Romans 7:1–12 (NKJV)

1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. 6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

Sin’s role in the law is found in the fact that the covenant of the law is similar to a marriage. The Israelites had bound themselves to a covenant dependent on the law and committed to the law. The law pointed out their sin, and therefore was a master to them. Their flesh ran after sin, seeking it out for some temporary pleasure, and they were bound to the law in order to find some method of forgiveness or atonement for that sin. They had no other remedy. However, the death of Christ and His resurrection made the people dead to sin and the law if they would accept the grace of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Just as a marriage covenant was broken by death, the covenant with the law was broken by the death and resurrection of Christ. and the death of the people to the law. Therefore, they could make covenant with Christ in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter of the law. Christ brought a new life to those who believed!

7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. 9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. 10 And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. 12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.

The law is not necessarily evil. It does not lead one to wrong living. Instead, the law was the tool whereby the people of God could be pointed to the truth of their sin. Until someone shows you right and wrong, you have less chance to live right. The law, then, is a taskmaster, but the task is right living, which can then be achieved by a new life in Christ, a walk with the Savior that teaches and shows the believer the way to live right. So do not curse the law and assume that every action you commit is excused. We do not sin more just so that the grace of God may be applied more. Instead, grace not only forgives, but also keeps the believer in a walk that is holy. Sin should be the exception, not the rule, in the life of an overcoming believer. Enjoy the privilege of grace for sins committed, but continue to hate the sin which trips, scrapes, and beats the human being that dwells in it. Walk free because of the grace of God, and walk holy because of the grace of God. There is value in the law, to remind us of the standard to which God helps the believer live through grace!

Artwork from https://godcenteredlife.org/devotional/romans-71-12-what-about-the-law/

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