Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Romans 7:11 - Sin's Strength

Romans 7:11
For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.

"The opportunity afforded by the commandment" refers to two things: First, the fact that the law creates boundaries, restricting us from certain activities, and since we are totally depraved, sinful by nature, we rebel and break it. This leads to the other opportunity from the law to sin: The law condemns disobedience to death. It is a just and deserved condemnation, but it is what gives sin the strength - without the condemnation of the law, sin would not be able to achieve anything, but since God is holy and just, perfectly pure, he must judge sin, he must condemn it. As a result, Satan, whose aim is to destroy us, has the opportunity to do so, by making us disobey God. We readily do this, since we are sinful by nature.

Does this in any way mean that the law is bad? That it should be completely disregarded, since it gives sin its power? No, it means the opposite (See v12). The law is from God, it is good - that is why it condemns sin. The law is good, it condemns evil. It is not God's fault that we are condemned, it is our own rebelliousness which condemns us.

Yet, God (though we do not in any way deserve it), secured a way for us to be washed clean, to be completely forgiven. He sent Jesus into the world. Jesus, his only son, who lived a perfect life. Jesus who alone did not deserve to die, since he alone did not sin. He died in our place, taking the sin of his people and God's wrath against it. He took it in full, and paid the price which we never could, since we have disobeyed God. As a result, everyone who turns to him is forgiven - he takes our sin, and we take his righteousness. He then rose again from the dead - he dealt with sin, and dealt with the consequences, rising again to prove that he had paid in full and there was now no condemnation by the law or by God. 

So, How do we turn to God? Repent and believe. Repentance is the actions of turning away from something. In this case: turning away from sin (disobedience) and turning to God (obedience). It is not the obedience which saves us, but good works/obedience to God's word result from being saved. Faith/belief is trust in God, that he has and will keep his promises, that Christ truly does save, that he truly did rise from the dead and prove that he conquered sin, and that he will bring us to eternal life with him instead of hell and eternal life like we deserve. Again, faith leads to actions (James 2:14 onwards). If you trust God, that he is right, that his way is better, you will obey him and live his way.

"Every sinner is not only exposed to death because he has sinned, and must, sooner or later, die; but he is miserable in both body and mind by the influence and the effects of sin. He lives a dying life, or a living death." - Clarke

Soli Deo Gloria!

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