Sin was dead.
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On a recent trip to Mount Rushmore we stayed at a cabin in a beautiful setting. From the deck were views of horses playing in a meadow. Deer wandered carefree in the woods on the other side of the meadow. The mountains beyond captured the imagination with what might be in them or beyond them. The sun set each evening right there across that meadow, with colors that can’t be described.
The thought had not crossed my mind. We were standing there in holy reverence breathing in the views in the mountain air. Then the laughter started and all we could talk about was how much we wanted to violate this new law that had encroached on our moment. Knowledge of this new law caused sin to seize the opportunity to entice us to break it.
“What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead.”
Romans 7:7-8 New International Version
Sometimes I have read this verse and thought “Well then it is better not to know the Law. Leave me in happy ignorance.” But this is not Paul’s full argument. The Law does not merely entice the sin lying within up to the surface. The Law also draws us near to God in showing us more directly how Jesus has satisfied its requirements for us.
Lord, keep my feet secure on Your path. While knowledge of Your law is intended to point me to You and help me to know how to live a life that is pleasing to You, it also causes sin to surface from deep inside. Draw that sin out into the open where it can be crucified. Draw me close to You.
Copyright photo and text by David Brukiewa