“I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death.” Romans 7:9–10
IN 1942, C S Lewis wrote a brilliant book entitled The Screwtape Letters. It tells the story of a senior demon teaching a junior demon how to exploit man’s weaknesses and frailties. Along the same lines, I would imagine that Romans 7:9 is probably the most studied and memorized verse in hell. All junior demons would be taught this verse and the lecture would be titled, “How to bring about a revival of sin”! According to Paul, when you introduce the law, there will be a REVIVAL OF SIN! And that’s not all. Apart from reviving sin, the law also kills and brings death! Isn’t it amazing, then, that there are well-meaning ministers who preach strongly on the Ten Commandments, thinking that imposing the law would cause sin to be removed?
The only way out of the vicious circle of defeat is to put the spotlight on the finished work of Jesus.
According to Romans 3:20, “by the law is the knowledge of sin.” In other words, without the law, there would be no knowledge of sin. For instance, you can drive at any speed that you like on a road that doesn’t have a speed limit and nobody can accuse you of speeding. But once the authorities put a speed limit on the same road, you now have the knowledge that if you drive beyond say, 70 miles an hour on this road, you would be breaking the law.
In the same way, Paul said, “For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet’” (Romans 7:7). That is why the enemy always pours accusations on you using the voice of a legalist. He uses the law and the commandments to show up your failures, to put a spotlight on how your behavior has disqualified you from fellowship with God, and to constantly point out how you are undeserving of His acceptance, love and blessings! The enemy uses the law to heap condemnation upon you and give you a sense of guilt and distance from God. He knows that the more condemnation and guilt you experience, the more likely you are to feel alienated from God and to continue in that sin. The only way out of this vicious circle of defeat is to put the spotlight on the finished work of Jesus, who by His death at the cross took your condemnation and qualified you to receive God’s acceptance, love and blessings forevermore.
Father, I thank You that there is no condemnation for me because I am in Christ. I thank You that my sins are forgiven and You see me righteous in Christ. Help me to always remember these eternal truths, especially when the enemy tries to use the law to condemn me. I thank You that today and every day, I have Your constant presence, love and acceptance.
The enemy’s favorite weapon to keep me defeated is the law. So I’ll put the spotlight on Jesus’ finished work and not my self-effort.
– 100 Days of Favor