In Romans 7, Paul said that through the law, we were married. The law was like a marriage covenant, and it was for life. To whom—or to what—were we married? We were married to our fleshly nature. The whole essence of the law is that we are required to keep it in our own ability. Doing this is dependent on our fleshly nature, which explains why it never works.
Coming under the law is like participating in a marriage ceremony in which you are married to your fleshly nature. As long as your fleshly nature remains alive, you must remain married to it; you cannot divorce it and marry somebody else. The good news is that your first spouse died. When did that first spouse die? When Jesus died on the cross. Our old man was crucified with Him. When you grasp that fact, you say, “Praise God. I’m free. I don’t have to go on with this awful spouse of mine who gave me an awful life and gave me no blessings, peace, or righteousness. I’m not tied to that vile spouse any longer. I can be married to another.”
The alternative is to be married to the One who rose from the dead—the risen, glorified Christ. He can become your husband whether you are man or woman. What we are talking about is a relationship in the Spirit. In 1 Corinthians 6:15–16, Paul provided a picture of sexual union between a man and a prostitute. He used that picture of union to help people envision another kind of union that they can have—a union with the Lord. It is not sexual; it is spiritual—that is, a marriage relationship with the Lord. “He who is joined to the Lord is one” (1 Corinthians 6:17)—not in soul or in body, but in spirit.