Unlimited: Knowing What Sin Is
Nov 15, 2022 622
Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” (Romans 7:7b)
Paul tells us that the function of the law is to show us what sin is. The law is like a magnifying glass by which you can see something, in this case sin, more clearly. It isn’t the sin itself.
God’s revelation throughout history is not static. It has always been progressive. In general terms, his revelation began with the written code of the law and punishment for its violation, and ended with the spiritual principle underpinning the law, and with grace.
It is the same way in which we teach our children. When they are very young, they have no ability for higher-order decision making. At that stage we tend to tell them to “Do this” or “Don’t to this,” along with the positive and negative consequences.
Paul tells us that the function of the law is to show us what sin is.
As they develop and grow we teach them the principles that govern life, so that they can learn to make their own decisions in the complexities and ambiguities of real life.
This is the same with God’s revelation of law throughout the history of humanity. It all pointed to Jesus’ demonstration of the character of God while on earth, and to heaven’s full and perfect outpouring of love for humanity at the Cross. The law was meant to point us away from sin and to Christ as our Saviour.
In Romans 7, Paul quotes from the Ten Commandments, and he says that they serve a purpose. What are your attitudes to the Ten Commandments? How have they been helpful in your life?