Romans 7:1-3 Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then if, while her husband is living, she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress, though she is joined to another man.
James Edwards states, "The provisional claim of the law is illustrated by the analogy of marriage. A wife is bound in fidelity to her husband as long as he lives, but if he dies she is absolved from his authority. What formerly would have been adultery is now a legal right: she may marry another man. The analogy was drawn from Jewish marriage customs rather than Roman. Jewish thinking on marriage began with the prescription in Deuteronomy 24:1-5, and subsequent rabbinic tradition was unanimous that the death of the husband annulled the marriage contract, freeing the women again, all of which is consonant with Paul's analogy. The analogy is not exactly appropriate to illustrate the point of verse 1, however, because it fails the test of logic at the end. In verse 2-3 the husband (=law) dies, whereas in verse 4 it is the believer (=wife) dies to the law. Obviously, it is not the law which dies but the believer who dies in Messiah (Christ), as Paul says in verse 4. Because the analogy does not correspond in every respect to the point it illustrates, it is unwise to press it too far, and it is not necessary to do so, for it is simply an analogy, not an allegory. It is; however, eminently clear in the one respect in which Paul intended it -that death ends obligations. Christians (believers) are like the wife in the story: the law HAS lost its claim over them, and they are free to transfer their allegiance to ANOTHER. Believers are widowed from the law and free to marry Messiah (Christ)." (Pg.179)
"Freedom from the law does not leave one in neutral, noncommittal state. One cannot remain "unmarried." Either one transfers allegiance to Messiah (Christ) or one falls back under the authority of the old Adam. "Anyone who has died has been freed from sin" (6:7) the law maintains its hold on humanity through sin. When sin is abolished (6:6, 7:6), so too are the penalties and condemnations of the law (8:1). This is summarized in verse 4, So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Messiah (Christ). The NIV rendering, you also died, is a passive in Greek, meaning 'you were put to death." It connotes that something was done to believers in Messiah's (Christ's) death. This is probably a "divine passive," by which reverent Jews avoided using the name of G-d lest they profane it. It means, "G-d put you to death," and it testifies to G-d's initiative in the work of salvation. It was G-d who "killed" the effects of law, sin, and death in us, and raised us in Messiah (Christ) to live in freedom and fruitfulness for himself." (New International Biblical commentary, Romans James r. Edwards 1992. pg. 179)
The new covenant is a better covenant in that it is unconditional. Only Trust (Faith) is necessary. In the Mosaic Law, one says, " I will". In the New Covenant one says, "if He will". Under the Mosaic Covenant obedience sprang from fear. Under the new it is from a willing heart and mind.
Romans 7:4-6 Wherefore, my brethren, you also are become dead to the law (instruction) by the body of Messiah (Christ); that you should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit to G-d. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law (instruction), did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. 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.
This passage deals with the Mosaic Law.
Paul says the law (instruction) has authority over us as long as we live. But since we are considered dead in Messiah the law (instruction) does not apply to us. This does not mean that the law is dead. It means we are as believers (wife) die.
Under Jewish tradition we have the husband having to die for the wife to be free of obligation. The analogy is not exactly right. For in this case we (wife) die. Then we are free to be married to Yeshua HaMashiach. We are betrothed to Him.
The new covenant is a better covenant in that it is unconditional. However, Trust (Faith) is still necessary. In the Mosaic Law, one says, " I will". In the New Covenant one says, "if He will". Under the Mosaic Covenant obedience sprang from fear. Under the new it is from a willing heart and mind. We must also try not to have just a linear outlook and only view it as only a future state.
Is the Law sin?
The law (instruction) is good. It is what was wrong with us. The law required perfection. Are you perfect? No, in this life with it's struggles, we will not ever be perfect. We are not G-d.
Why do you think Yeshua came? Because He was perfect. Because He was G-d in the flesh.
So, if we review, "What prompted Paul now to raise the question? Is law sin?
Just because we are under mercy/grace does not mean the law was not good. So dying to what once bound us we have been released from the law (instruction) so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit.
"But if her husband dies, she is released from that law, and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man. (We are now married to Yeshua!)