Reading through Romans
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory. You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.
A reading from Romans: Romans 7:7-13 (NLT)
Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.” But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power. At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life, and I died. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead. But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good.
But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my death? Of course not! Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation to death. So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God’s good commands for its own evil purposes.
Reflection: Romans 7:7-13 (John Stott, The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World)
God’s law and Christian discipleship (7:1– 25)
Legalists fear the law and are in bondage to it. Antinomians hate the law and repudiate it. Law-abiding free people love the law and fulfill it.
(vs 7-13) A defense of the law: a past experience
The three devastating effects of the law in relation to sin: it exposes, provokes and condemns sin…. But the law is not in itself sinful, nor is it responsible for sin. Instead, it is sin itself, our sinful nature, which uses the law to cause us to sin and so to die. The law is exonerated; sin is to blame….
Indeed the extreme sinfulness of sin is seen precisely in the way it exploits a good thing (the law) for an evil purpose (death).
Take a criminal today. A man is caught red-handed breaking the law. He is arrested, brought to trial, found guilty, and sentenced to prison. He cannot blame the law for his imprisonment. True, it is the law which convicted and sentenced him. But he has no-one to blame but himself and his own criminal behavior. In a similar way Paul exonerates the law….
The law cannot save us because we cannot keep it, and we cannot keep it because of indwelling sin.
Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ, as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen