For apart from the law sin is dead. Once I was alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life again and I died. The commandment that was meant for life resulted in death for me. For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good. (Romans 7:9-12)
Paul wants us to understand the excellence of God’s law and the deceitful character of sin. Sin lies to us at every turn. Sin even uses the law as an instrument against us. It deceives us into believing that obedience to the law is unprofitable and will keep us from achieving our goals. Sin presents its lie as a better truth, yet simultaneously covers the damaging consequences of our disobedience. Consider how the serpent twisted God’s command to Adam and Eve saying, “You will not surely die, but God knows that when you eat of it, you will become like God, knowing good and evil.” God’s commandment was good, but the enemy twisted the truth into a weapon to destroy.
Paul wants us to see both the goodness of God’s law and the terrible consequence of disobedience. He wants us to understand how clever our enemy is and that the sum of our struggle against sin ends in either victory or death. Therefore, we should take none of this lightly but be very serious in our pursuit of righteousness.
Lord, I see the gravity of my situation. I am in a life-and-death struggle against an enemy that seeks my destruction. As you have saved me from the power of sin, let me live victorious over my enemy. Help me to understand his lies and live by the truths you reveal.