“Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.” But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power. At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life, and I died. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead. Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me. But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good. But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my death? Of course not! Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation to death. So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God’s good commands for its own evil purposes.”
Romans 7:7-13 NLT
God's commandments are not a burden, rather, they are a blessing. I John 5:3 says “Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.” NLT. God, in His mercy, gave us laws (standards) to live by. It wasn't because He was restraining us from living life to its fullest potential. To the contrary, He is the author of life and knows full well the potential of life. The problem is sin. Because of the fall of man to sin, we all now have, by inheritance, a sinful, corrupt, and perverted nature. Left to ourselves, we would self destruct. Only a foolish man would believe otherwise. God's commands were given to us to set the boundaries for wholesome, productive living. The command gives us the standard to see where God wants us to be and also to see where we are in our current state. As we look upon the commandments, we see our failure in meeting its standard. It shows us our transgression (violation). It is not meant to beat us over the head in abuse. It is meant to show us our fallen condition. Here in today's passage, Paul uses the commandment "You must not covet" as a case in point. This command is found in Exodus 20:17 and Deuteronomy 5:21 as the last of the Decalogue (10 commandments). We wouldn't know that coveting is wrong if we didn't have the standard set forth in these commands.
Now, we must not look at the command as a kill joy but, rather look at it as a restraint from evil. The law of God isn't evil. Sin is evil. Our only problem is that we see how high God's holy standard is and how far down we are in sin. This gives us the proper perspective of life. We have all sinned (Romans 3:23). Sin is defined as missing God's intended standard. So, how do we reach that standard? We turn to Jesus, the only human (God who took on human flesh) who ever lived that was perfect and holy. His substitutionary sacrifice enables us to come to God acceptably. Once we have acknowledged our sin and turned from it in repentance, and ask for forgiveness through Jesus Christ, we are placed in right standing with God.
Now that we are His adopted sons and daughters, we are to represent Him in the most holy fashion! Not as religious Pharisees, but in our character and conduct. We will want to please our Father. Jesus didn't come to set us free to sin. He came to set us free from sin!!!
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Rev. Curtis Norris