An Illustration From Marriage (Romans 7:1-6)
Paul illustrates the marriage vow between two people (Romans 7:1-6). More clearly, Paul uses this illustration of the law of marriage.
God has exclusive possession of you—spirit, soul, and body. If that troubles you, then maybe you’ve not completely died to self.
Think about it.
Once you were married to the world and “belonged” to the enemy of your soul. Now you fit perfectly in the hands of the Lord. Today, you are not under the law, nor wedded to bearing fruit for the evil one.
You belong, in newness of life, to the LORD to bear fruit unto God.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you also were put to death in relation to the law through the body of Christ so that you may belong to another. You belong to Him who was raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit to God… But now we have been released from the law, since we died to what held us, so that we may serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the old letter of the law.
(Romans 7:4 & 6)
One day, someone asked me to counsel someone on what they should or should not wear to church. I refused. Not because I was afraid to offend her. But honestly, I believe the Holy Spirit moves on our soul to reveal right from wrong.
If she did not belong to the Lord, then nothing I said would change her mind. Even if she dressed more modestly. But maybe it would be in spite and eat at her soul. I would not be involved in that.
I prayed for her.
However, if she had come to me on her own asking what I thought, it would have been different.
I would have said, “Before you left the house this morning, did you look in the mirror and ask the Lord’s opinion? Did you ask Jesus if it glorified Him or caused someone to question the validity of who you are?” Is what you’re wearing bearing fruit or not?
You Belong to God to Bear Fruit
You belong to the Lord, what you do, say, and even what you wear bears fruit unto God. Jesus sees us as branches adorned with fruit:
I am the true Vine, and My Father is the Gardener, He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will bear even more fruitful.
You are already clean because of the Word I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the Vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me, you can do nothing.
Fruitful is the one who remains in Him.
If we’re honest with ourselves, we understand that even the fruit doesn’t come from the branch. We can’t take credit. The fruit comes from the True Vine, not the branch.
A superficial, shallow relationship bears no fruit. On the other hand, fruitfulness reveals a genuine, more profound relationship with Christ. His love moves us to bear fruit.
You Belong to God out of love
We belong to Christ, so remain in Him as a wife to her husband—not out of law but out of love. God’s Word in our soul is more than love letters. It’s whispered words in our ear directing us and leading into His perfect, pleasing, and acceptable will.
So, remain in Him. When you breathe in the breath of God and take His word into your soul, then it is like water for your thirst and nourishment for your hunger.
We desire to glorify God by bearing fruit. Fruits of holiness, peace, and love. We do so by pureness, knowledge, patience, and true love. Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing.
We Belong to God to Remain
As we remain in Him, joined in unity, in the Victor, we are victorious. The world, the flesh, and even the devil cannot win over our spirit, soul, and body.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control… (Galatians 5:22-23) and you can do all things through Him who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13). This newness of life is our identity in Christ.
Christ identifies us as branches, yet we discover the Word of God produces in our soul. We become trees planted by the streams of water, bearing fruit in season.
Like the sap from the Vine, the tree is alive because of Him who planted it.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in His law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth fruit in his season; his leaf will not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
See, How You Belong to the God in Word?
The tree does not belong to itself, but to the Planter, nor do they choose where to be planted nor even what fruit to bear. The Planter cares for the tree, the tree yields to His care and will bear fruit. If we remain under the care of the Planter, it is well with our soul.
We bear fruit for who we obey.
So, it is fruit for holiness unto God, or fruit for unrighteousness unto the enemy. The choice is ours. Let us live the “with-God life”, take God’s Word into our soul to obey it and bear fruit for God’s delight—fruit for His lips only.
God has exclusive possession of our spirit, soul, and body. When we choose to yield to the pattern of His teaching, then we will certainly bear fruit—fruit that leads to holiness (set aside for God’s purpose as ones in right standing with God).
Thank God for faith! The righteous live by faith.
You Belong to God in Perfect Care
Beautiful is the one who bears fruit unto God.
This is the perfect picture of sanctification. He shapes us, forms our souls, and then leads us perfectly in His will. By His loving instructions, change happens because we are under His care, kindness, and grace.
There is no better place than in the “with-God” life.
Newness of life is more than words written long ago, bound in a book, translated, and preserved. Newness of life is God’s gift to those who belong to Him.
So… we are asking that you may be filled with knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work, and growing in the knowledge of God.
“Come, let us settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are scarlet, they will be like snow. Though they are crimson red, they will be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land. But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
You Belong to God in Relationship: the “With-God” Life
We are not “passive” participants in this relationship. The “with-God life” requires something of us, too.
It requires we move toward Him and away from anything that separates us. Sin keeps us from God. Our unwillingness and disobedient soul troubles our barren soul. When our hearts refuse to be cleansed and our minds rebel against His Word, then death is our inheritance because we are “wedded” to the enemy.
Genuine relationship with God requires serious thought from us. We must “reason together” with the Lord. It takes the mind, the heart, the soul, and the spirit to believe in Him completely. We trust Him as a wife to her husband.
The “with God” life is a matter of the heart!
God prepares the faithful to fellowship with Him–not behind or in front. He means us no harm, so we come and keep on coming to Him every day.
The Creator is also the Judge and makes us right in His eyes. His great love is unlimited and His grace perfect. He does not deny our guilt and shame. No, He removes it. The heavy weight of sin is taken away, so we can freely walk with Him.
We belong to Him as servants of the Most High.
He does not lead us in chains, but in love. His gentle hand guides us daily, preparing us for the day when we will see Him face-to-face. He does not limit our relationship to today; He marks for eternity.
We know the truth and the truth will set us free.
You belong to the Lord!
I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
… blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.