Useful Bible Studies > Romans Commentary > chapter 7

God's law declares the truth about our sin

Romans 7:7-8

It is only by Godís law that we can truly know our sin. Our sin means the wrong and evil things in our lives that offend God. Our conscience, or moral judgement, might warn us when we are doing something wrong. However, our conscience is not accurate enough. Only Godís law can accurately show us our sin.

For example, the last of the 10 commands in Exodus 20:1-17 is against jealous thoughts. It seems hard for us to believe that a mere thought can offend God. Without such a clear command, even Paul might not have known that these jealous and selfish thoughts are wrong.

However, our wrong desires cause very great troubles in the world (1 Timothy 6:10). James 1:14-15 shows how our wrong desires cause our evil acts. To be jealous, is to desire something that God has not given to us. We can see how so many of the sins in Exodus 20:1-17 are the direct result of this wrong attitude. For example, we steal when we are jealous of someone elseís possessions.

We know that Godís law is not the cause of our wrong attitudes and actions. However, when we are living as Godís enemies (see Romans 5:10), of course we oppose his authority over our lives. If at that time we know Godís law, our wrong actions are more serious because of that knowledge (2:17-24).

If God had made no rule for our lives, we could not of course offend against it. If God had not made us aware of his greatness and power, we could not know him (1:20). However, God has done these things; therefore, we have no proper excuse for our wrong and selfish behaviour. So, we should confess our evil deeds to him and we should invite him into our lives. We, who were Godís enemies, can become his friends, because of the death of Christ (5:6-11).

Next part: Choose life, not death (Romans 7:9-11)


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© 2022, Keith Simons.