In our verses for today, Roman 7:7-13, Paul presents another perspective of the law and sin. The law is a tool, presented by God, that is used as a true and correct measurement of how our lives stack up.
Without a plumb line or a level, our only guide for our life would be other lives around us. As anyone who has tried masonry, or even stacking a cake, our eyes are very poor measures of what level actually looks like. In our lives, which consist of moment upon moment, decision upon decision, or, metaphorically, brick upon brick, even a slight variance from straight and level leads to great imbalance which leads to weakness and ultimately to a failing and falling structure.
The law doesn’t make our lives out of kilter any more than the plumb line makes the structure crooked. It simply and truly identifies the variances and faults.
Its right use is not as an after the fact measuring tool, as was the perspective given in yesterday’s lesson, instead, it is a tool to be used during the building process so that we stay true and level with God’s design.
If I have the plumb and level available to me and still stack the blocks of my life crooked it is not because I want to but because of the imbalance and weakness that are still an element of my knowledge and skill. In the same way, when I sin as a Christian it is not because as a Christian I want to sin but because I am still developing the knowledge and skills and holiness to overcome the weakness and imperfection of my sin nature and prior training.
The law draws a line separating right from wrong, righteousness from sin. Sin uses the line to tempt us to cross over the line or to lie about where the line is until after we have sinned. It brings us to work in sin receiving our due wages of death.
It is an unfulfilled lie. It cannot satisfy and only lures one into more and more. Nothing outside of God brings true satisfaction. Nothing of this world will give us spiritual food. A promise of a path that makes me my own god, is a lie.