The Peril of Rule Following

What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead, Romans 7:7-8

I was studying Romans 7 this morning. It is one of the chapters, I have had hard time understanding for a long time. Finally, the Spirit of the Lord has been teaching me things I didn’t previous knew. Let me summarize it for our reference.

In Romans 7 we are warned about the wrong way of following Jesus. If you read the book of Matthew, you’ll find out some of Jesus’ biggest opponents were the religious readers known as the Pharisees.

The author of the book of Romans, Paul was one of the Pharisees. He believed a relationship with God was earned by following the rules. Here, he warns believers not to go back to that way of thinking. In Romans chapter 6, he let us know we are dead to sin, and in chapter 7 he tells us we are dead to rule-following too.

The hard thing about rule-following is that it only makes us aware of how bad we are and even causes us to desire the forbidden things even more. We won’t be given the right answer until chapter 8.

The hard thing about rule-following is that it only makes us aware of how bad we are.Click To Tweet

Trying to be a good Christian by following rules is a common mistake. It brings about failure and guilt. In those who do a reasonably good job in following the rules, it brings about pride and judgment of others.

Find a good Christian who feels defeated in his or her relationship with Jesus and you probably have found someone who is basing their relationship with Jesus on rule-following. Don’t be that person.


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