Have you ever seen a movie where the bad guy ends up being the person you least expected? When watching movies such as “Frozen,” “Fight Club” and many others, it can be quite a revelation when we get to know who the real villain is. In our Christian life, it can sometimes be difficult to see the enemy within unless there is a guideline that helps us see it. Paul in his letter to the Romans defines a set of guidelines that help us define what sin is.
What then shall we say? That the law is sin? 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.” Romans 7:7
It is interesting to see that Paul states that the law is what lets him know what sin is. If there were no law, then we would not know about our sins. The evil within would be veiled and in no way we would be able to find it. Here Paul identifies the law of God as an important tool to define sin and better yet, he gives us a tool by which we can assess our lives to see how good our personal walk with God is. Paul defines the law to be something to rejoice in and something that is good! In verse 13, however, he adds a very interesting detail:
Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.
When a person is sick, it is important to know what kind of illness they suffer from; therefore. the person must go to the doctor to determine what illness it is. The law works in the same way. Some could claim that if there was no law there would not be any sin. In reality sin is not a derivative of having a law but instead is the illness that the doctor of the law helps us see so we may get proper treatment for it. The law helps us see our condition. It reveals it and determines how severe our spiritual illness is. But the good thing is that when we find our sin, when we are able to know the enemy within, God is able to heal and restore our spiritual health by taking our sin away.
If you read the rest of the chapter, Paul presents this idea in his letter. What do you think? Can we claim that having the law is a good thing for our life? How can God’s law help you become a better Christian?
Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.