Day 58: How Sin Comes to Life

Romans 7:7-8

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? May it never be! However, I wouldn’t have known sin, except through the law. For I wouldn’t have known coveting, unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, finding occasion through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of coveting. For apart from the law, sin is dead.

It might be easy to think that laws are bad, but it is not the law that is bad. The law may help to bring the bad out, but it is the lawbreaker that is the bad one.

It is easy for people to think that they are better than others because they only focus on certain laws and ignore the others. In reality, as we have read, all are lawbreakers, even the police. It is important for us to have mercy on others because we also need it.

One interesting thing about a law is that it causes us to want to break it. If we didn’t know about the law, we may not think about it much at all. Although the rebellious desires are inside our hearts, they don’t have “occasion” to come out of us. The law provides that occasion. For instance, if someone says to not touch wet paint, what do we automatically want to do? What about a rule that says to not walk in the grass or eat food filled with sugar? Rules really bring out our rebellion and God knows that this is true as He expresses here in Romans.

In a very clear way, The Law of God gives life to our sin so that it is obvious that we are sinners. Without the law, sin really doesn’t reveal itself for us. When there is no law, it may seem like crime goes down, but that’s only because no one is looking! God doesn’t want us to be deceived about our true condition. This brings up the question: If the law only shows how bad we are, what is there to help us actually do what is right as a Christian? Notice that Paul is preparing us in order to answer this important question.