Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. (Romans 7:4-6)
For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:19-20)
Paul is crystal clear on this point: we have become dead to the Law and delivered from it! The Law no longer applies to those in Christ.
When our Christian friends bring up this objection, they usually state it correctly (we have become dead to the law) but they mean the opposite (the law has become dead to us). Here is why that doesn't work:
In Romans chapter 7, Paul draws an analogy to marriage:
Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man. (Romans 7:1-3)
Let's see what Paul is saying:
|The husband is alive||The husband is dead|
|The wife is bound to her husband through the law||The wife is free from her husband through the law|
|The wife with another man is an adulteress||The wife is free to marry another man|
|Application to Us|
|We are alive to the Law||We are dead to the Law|
|We are in bondage to our sin||We are free from bondage to our sin|
|We cannot be with Christ||We are free to be with Christ|
In some Christian circles, this analogy has somehow become about freedom from the Law but that is not Paul's point.
Paul uses the remainder of chapter 7 to point out how the Law is not sin and that the Law ("which was to result in life" - Romans 7:10) resulted in death because of sin.
Humanity is bound in "marriage" to sin and we cannot be separated from it "until death do us part".
We cannot be "married" to Christ because we are already "married" to sin.
If we are to be married to Christ then our first "husband" must die: in the eyes of the Law that "marriage" must end.
And this is exactly what Paul says in Romans 7:4... "you (believer) have become dead to the Law". In the eyes of the Law we are dead... our marriage to sin is ended.
Paul did not say "you (believer) are still alive but the Law is dead to you".
In the passage from Galatians chapter 2, Paul is using this concept of "I am dead to the law" to demonstrate how those "in Christ" were crucified with Him, died with Him, and were resurrected with Him. "It is no longer I who live", says Paul, "but Christ"... by faith in the Son of God. In the eyes of the Law, the sinful man who was Paul is dead and only Christ lives.
Paul does not say that the Law is dead.