Romans 7:1-9
Rom 7:1 (KJV)
Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

Here the apostle Paul is speaking to those Jews in Rome who were familiar with the law of God. He tells them that the law has dominion or rules over a person as long as they are alive. Those who lived under the law of God were culpable to that law unless in some form the law was fulfilled and they were no longer liable to the law. The only way a person will not have to answer for their sins against the law is by becoming saved because in Christ, the law was fulfilled. If a person lives under the law, then that law will rule over them for life.

Rom 7:2 (KJV)
For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

Here is a principle which is illustrated through the marriage relationship. A woman is bound by the law to her husband but only as long as he is alive. If the husband dies, then she is freed from that binding. The woman is to live in obedience and subjection to her husband. This is akin to anyone who lives under the law, that they, like the wife, are to be obedient and subjected to the ordinances of the law. If the husband dies, then she is no longer required to be obedient to the law which bound her to her husband. She is now free. In like manner, we who were under the law, were subject and obedient to the law of God. Then when the Lord Jesus Christ went to the cross, he died in fulfillment of all the righteous demands of the law, so when He died, we who became saved through Grace, were now loosed from the judicial demands of the law. The body of believers is also called the “bride of Christ.” So when He died to the law, we also died with Him and no longer have to keep the tenets of the law for salvation. When Christ fulfilled the demands of the law, those in Christ also fulfilled it through Him and had the results imputed to us.

Rom 7:3 (KJV)
So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

So now the comparison of the law of marriage is that if a woman gets divorced from her husband and she marries another while he is still alive, then she is committing adultery. This verse is normally avoided by those who believe that marriage after divorce is permissible. Many churches are guilty of church sponsored adultery by remarrying those who have been divorced. However, if her husband has died, then she has been freed from the law of marriage and she is biblically qualified to marry again, plus she will not be committing adultery.

Rom 7:4 (KJV)
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

Our first marriage by reason of being born physically into this world is to the law of God. Every human being on earth who has not become saved will be accountable to the laws of God which they have transgressed. Now since Christ died to the law in fulfillment of God’s righteous demands, we are now dead to the law of that law and now have been married a second time, to Christ. That second marriage carries with it an unending relationship for eternity since neither Christ nor His bride will ever die again.
(John 11:26 KJV) And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? Now because we are in an eternal marriage with the Lord Jesus Christ, we now bring forth fruit unto the God.

Rom 7:5 (KJV)
For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

The word “motions” in the Greek carries with it the meaning of “passions.” The passions which we obeyed while we were in the flesh and exacerbated by the written law had only one long tern effect, and that was eternal death. The law did not create these passions in the unregenerate person but it aggravated them by bringing them to the light and showing the true dark nature of man. It also did one other thing showing us that we needed a Savior because we were unable to keep the law.

Rom 7:6 (KJV)
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.

Since we became saved through the Lord Jesus Christ, we have been delivered from keeping the tenets of the law for salvation. The law held us under bondage and there was no way for any of us to come out from underneath the law. While we were under the law we were spiritually dead to the things of God. No longer are we to serve in the manner of the old mannerisms of the law such as rituals and observances for all of them had their fulfillment in Christ which means they are all abrogated and are not for the true believer who has been delivered. We have been rescued from the letter of the law and raised to newness of life in the Holy Spirit where we now serve the Lord Christ, not out of the oldness of the law but in the newness of the Spirit.

Rom 7:7 (KJV)
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 is now reminding us that because the law shows us how sinful we are does not mean that the law is sinful. The purpose of the written law of God, was to show us that we are very sinful people and unable to save ourselves from the judicial penalty of the law which is eternal damnation. Paul gives two examples stating that he could not know what lust and coveting were unless the law showed him that these things were sinful. We could use any example, I would not know that stealing is wrong unless the law showed me. It is like driving, we have set speed limits all over but if there were no speed limits, then there could be no transgressing of the law but if there is a posted speed limit of 25 mph and we go 40 mph, then we are violating the law, and if caught, will pay the appropriate penalty. With God’s law, every infraction has been recorded and each one will be required of those who have not become saved.

Rom 7:8 (KJV)
But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.

Since we have the written law of God, it shows us that we go from sin to sin. The word “concupiscence” carries with it the meaning of “lust.” This means that no matter what Paul was doing or thinking, it carried the same weight of condemnation under the law. Every action and thought was accountable to the law of God. As long as sin was in the world, the law of God was alive and active. Paul then goes on to contrast that without the law, if it never came into being, then sin would be dead. In other words, there would be no transgressions since there would be no written law but because the law is here, now sin is alive.

Rom 7:9 (KJV)
For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

This is a very difficult verse to interpret and I make no statement that what I write here is the absolute understanding of this verse. It seems that the Apostle Paul was speaking of the time when he was an unsaved Pharisee, for that group believed they were totally righteous and in good standing with the Lord. Even though he definitely had the law, they believed that they had kept the law and were above others. Their own arrogance deceived them into believing they were righteous. Then there is a point just before a person becomes saved that they are absolutely aware that they are reprobate sinners unable to save themselves through any ritual or ceremony. At this point, Paul states that he realized that he too was a sinner and being a Pharisee did not insulate him from the judgment of God. When the true commandment or his true calling came, then he realized his sinfulness and at that point he knew that he was a spiritually dead person. The law now became a living document concerning his sinfulness and the fact that he was a Pharisee made no difference. Paul develops this understanding in the next few verses.