Tuesday: The Law is Holy

Read Romans 7:12. How do we understand this text in the context of what Paul has been discussing?

Because the Jews revered the law, Paul exalts it in every way possible. The law is good for what it does, but it can’t do what it was never meant to do, to save us from sin.

Sermon on the Mount

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For that we need Jesus, because the law – whether the entire Jewish system or the moral law in particular – cannot bring salvation. Only Jesus and His righteousness, which comes to us by faith, can.

Whom does Paul blame for his condition of “death,” and what does he exonerate? Why is that distinction important? Rom. 7:13.

In Romans 7:13, Paul is presenting the “law” in the best sense possible. He chooses to blame sin, not the law, for his terrible sinful condition; that is, his working “all manner of concupiscence [lust]” (Rom. 7:8). The law is good, for it is God’s standard of conduct, but as a sinner Paul stands condemned before it.

Why was sin so successful in showing up Paul to be a terrible sinner? Rom. 7:14-15.

Carnal means fleshy. Thus, Paul needed Jesus Christ. Only Jesus Christ could take away the condemnation (Rom. 8:1). Only Jesus Christ could free him from slavery to sin.

Paul describes himself as “sold under sin.” He is a slave to sin. He has no freedom. He can’t do what he wants to do. He tries to do what the good law tells him to do, but sin won’t let him.

By this illustration, Paul was trying to show the Jews their need of the Messiah. He had pointed out already that victory is possible only under grace (Rom 6:14). This same thought is reemphasized in Romans 7. Living under the “law” means enslavement to sin, a merciless master.

What has been your own experience with how sin enslaves? Have you ever tried to play with sin, thinking you could control it as you wished, only to find yourself under a vicious and merciless taskmaster? Welcome to reality! Why, then, must you surrender to Jesus, and die to self daily?

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons