From eternity past God’s intention has been that we the believers would be joined to Christ as our Husband, as typified by Eve being joined to Adam (Rom. 5:14; Gen. 2:18, 21-23; Isa. 54:5; Eph. 5:25-27). God created man to be dependent on Him and to live in union with Him, taking God as his life, content, and Husband. However, when man ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the “old man” was produced, who was independent of God and who usurped God’s position in relationship to man (Gen. 2:9, 16-17; 3:4-6; cf. Rom. 6:6). As revealed in Romans 7:1-4, man then became his own “husband.” Man “married” his overdeveloped old man instead of Christ, who is signified by the tree of life (Gen. 2:9; John 1:4; 15:1). Man thus left his spiritual standing as a female and took up the husband’s position of headship (1 Cor. 11:3). In this way the old man took Christ’s rightful position and fundamentally prevented man’s God-ordained marriage to Christ.
To expose the true nature of our old man as a usurping husband, God gave the Mosaic law to man, referred to as the “law regarding the husband” in Romans 7:2. Created man was held in bondage by the law because of the old man, who is fallen, totally independent of God, and incapable of fulfilling the righteous requirement of the law. When Paul came to this conclusion, he could only exclaim, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me…? Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (vv. 24-25a).
A marvelous fact is stated in Romans 6:6: “Our old man has been crucified with Him.” Because we were included in Christ’s death, our old husband was terminated with Him on the cross (Gal. 2:20). This has broken our marriage union with the old man and has simultaneously released us from the bondage of the “law regarding the husband” since “the law lords it over a man as long as he lives” (7:1-2). Furthermore, through Christ’s death and resurrection we are regenerated and return to our proper standing as a female before God, having been released from our old husband and the law that bound us that we might be joined to Christ (1 Pet. 1:3; Rom. 7:4). Praise the Lord that He has freed us from the law and our old husband, the old man, that we might be joined to Him, our new Husband! This marriage union, ordained by God from eternity, is the deepest and most satisfying romance in the universe, existing in the depths of our being where we are mingled with Him as one spirit (1 Cor. 6:16b-17; S.S. 1:2-4; 4:10; Eph. 5:25-32).
(Most references in the Further Reading can also be viewed on www.ministrybooks.org.)