10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.
As mentioned yesterday, without the Law, sin is not even considered, but the Law in itself doesn’t save us from sin. Legalism – the attempt to secure righteousness in God’s sight by good works, believing that one can earn or merit God’s approval by performing the requirements of the law – is not the answer.
A man asked: “Can we truly, as Christians, claim a sinless life?”
Ravi Zacharias, Christian apologist who recently passed away, responded with a no, for 2 reasons:
1) We would not need a Savior if we were sinless to start with.
2) If we could live a sinless life we wouldn’t need the constant presence of the Holy Spirit.
The Father forgives, the Son saves, the Holy Spirit empowers.
That indwelling presence is a constant necessity to battle sin.
Paul continues in chapter 7, verse 14 by stating the passage talks about the battle of good and evil within man – which includes this well-known verse (v.19) “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing”.
I used to understand this passage as the current state of a believer, knowing we are still going to struggle with sin. But the more I read and thought about it, I was more inclined to understand this as the state of the one that lived by the Law, as a slave to sin, powerless. “The evil I don’t want to do, this I keep doing” comes out from the mouth of one who has no power or no rights to say no. Paul then wouldn’t be talking about himself with the use of “I”, but it would be impersonating the one who lived by the Law.
The reason why I say this is because in Romans 8 we read about a different picture, a life that’s lived by the Spirit and empowered by the Spirit, no longer as slaves but as sons and daughters of the Lord on High.
Romans 8: 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,Father.”
Thoughts for the day
- In what ways have I tried to earn God’s approval by my own deeds?
- Do I truly believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to deliver me from the power of sin and death?
- What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
- What does this passage tell you about humanity?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
- Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your grace, which has set me free from a life under the law and the power of sin in my life. Thank You for sending Christ Jesus – whose own death freed me from the power of sin and death. I pray that I may walk in spirit and truth as I submit to the Holy Spirit. Let my old sinful nature be kept in the place of death. Help me to walk in spirit and truth and not to go back to my old ways, knowing that I have been set free and I am enabled to stand in freedom, as I submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit, in Jesus name I pray, amen.