Tomorrow we’ll look at…
Married to Christ
1 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?
2 For the woman which hath a 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.
3 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.
4 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.
“Dead to the law” – the law’s power to condemn no longer threatens the Christian, whose death here is to be understood in terms of 6:2-7. There, however, he dies to sin; here he dies to the law. The result is that the law has no more hold on him.
5 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.
“In the flesh” – a condition, so far as Christians are concerned, that belongs to the past – the unregenerate state.
“By the law” – the law not only reveals sin; it also stimulates it. The natural tendency in man is to desire the forbidden thing.
6 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.
7 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.
8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
“I was alive…once” – Paul reviews his own experience from the vantage point of his present understanding. Before he realized that the law condemned him to death, he was alive.
Reference is to the time either before his bar mitzvah or before his conversion, when the true rigor of the law became clear to him (see Lk 18:20-21; Phil 3:6).
10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.
11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
“Ordained to life” – as it worked out, law became the avenue through which sin entered – both in Paul’s experience and in that of mankind. Instead of giving life, the law brought condemnation; instead of producing holiness, it stimulated sin.
12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
“The law is holy” – despite the despicable use that sin made of the law, the law was not to blame. The law is God’s and as such is holy, righteous and good.
13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
“I allow not” – I do not understand. The struggle within creates tension, ambivalence and confusion.
16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
“I consent unto the law that it is good” – even when Paul is rebellious and disobedient, the Holy Spirit reveals to him the essential goodness of the law.
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
“No more I that do it” – not an attempt to escape moral responsibility but a statement of the great control of sin can have over a Christian’s life.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
“In me dwelleth no good thing” – a reference to man’s fallen nature, as the last phrase of the sentence indicates. Paul is not saying that no goodness at all exists in Christians.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
“Another law” – a principle or force at work in Paul preventing him from giving obedience to God’s law.
“Law of my mind” – his desire to obey God’s law.
24 O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
What happened to Roman Britain?
From the 2nd century A.D. Roman Britain found itself under attack from people who lived outside the Roman borders.
The Romans thought these people were not civilised and called them barbarians. The Roman army and navy defended Britain.
By the 5th century A.D. barbarian tribes were attacking other parts of the Roman Emperor Honorius decided that the Roman legions in Britain were needed elsewhere.
He sent a letter to the people of Britain telling them the soldiers had to leave.
They must fight the Anglo-Saxons and invaders on their own. In 410 A.D. the last Romans left.
Did people go on living in Roman towns?
The Anglo-Saxons and other newcomers settled in Britain and set up new kingdoms. They were farmers, not townspeople. Roman stone buildings were not used or repaired. They slowly crumbled away.
People took away stones to build farmhouses or churches. People built new wooden towns inside the old Roman ones.
Many Roman towns kept at least parts of their walls until the Middle Ages. Part of London’s Roman Wall is still standing!
What did the Romans leave behind?
The Roman army left Britain over 1,500 years ago. They left behind a changed country.
Britain had roads and towns. It had new plants and animals, such as parsley, sweet chestnut and chickens. Measurements (miles, feet and inches) still used by many people come from the Romans.
The Romans also introduced Christianity to Britain. Many churches are still built using designs like a Roman Basilica.
How did the Romans change the way we speak and write?
The Romans wrote their history, their literature and their laws. Before the Romans conquered Britain, very few people in Britain could read or write.
Stories and knowledge were passed on by word of mouth. From Roman times onwards, people in Britain wrote things down.
Educated people wrote in Latin, but later wrote books in their own languages, English and Welsh, for example. The English and Welsh languages changed because of the Romans.
Many words in English and Welsh have links to Latin. ‘Pedestrian’ is one. See if you can find some more….
How can we find out more about the Romans?
In Britain, there are archaeological sites and museums. Some are at places you can visit, where the Romans actually lived.
In museums and site exhibitions, you can see, and sometimes touch, objects and buildings made by Roman people.
You can walk round the ruins of a Roman fort, or a Roman baths, or what was once the dining room of a Roman villa.
Some people believe that King Arthur (of the Knights and Round Table) was a Roman-British general who fought the Saxons.
The calendar we use dates from Roman times. The old Roman calendar had 10 months, not 12.
Julius Caesar organised a new calendar in 45 B.C. He made the New Year start in January, not March.