Are you in a struggle with sin? I was thinking about this when out for a run this morning. The apostle Paul said;
What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, " You shall not covet." (Rom 7:7 [NASB]).Let us stay with this sin of coveting that the apostle speaks of in this passage. I see something that belongs to someone else, I desire it, then I remember the Law;
"You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor." (Ex 20:17 [NASB]).So when I remember the Law I say to myself, "Don't covet!" which causes me to think about the object all the more. And the more I say "Don't covet!" the more I think about the object. Is it the Law then that causes me to do this? No, it is sin which dwells in me as the apostle says in the next verse.
But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. (Rom 7:8 [NASB]).Sin uses the Law to produce coveting. So if I then cannot defeat sin through the Law do I then go on sinning? May it never be! I hate sin; I desire to be like my Lord Jesus Christ. So how then do I defeat sin? The apostle asks that same question;
Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? (Rom 7:24 [NASB]).And then gives the only answer;
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. (Rom 7:25 [NASB]).The only answer for any of us is Jesus Christ. I cannot be righteous by keeping the Law, I have already broken the Law. By the time I think "Don't Covet!" I have already done so and then after I have thought "Don't Covet!" I do so all the more. Nor can I pay the price for my sin; the wages of sin is death and eternal punishment in the lake of fire. The only answer is to look to Jesus; He alone is both my righteousness and my propitiation. He did what I could not do; He kept the Law perfectly and He died in my place for my sins and then having satisfied the wrath of God He defeated death and arose from the dead. So instead of thinking "Don't Covet!" or go on sinning; instead look to Jesus, and remember that He never sinned, and He died on the cross for our sins, and on the third day He arose from the dead defeating both sin and death.