Imagine you are sitting at home one day, and a friend walks in and sets some things on your kitchen table. You don’t think anything of it until he says, “Hey, whatever you do—don’t look in that bag on the table.” What’s the first thing that happens when you hear those words? Of course you want to look in the bag.
The law (not to look) pointed out an area of weakness in you (your desire to know what your friend has). The apostle Paul pointed out this fleshly tendency when he wrote in Romans 7:7–8…
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.” But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead.
Sin is like a serpent on a cold winter day. It’s frozen, inert. But once the heat of the sun (the law) touches it, it begins to thaw out and receive life. Is the sunlight bad? No! The sunlight is good. It just exposed what was already there—the sin living in us.
That’s exactly why back in verses 4–6 Paul said…
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. 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. 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.
God’s law shines a spotlight on our sin—and points to Jesus as our way of living in victory over that sin. And because we now have Christ in us, we’ve died to the law and are free to live in the newness of the Spirit!
This changes everything. We no longer are bound to the old letter of the law, but we can live in freedom through Christ Jesus.
Jesus fulfilled every word of the Old Testament law and stripped sin of its power. So don’t look to rigid obedience to overcome sin and get right with God. Call upon Jesus, and He will give you grace and mercy to help you by His Holy Spirit—so you can experience true freedom and victory in Christ!