or in some way “improve” yourself all on your own? What role does community with others play in helping us turn from our sin and follow Jesus?