7 What should we say then? That the law is sinful? Not at all! Yet I wouldn’t have known what sin was unless the law had told me. The law says, “Do not want what belongs to other people.” (Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:21) If the law hadn’t said that, I would not have known what it was like to want what belongs to others. 8 But the commandment gave sin an opportunity. Sin caused me to want all kinds of things that belong to others. A person can’t sin by breaking a law if that law doesn’t exist. 9 Before I knew about the law, I was alive. But then the commandment came. Sin came to life, and I died. 10 I found that the commandment that was supposed to bring life actually brought death. 11 When the commandment gave sin the opportunity, sin tricked me. It used the commandment to put me to death. 12 So the law is holy. The commandment also is holy and right and good. 13 Did what is good cause me to die? Not at all! Sin had to be recognized for what it really is. So it used what is good to bring about my death. Because of the commandment, sin became totally sinful.
In the permissive world we live in it seems that anything can be justified – it’s not trendy to ‘judge’ the actions of others. But it is my own actions I need to be concerned with. Without the ‘Gold Standard’ laid out by the law then I am free to do whatever I want without guilt. However I am called by God to live another way. It’s always a choice to do the right thing, it’s not our default setting. In fact the wrong thing can often seem so much more appealing!
The law is like an electric fence – it’s there to keep us safe from what lies beyond it, and if you push against it you are going to feel pain. I have to be responsible for my actions, try to make good choices and own up to my mistakes when I make them. The law is there to show me how much I need Jesus. Real freedom comes when we understand how much Jesus has done for us, sparing us from the condemnation that comes from failing to live up to the law.
Lord Jesus thank you so much for the freedom we find in you. Thank you that you set me free from condemnation. Lord help me to love you with all of my being and help me to love others just like you love me. Forgive me Father for the times when I get things wrong. Thank you Lord that your grace is more than enough. Amen
Written by Christine Knight