The first thing I notice in these verses is what caused Paul to die to the law: “Through the law I died to the law.” Romans 7v7-11 – The law showed Paul what sin was (e.g. covetousness), and awakened that sin in him. God’s instruction manual for life actually proved to be death to him. Romans 7v13 – It’s through the law that we see the sinfulness of sin, and if we see the law in the same way Paul did, Romans 7v18, it causes us to realise that we don’t have the ability to carry out the law, so we’re forced to give up on it as a means of justifying ourselves.
How did Paul die to the law? “I have been crucified with Christ.” Romans 7v4-6 – “through the body of Christ…” If we’re in Christ, then as far as the law is concerned, Christ’s death was our death.
What effect does dying to the law have? Romans 7v1: “the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives” Since we’re dead to the law, we’re released from all threat of punishment for breaking it. The weight of the law is no longer hanging over us, waiting to crush us when we do something wrong. All the crushing weight of the law landed on Jesus on the cross; there’s none left for us.
But the fact that the law is no longer hanging over us doesn’t mean we carry on sinning and it doesn’t bother us. Paul says “I died to the law, so that I might live to God… the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the son of God.”
Read Romans 6v5-14 – The fact that your old self was crucified with Christ means you’re no longer enslaved to sin, so if, like Paul, you’re going to live by faith in the Son of God who loved you and gave himself for you, you will latch onto the fact that you’re not enslaved to sin anymore – Christ has liberated you! – you’ll consider yourself dead to sin, and you’ll live to God – you’ll present yourself to God as an instrument for righteousness.