THE NATURE OF SIN

Scripture Reading:  Romans 7:7-13

“Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means!  It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.”  (Romans 7:13)

The law of God does not condemn us; disobedience to the law does.  Remember that the law tells us how God wants us to live.  The law itself is good and holy — “So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good” (v. 12).  The problem is not the law but rather it is our sinful disobedience to the law.

Remember also that the law shows us our sinful condition — “Since through the law comes knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20b).  When we read the law our sin becomes obvious to us — “in order that sin might be shown to be sin.”  The problem is that sin is deceitful and deceptive.  We often fail to acknowledge the grievous nature of sin — “and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.”  

How do we disobey God’s law?  First there are sins of omission.  These are the things we have failed to do that we are obligated to do.  We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.  When we fail to love God in this manner, we have committed a sin of commission.

Second, there are sins of commission.  These are the things that we have done that we are obligated not to do.  In Paul’s case, it was covetousness (v. 8).   The Tenth Commandment tells us that we are not to covet.  When we do, we have committed a sin of commission.

Sin is deceitful beyond all measure.  We make excuses for our sinful actions and thoughts.  We fail to recognize the grievous nature of all sins.  We take sin way too lightly.  Remember that the “least” of our sins caused Jesus to die.  Let us heed the words of the writer to the Hebrews — “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13).

Lord God,  I confess that I often do not take sin seriously enough.  I know that I do things that You have told me not to do and that I don’t do things that You want me to do.  Please forgive me.  I am thankful that Jesus came to take my sins and die on my behalf for them.  Give me the power to recognize sin and to resist it.

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