The Meaning of Romans 7:4 Explained

Romans 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.

YLT: So that, my brethren, ye also were made dead to the law through the body of the Christ, for your becoming another's, who out of the dead was raised up, that we might bear fruit to God;

Darby: So that, my brethren, ye also have been made dead to the law by the body of the Christ, to be to another, who has been raised up from among the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God.

ASV: Wherefore, my brethren, ye also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ; that ye should be joined to another, even to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit unto God.

What does Romans 7:4 Mean?

Study Notes

married joined.
Ephesians 5:31 , same Greek word.
Bride (of Christ). 2 Corinthians 11:1-3 ; John 3:29 ; Revelation 19:6-8 .

Context Summary

Romans 7:1-13 - The Law Makes Sin Known
To make his meaning clear the Apostle now enters upon a parable drawn from domestic life. He says that we are married to the Law as our first husband, and seek, through union with it, to bring forth fruit unto God. Every convert earnestly endeavors, in the first impulse of the new life, to be good and to form, by incessant effort, a life that is pleasing to God. Like Cain we bring the fruit of the ground, extorted from the soil by the sweat of the brow.
But we are soon disappointed in the result. Our laborious care ends in failure. Sinful desires are too masterful. As Luther said, "The old Adam is too strong for the young Melanchthon." Then we see that the Cross has put death between us and our painful effort. We learn that the marriage contract which bound us to our first husband, the Law, has been dissolved. We are set free to enter into marriage union with the blessed Lord, and He, by His indwelling Spirit, effects in us what our own energies have failed to produce. We are joined to Him that was raised up from the dead, and bring forth fruit unto God. [source]

Chapter Summary: Romans 7

1  No law has power over a man longer than he lives
4  But we are dead to the law
7  Yet is not the law sin;
12  but holy, just and good;
16  as I acknowledge, who am grieved because I cannot keep it

Greek Commentary for Romans 7:4

Ye also were made dead to the law [και υμεις ετανατωτητε]
First aorist indicative passive of τανατοω — thanatoō old verb, to put to death (Matthew 10:21) or to make to die (extinct) as here and Romans 8:13. The analogy calls for the death of the law, but Paul refuses to say that. He changes the structure and makes them dead to the law as the husband (Romans 6:3-6). The relation of marriage is killed “through the body of Christ” as the “propitiation” (Romans 3:25) for us. Cf. Colossians 1:22. [source]
That we should be joined to another [εις το γενεσται ετερωι]
Purpose clause with εις το — eis to and the infinitive. First mention of the saints as wedded to Christ as their Husband occurs in 1 Corinthians 6:13; Galatians 4:26. See further Ephesians 5:22-33. That we might bring forth fruit unto God (ινα καρποπορησωμεν τωι τεωι — hina karpophorēsōmen tōi theōi). He changes the metaphor to that of the tree used in Romans 6:22. [source]
That we might bring forth fruit unto God [ινα καρποπορησωμεν τωι τεωι]
He changes the metaphor to that of the tree used in Romans 6:22. [source]
Are become dead [ἐθανατώθητε]
Rev., more accurately, ye were made dead, put to death; because this ethical death is fellowship with Christ's death, which was by violence. [source]
Who was raised []
An important addition, because it refers to the newness of life which issues from the rising with Christ. See Romans 6:3, Romans 6:11, Romans 6:13, Romans 6:22. [source]
Bring forth fruit []
The figure of marriage is continued, but the reference is not to be pressed. The real point of analogy is the termination of relations to the old state. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Romans 7:4

Romans 7:2 The law of the husband []
Her legal connection with him She dies to that law with the husband's death. There is an apparent awkwardness in carrying out the figure. The law, in Romans 7:1, Romans 7:2, is represented by the husband who rules (hath dominion ). On the death of the husband the woman is released. In Romans 7:4, the wife (figuratively) dies. “Ye are become dead to the law that ye should be married to another.” But as the law is previously represented by the husband, and the woman is released by the husband's death, so, to make the figure consistent, the law should be represented as dying in order to effect the believer's release. The awkwardness is relieved by taking as the middle term of comparison the idea of dead in a marriage relation. When the husband dies the wife dies (is brought to nought ) so far as the marriage relation is concerned. The husband is represented as the party who dies because the figure of a second marriage is introduced with its application to believers (Romans 7:4). Believers are made dead to the law as the wife is maritally dead - killed in respect of the marriage relation by her husband's death. [source]
Romans 7:2 That hath a husband [ὕπανδρος]
Lit., under or subject to a husband. The illustration is selected to bring forward the union with Christ after the release from the law, as analogous to a new marriage (Romans 7:4). [source]
Romans 1:13 Have some fruit [τινὰ καρπὸν σχῶ]
For the phrase, compare Romans 6:22. A metaphorical statement of what is stated literally in Romans 1:11. Not equivalent to bear fruit, but to gather as a harvest. Compare John 4:36; Philemon 1:22; Colossians 1:6. Fruit is a favorite metaphor with Paul. He uses it in both a good and a bad sense. See Romans 7:4, Romans 7:5; Romans 6:22; Galatians 5:22. [source]
Romans 8:36 We are killed [τανατουμετα]
Present passive indicative of τανατοω — thanatoō for which see note on Romans 7:4. Same idea of continuous martyrdom in 1 Corinthians 15:31. As sheep for the slaughter (ως προβατα σπαγης — hōs probata sphagēs). Objective genitive (σπαγης — sphagēs). [source]
1 Corinthians 7:1 It is good [καλὸν]
See on John 10:11. Not merely expedient, but morally salutary. The statement, however, is made in the light of circumstances, see 1 Corinthians 7:26, and is to be read with others, such as 2 Corinthians 11:2; Romans 7:4; Ephesians 5:28-33, in all which marriage is made the type of the union between Christ and His Church. See also Hebrews 13:4. [source]
1 Corinthians 7:1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote [περι δε ων εγραπσατε]
An ellipsis of περι τουτων — peri toutōn the antecedent of περι ων — peri hōn is easily supplied as in papyri. The church had written Paul a letter in which a number of specific problems about marriage were raised. He answers them seriatim. The questions must be clearly before one in order intelligently to interpret Paul‘s replies. The first is whether a single life is wrong. Paul pointedly says that it is not wrong, but good One will get a one-sided view of Paul‘s teaching on marriage unless he keeps a proper perspective. One of the marks of certain heretics will be forbidding to marry (1 Timothy 4:3). Paul uses marriage as a metaphor of our relation to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2; Romans 7:4; Ephesians 5:28-33). Paul is not here opposing marriage. He is only arguing that celibacy may be good in certain limitations. The genitive case with απτεσται — haptesthai (touch) is the usual construction. [source]
Galatians 4:6 Our hearts []
Note the interchange of persons: we might receive, ye are sons, our hearts. Comp. Romans 7:4. [source]
Galatians 2:19 I, through the law, am dead to the law [ἐγὼ διὰ νόμου νόμῳ ἀπέθανον]
For am dead, render died. Faith in Christ created a complete and irreparable break with the law which is described as death to the law. Comp. Romans 7:4, Romans 7:6. The law itself was the instrument of this break, see next verse Ἑγὼ is emphatic. Paul appeals to his personal experience, his decided break with the law in contrast with Peter's vacillation. [source]
Galatians 2:19 I through the law died to the law [εγω δια νομου νομωι απετανον]
Paradoxical, but true. See note on Romans 7:4, note on Romans 7:6 for picture of how the law waked Paul up to his real death to the law through Christ. [source]
1 Peter 1:3 Hath begotten us again [ἀναγεννήσας ἡμᾶς]
The verb is used by Peter only, and by him only here and 1 Peter 1:23. It is in the aorist tense, and should be rendered, as Rev., begat; because regeneration is regarded as a definite historical act accomplished once for all, or possibly because Peter regards the historical act of Christ's resurrection as virtually effecting the regeneration. The latter sentiment would be Pauline, since Paul is wont to speak of Christians as dying and rising with Christ. Romans 7:4; Romans 6:8-11. [source]

What do the individual words in Romans 7:4 mean?

Likewise brothers of me also you have been put to death to the law through the body - of Christ for - to belong you to another to the [One] out from [the] dead having been raised so that we should bear fruit - to God
Ὥστε ἀδελφοί μου καὶ ὑμεῖς ἐθανατώθητε τῷ νόμῳ διὰ τοῦ σώματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς τὸ γενέσθαι ὑμᾶς ἑτέρῳ τῷ ἐκ νεκρῶν ἐγερθέντι ἵνα καρποφορήσωμεν τῷ Θεῷ

Ὥστε  Likewise 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ὥστε  
Sense: so that, insomuch that.
ἀδελφοί  brothers 
Parse: Noun, Vocative Masculine Plural
Root: ἀδελφός  
Sense: a brother, whether born of the same two parents or only of the same father or mother.
μου  of  me 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive 1st Person Singular
Root: ἐγώ  
Sense: I, me, my.
καὶ  also 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: καί  
Sense: and, also, even, indeed, but.
ἐθανατώθητε  have  been  put  to  death 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Passive, 2nd Person Plural
Root: θανατόω  
Sense: to put to death.
τῷ  to  the 
Parse: Article, Dative Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
νόμῳ  law 
Parse: Noun, Dative Masculine Singular
Root: νόμος  
Sense: anything established, anything received by usage, a custom, a law, a command.
διὰ  through 
Parse: Preposition
Root: διά  
Sense: through.
σώματος  body 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Neuter Singular
Root: σῶμα  
Sense: the body both of men or animals.
τοῦ  - 
Parse: Article, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Χριστοῦ  of  Christ 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: Χριστός  
Sense: Christ was the Messiah, the Son of God.
τὸ  - 
Parse: Article, Accusative Neuter Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
γενέσθαι  to  belong 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Infinitive Middle
Root: γίνομαι  
Sense: to become, i.
ἑτέρῳ  to  another 
Parse: Adjective, Dative Masculine Singular
Root: ἀλλοιόω 
Sense: the other, another, other.
τῷ  to  the  [One] 
Parse: Article, Dative Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
ἐκ  out  from 
Parse: Preposition
Root: ἐκ 
Sense: out of, from, by, away from.
νεκρῶν  [the]  dead 
Parse: Adjective, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root: νεκρός  
Sense: properly.
ἐγερθέντι  having  been  raised 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Passive, Dative Masculine Singular
Root: ἐγείρω  
Sense: to arouse, cause to rise.
ἵνα  so  that 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ἵνα  
Sense: that, in order that, so that.
καρποφορήσωμεν  we  should  bear  fruit 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Subjunctive Active, 1st Person Plural
Root: καρποφορέω  
Sense: to bear fruit.
τῷ  - 
Parse: Article, Dative Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Θεῷ  to  God 
Parse: Noun, Dative Masculine Singular
Root: θεός  
Sense: a god or goddess, a general name of deities or divinities.