Now, dear brothers and sisters—you who are familiar with the law—don’t you know that the law applies only while a person is living? For example, when a woman marries, the law binds her to her husband as long as he is alive. But if he dies, the laws of marriage no longer apply to her. So while her husband is alive, she would be committing adultery if she married another man. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law and does not commit adultery when she remarries.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God. When we were controlled by our old nature, sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death. But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.
God’s Law Reveals Our Sin
Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.” But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power. At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life, and I died. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead. Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me. But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good.
But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my death? Of course not! Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation to death. So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God’s good commands for its own evil purposes. -Romans 7:1-13 (NLT)
In a nutshell, I recall in earlier days (and sometimes the more recent ones) times when I desperately sought some way to skirt issues surrounding things I’d done or excuse away things I thought ‘violated the law.’ You know what? They usually did violate God’s laws and were consequentially sinful. The more I thought about how I needed to measure up and fell short, the more frustrated I became. That’s when thoughts like “you’re not really saved” or “you’ll never be good enough” that ignore any thought of God’s grace creep in, undoubtedly to the delight of satan.
As time goes on and I make up for wasted years in exploring God’s Word, I grow more and more in the knowledge of His grace for me. I suspect I can only imagine a drop in the ocean (if that) of His infinite power and grace. Now, when that voice [that the devil loves] tells me I’m not good enough, I simply agree -and give thanks to God for the fact that His grace is good enough.
Under the law, I would make feeble attempts to keep it — only to fail repeatedly and be beaten down by the sinful nature of the flesh. Under grace, I see the law more as God intended us to see it and want to do what is right because I want to please God out of love versus appease His wrath.
Here’s two verses that can never be quoted enough:
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. – Romans 8:1 (NLT)
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. – Ephesians 2:8 (NLT)
Thank you, Lord Jesus. I love You.