This is what God gave me today in his word:
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. (1 Corinthians 15:55-56)
How can the law be the power of sin? I always thought it was the thing that told us what to do, granted, it was more of a, “what to do; or else,” sort of thing. But it still tells us the way to salvation! So how and why does Paul say it’s the power of sin? How could something given by God himself be the power of sin?
First, how can the law be the power of sin? …
Well let’s think about it a minute. Let’s say I tell you not to think about a pink elephant (an example my dad uses). What did you just think of? A pink elephant… Adam and Eve in the garden, God told them not to the fruit of the tree of good and evil; what could they not resist doing (with a little help)? But now, is this really the purpose of the law? God after all did give it to help the Israelites, right?
20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”
21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was. (Exodus 20:20-21)
The law is the power of sin in this way: it tells us what not to do, but doesn’t give us the power to do it. In fact, to the contrary, it gives us the idea of doing those things. The point of the law isn’t so much to make us perfect, as it is meant to lead us to the one who can; Christ.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)
Second, now that we understand the purposes of them law, what good does it do us who are saved? … i.e., now that we know what the law is meant to do; point us to Jesus. And now that we’ve been saved, what good can the law do us?
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
How does one realize they are sinful? Guilt? Some inward moral code? Your conscious? All three, or maybe some mixture? Yes, all of those things, possibly minus the second one, could be contributors, but not necessarily. Someone realizes they are sinful by, frankly speaking, realizing they’re sinful. Or more accurately, by realizing what they’re doing is wrong. How can someone experience guilt if they don’t know what they’re doing is wrong? Can’t conscious be, “dulled”? How can anyone have a inward moral code if they don’t know what is moral and what isn’t? The law is meant to show us what is right and what is wrong.
We have to keep in mind now though that the law was taken down and that it was destroyed not in part, but the whole. – The law was meant to make the Israelites look at themselves and see what they were, what they were doing. However, they could look all they wanted, they had no real ability to fully, as in, 100%, without any break, to obey it. That’s why sacrifices were instituted. We too have no ability to obey the law, that’s why the sacrifice was instituted. That one, fulfilled all the one prior to it.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)
Of course, we still do, “good works”. But for an entirely different reason and purpose. We found in the verse in Exodus that the Israelites had the fear of the Lord pushing them on to attempt perfection, we don’t have that. They’re purpose was as already mentioned, perfection. We won’t have that until we die and know not to the try. So what is our reason for doing anything good in life? Why not live like the nations the Israelites destroyed used to; In sin. Because as Paul noted, it’s not us so much doing the work as it is the Lord inside of us. And it’s not us who makes the work prosper, it’s the Lord (God). That’s why we still do, “good deeds”.
You are Loved!
Hear us say Jesus
Where are we while the world caves in? Are
we showing love or hate, are we enemy or friend
what was black and white has now turned grey
Let’s right this wrong with
love today. Stand our ground but with a helping hand
So sing it out now, with one voice loud and clear
Hallelujah, for our Redemption’s near