Part 4 – I Didn’t Know It Was Wrong
From this week’s verses from Romans 7(verses 7-12) we see that the apostle Paul (and all of us) didn’t really see the sinfulness of his/our hearts and his/our blatant disregard for God’s law before our conversion to Christ. We understood a basic moral code that the Lord had written on our hearts and that which we learned from family and culture, but unbelievers don’t or can’t comprehend how much we ‘hate’ God’s law until the moment we are converted to Christ.
It is at that time that we see – spiritually, and maybe later cognitively – that not only were we antagonistic towards the way of the Lord, but that we had no desire to live up to His holy standards. It was only after he came to faith – as Paul is describing here – that he realized that the law (in this case, coveting) didn’t help him to be obedient, but rather only stirred up within him (his sinful nature – before his conversion, and ‘flesh’ after his conversion) the desire to covet more.
This awareness is helpful because it shows us:
- We can’t follow the law perfectly
- The law can’t save us
- Jesus followed the law perfectly for us
- We are now free to follow the law because it’s the right and beneficial thing for us to do, rather than following it to be justified.
So, to summarize the summary: It’s not until we come to faith that we finally see how lost we were, and that sin was (and will continue to be) an issue for us. But through the atonement, sin’s grip has been released from us, and by God’s Spirit and grace we can deal effectively with the remaining sin in our flesh. But we can’t do it on our own!