Romans 7:7-12 A Good That Brings Bad

What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin,seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

A Good That Brings Bad

It is good to go home for Christmas.  I was in my home with friends and family around me this year.  We went to church on Christmas Eve and we played lots of games together.  However, I slipped into a role where I talked about God less and was less of the person I was created to be. The same kind of thing used to happen when I went home to England.

There was a role that I used to play as a child.  My father would change the rules in the games that we played, or he would dictate how the house was to be run.  I felt powerless and depressed.  When I would come home to England from Japan or Pakistan or wherever else I had been living, a pathetic role would awaken in me.  It was good to go home, but I would see that within me was a powerless child who couldn’t assert himself.

Paul says that the law is like that. It is a good thing, but in its presence I am shown that I have not arrived.  I am not yet the person I was created to be.  Having been born into a corrupted state, my corruption shows up in the face of the law.  If I am not to do something (do not covet), I find that I want to do it.  Sin wakes up and shows its ugly head.  In fact, through the good rules that God has made I can see that I am not good.

Prayer

I see in many circumstances that I have not yet become the man I was created to be.  Let me stay close to You and live out the life you have given me which overcomes the world and keeps the law.  May my rebellion become less because of the power of The Spirit.

Questions

  1. Do you ever become a different person around different people? What triggers that?
  2. What does Paul say shows us our true condition and even kills us?
  3. In what way does sin seize opportunity?
  4. Which commandment shows your sin most clearly?
  5. What is the role of the law in your life?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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