Romans 7:7-10

In Romans 7:7-10 Paul asks some clarifying questions about the law. “What then shall we say? That the law is sin?  If we follow the train of thought we can understand how someone might infer this. Paul insisted that we must die to the law if we will bear fruit to God. Someone must think, “Surely there is something wrong with the law!” He quickly answers the question:  By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” The law is like an x-ray machine; it reveals what is there but hidden. You can’t blame an x-ray for what it exposes. Neither can you blame the law for revealing the condition of our heart.

Paul describes the dynamic where the warning “Don’t do that!” may become a call to action because of our sinful, rebellious hearts. It isn’t the fault of the commandment, but it is our fault. “But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead.” In American history, we know that the Prohibition Act didn’t stop drinking. In many ways it made drinking more attractive to people because of our desire to break boundaries set by the commandment. Once God draws a boundary for us, we are immediately enticed to cross that boundary – which is no fault of God or His boundary, but the fault of our sinful hearts.

The weakness of the law isn’t in the law – it is in us. Our hearts are so wicked that they can find opportunity for all manner of evil desire from something good like the law of God. Children can be innocent before they know or understand what law requires. This is what Paul refers to when he says I was alive once without the law. “I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.” When we do come to know the law, the law shows us our guilt and it excites our rebellion, bringing forth more sin and death. The law amplifies the sin that we are choosing.

Sin leads us into death. Sin does this by deception. Sin deceives us:

  • Because sin falsely promises satisfaction.
  • Because sin falsely claims an adequate excuse.
  • Because sin falsely promises an escape from punishment.

The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me.” It isn’t the law that deceives us, but it is sin that leads us to disobedience. Sin, when followed, leads to death – not life. One of Satan’s greatest deceptions is to get us to think of sin as something good that God wants to deprive us of. When God warns us to stay away from sin, He warns us away from something that will kill us.

One response to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on Matthews' Blog.


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