Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me. (Romans 7:11 NCV)
In Romans chapter 7, Paul tells us that the law (whether we obey it perfectly or not) is powerless to save us. It is only through Jesus Christ that we are saved. Paul states in verse 11 that sin (Satan) takes advantage of the law to deceive man.
Humm…since the beginning of time, Satan has used the tool of deception to trick us into questioning the very word (law or command) of God. Remember the question the serpent asked Eve? He said:
“Did God say ‘you shall not eat from any tree in the garden?'” Gen. 3:1
That was not the command at all. God said:
“You may eat freely from every tee in the garden but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” Gen. 2:16-17
In the Garden of Eden, Satan tried to get Eve to question what God said thus deceiving her into breaking the only law God had in place. Satan hasn’t changed his tune one bit…he does the same to us today by misusing the law. The law itself is not sinful or evil. Its function is to reveal sin. Paul tells us in Romans 7: 7 – 8 that we would not know sin if it were not for the law.
Let’s look at this example. One of the 10 commandments is “You shall not steal.” (ESV Exodus 20:15) Now, this one doesn’t sound so difficult to keep does it? You may be thinking “I haven’t stolen anything so I’m good.” Well, you may not have broken into someone home or business and stolen money or items off the shelf…but if you’ve ever taken a pen from your job, or chatted on Facebook (sent text messages or held phone conversations) with friends during working hours without permission from your boss…you are stealing. That’s right. In this example, you’ve stolen a pen and the time your employer is paying you to do the job you were hired to do.
Taking a pen from work may not seem like that big of a deal, but in God’s eyes, a sin is a sin. A law has been broken so a penalty must be paid. Now I hear what you must be thinking… a pen really? It’s not a big deal. I took pens from my office all the time too… and some employers don’t even care. But what about a ream of paper for your home printer, or a notebook for home/personal use.
Praise God for his grace and mercy…more importantly Praise God for sending His son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for our sin. Jesus is the only One who can rescue us from sin and ultimate death.