Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. (Romans 7:7–11, NIV 1984).
My Musings – When he was young, I think my son might have believed there was a book that men get when they become fathers (see yesterday’s “amusing”). He called us last night, as he does most weeks, which at some point during the conversation often results in a bit of reminiscing. It was yesterday’s blog that started the reminiscing this week. It went something like this, “you know dad, the only reason I wanted to watch ‘that certain cartoon or movie’ was because you said I couldn’t.”
It’s an age old problem right? Satan’s oldest ploy. There is a reason that whatever “it” happens to be, “it” is referred to as the “forbidden fruit.” You won’t find this in the dad’s book, but you will find it in the Father’s Book. “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16–17, NIV 1984). “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” (Genesis 3:6, NIV 1984).
When I forbade my son from watching those shows, I thought I was doing it for his own good. When God forbids something (“Thou shalt not”), we know He is doing it for our own good. In each case, “the very commandment that was intended to bring [good behavior] actually brought [bad behavior].” Because “sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in [us] every kind of [forbidden] desire.”
So what’s the point? “Is the law sin?” We are tempted to say yes, because of the result. But as Paul exclaims, “certainly not!” Why? read the text again, carefully. It is not the law that causes bad behavior. It makes us aware of what is right and what is wrong. It is sin “seizing the opportunity” that causes us to desire that which it forbidden. But in the end, it is us that makes the choice to actually sin.
My Advice – “Who will rescue [us] from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24–25, NIV 1984). Want to be rescued? “Seize the moment.” If you have not done so, accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. If you have accepted Christ, but have given into forbidden desires, “If [you] confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive [your] sins and purify [you] from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9, NIV 1984).