Friends, the struggle with sin is real. But we have the upper hand!
7 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.” 8 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.
9 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, 10 and I died. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead. 11 Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me. 12 But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good.
13 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.
The law isn’t the problem and never has been. The law is a set of rules given to Moses from God. The law is divine and holy. Sin is defined as an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law. The law itself is not what causes sin. The law merely teaches us what is right and what is wrong.
Without God, we are incapable of obeying the law.
Satan knows this too. He used what was good to bring about sin in the Garden of Eden through deception. He will use what is good and holy to tempt us to do what is bad and unholy. If we are walking through life without a close relationship with God, we are vulnerable. We are wide-open to assault and we are defenseless to fight back. Offense, jealousy, and pride are just a few ways that the enemy can grab hold of us. He will plant a seed of deception and then feed it. Without knowledge of the Word of God, this seed grows and causes us to sin.
In the Scripture above, verse 8 reminds me of a child. The minute you tell a child they cannot do something, that is when they obsess on doing that very thing – regardless if they get in trouble. Unfortunately, this doesn’t change much when we grow older if we’re not walking with God.
It is part of our old-Adamic nature to want that which is forbidden.
The law points out those things which we are told not to do, making us want to do them. In this chapter of Romans, we see the struggle in switching from our old sinful life to our new life which includes Jesus. We see the struggle from trying to gain our righteousness through our own efforts versus gaining our righteousness ONLY through Jesus Christ.
The law also points out our immense need for a Savior. Without a Savior, we are incapable of being anything but sinners. With a Savior, we are set free from sin. Life with Christ offers everything that we need. And life without Him offers death. When we begin to understand these solid truths, we position ourselves to be used in mighty ways in His kingdom to set others free from darkness and bondage.
We simply cannot stay immature in our walk with Christ. The writer of the book of Hebrews understood this and urged us to mature and grow in Christ. He urged us to wean from milk and progress to solids as a baby would.
To protect ourselves from falling prey into the enemy’s hands, this maturation process is vital.
We need to lean into God’s strength and the power we’re given through the Holy Spirit. We need to spend time in His presence to work on our relationship with Him. He desires a personal, intimate relationship with each of us. As with all of our relationships, the main thing that makes the relationship thrive or starve is the time we spend nourishing and developing it.
The key thing that we can do to grow and mature is to dig in the Word of God. Get in the Word today and make it a daily habit. The Word of God is Jesus’ voice. And He tells us in the gospel of John that His sheep know His voice.
2 But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. 5 They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”
Jesus also tells us His sheep will run from a stranger and not follow that stranger. This is reassurance. If we know His voice, which is His Word, we WILL recognize Him and follow Him only. He walks ahead of us and leads us. We cannot go astray as long as we stay in His Word.
Another key to protecting ourselves from the enemy is to fellowship with one another.
Jesus never intended for us to walk alone. Through His own example we see the importance of surrounding ourselves with like-minded, Jesus-loving people. When we have solid people around us, they lift us up and encourage us when we grow weary. They help us stay on the right path. We owe it to one another to challenge ourselves to rise up and grow and become the very best ambassadors for Jesus Christ that we can be.
We’ll continue to see this struggle between sin and Christ as we proceed in the book of Romans. But very soon, we’ll see the wonderful ways that the Holy Spirit helps us to conquer sin. Stay with me so that we can learn and grow in Christ together.
Stay in the Light and the Love Always,