Is The Law Sin?—Romans 7:7

"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" (Romans 7:7)

After hearing Paul's argument that we are freed from both the sin nature and the Law through Christ, the next logical question was 'Is the law sin?' We see the correlation between the two, the law strengthens the desire within us to sin and sin gives the law power over us. When you see that the law is what condemns us then it is natural to start questioning it's intent.... Since the law strengthens sin against us and is used to condemn us, is the law identical with sin?

Paul's response, certainly not, God forbid! He used the strongest nuance of the Greek text to stress that this isn't so. Instead he illustrates one of the benefits of the Law, the law makes us aware of what sin is. The law is what brought about the consciousness of sin and the sense of guilt associated with it so that we would know what sin was. When the commandments came, along with it came the awareness of our inability to keep the Law. Later on in this very same passage, Paul tells us that the sin used the law as a weapon against us so that we could plainly see our sin and our shortcomings before God ( Romans 7:13 ). The Law is not sin, the Law merely gave us a perfect representation of the righteousness that God ascribes to. Sin is what made us fall short of obtaining this. ( Romans 3:23 ) When you look at vastness between the our sin and God's holiness, then the realization comes that you will never be righteous before God by observing the law, because the law is what convict you of your sins. ( James 2:10 )

Therefore the Law is not sin, the law is good because it arouses the need within us for a Savior. The law is the vehicle for us to come to Christ Jesus and fall upon his mercy and loving kindness. Paul says in Romans 3, "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin." ( Romans 3:20 ). The law, when taught correctly points us to Christ, which is a good thing. He then goes on to say, "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. ( Romans 3:21-22 ) It takes faith to believe in Jesus as your Savior, and this faith in what Jesus accomplished in his death and resurrection is what saves you. Therefore the law, which solely points to Christ, is a good thing when that faith in Christ is realized.

Today I pray that you get a revelation of grace. May you fully understand the purpose of the Law and how Christ fulfilled it in order to rescue you from sins dominion. May you understand that you are not bound by the written code but you are called to live by the Spirit of God in true righteousness and holiness. May you live according to who you really are in your spirit through Christ Jesus. Amen.


Previous: Romans 7:6  Next: Romans 7:8

Original article published November 3, 2009.

Juli Camarin

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