Passage of the Day: Romans 7: 7 [note verse from context in bold/underlined] … Rom. 7: 4 ... So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. 7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "Do not covet."
My Journal for Today: If you’ve been with me here, In the past week of devotional entries, we’ve seen the truth that God’s Law cannot save us (see Rom. 7: 4 – 5 above, which is the context for today’s highlight verse (Rom. 7: 7). And continuing on, … once we are converted Christians, the law can help to sanctify us (see Rom. 7: 6) by being our mirror unto truth. However and therefore, in today’s focus verse, we see that God’s Law is also not to be considered evil or sinful either. That’s what John MacArthur desired to explore in his next few devotional entries from Strength for Today. And so, in the next few days, I will follow suit by exploring what God’s Law does for the believer.
And the first of the reasons for God’s Law remaining a viable spiritual force in the life of a New Covenant Christian is that The Law reveals sin. God’s Law is His Holy standard; and without such a standard of righteousness the concept of “sin” becomes meaningless (see 1st John 3: 4 as well as Romans 3: 20, 4: 15, and 5: 13). That is why the Apostle Paul was/is so emphatic in today’s verse of record that The Law, coming from a Holy and Righteous God, Who could never be evil to produce sin in man. And as you read on in Romans 7 (primarily after v. 14), this was very personal for Paul, who had once lived a counterfeit version of God’s Law as a Pharisee and a pursuer of Christians. And even after Paul came to know Christ as the true Messiah, he still recognized, from the Law, that he struggled against sin in his life, … the Law revealing just how sinful he was even as a believer in Christ [again read Rom. 7: 14 – 24 - linked here].
We note in today’s highlight verse, Paul uses the sin of covetousness as his example of sinfulness, because the Apostle wanted us to see that God’s Law reveals more than merely external behavioral sin [such as murder or theft]. It also reveals internal – attitudinal - sin as well. It becomes God’s all-revealing mirror of holiness, which, when we use it as God’s standard, provides us with a clear picture of how inadequate we are in dealing with sin without Christ as our Savior and His Spirit as our guide and enabler to avoid sin. God’s Law reveals ALL of whom we are … or are not … but only IF we are willing to look into that mirror to see ourselves through God’s eyes of holiness … to recognize our sinful form … and to let God’s truth (primarily from His Holy Word) guide us to His transforming grace.
God’s word, … His truth, is that mirror, revealing God’s holiness and our sinfulness. How often and how deeply are we looking into that mirror to allow God’s Law to reveal us and to guide us toward the righteousness demanded by a Holy God [see Matt. 6: 33 - and I hope you have that one memorized!]? Taking time, as I have this morning, to stand before God’s mirror will reveal who we are; and even more importantly whom God wants us to become as the image of our Lord, Jesus, becomes clear in our viewing of His truth.
My Prayer Today: You reveal me by Your Truth, my Lord. Amen