Friday, June 8, 2012

Romans 7:8, Law Creates Opportunity to Disobey

Romans 7:8
Genesis 2:15-17
My kids don't have the imagination for mischief that I sometimes see in other kids. I'm grateful. I can mostly keep up with them.
When they do discover something new that needs to be off-limits, like a part of the yard to hide in that they really shouldn't explore, they don't get in trouble for the first offense. My 5yr discovered this spring the small side yard between our home and the neighbors. It's not a good place for them to play in and the potential is too high that they could hurt themselves or damage something on the house, so I created a rule that our kids are not to go back there. Since it wasn't a law before, there was no offense before. She didn't get in trouble for discovering it because it wasn't against the rules until she had discovered it. If she goes back there now however, she will be disobeying and will be disciplined in some way. Fortunately she is pretty obedient and I haven't had to restrict her outdoor privileges or otherwise reprimand her for committing that particular offense.
Any given law creates the potential for offense simply because we have the choice to obey or disobey. Adam was given only one command: do not eat the fruit from this one tree. He could have spent his time on any number of activities both good and bad without committing sin because there was only the one command, or at least only the one verbal. (I'm sure he had other commands understood in his heart such as "Do not murder your wife", but nothing saying "Do not climb as high as possible in the tallest tree.") It was certainly the explicitly given command that Satan took advantage of. He knew that there were other things contrary to God's desire which Adam would probably have been given grace for, just as I gave grace to my daughter the first time she went into our side yard. They were explicitly forbidden. It was the one command that sin took advantage of as the definitive way to disobey God.
For the one way that Adam could disobey the Lord, how many ways were open to him to obey God? For each commandment in the Law which could be broken, how many opportunities did Paul have to keep to God's desire for him? For every way we can conceivably reject God's guidance, how many opportunities do we have to follow the impulses of the Holy Spirit?

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