May 25 I Friday
1 Chronicles 25-27
“What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law.” —Romans 7:7
The English word “sin” originates from an archery term that means “to miss the mark.” It did not matter whether the archer missed the target by a millimetre or a mile; the fact that the target was missed is called “sin.” The law of God is the target by which we measure where we fall short. This is why Paul says he would not have known what sin was if it were not for the law. Breaking the law is sin, regardless of how little or great that breaking is.
Many non-Christians struggle with accepting the law of God, believing it is obsolete and no longer conducive to modern living. They cannot find any basis for a moral code that is contrary to contemporary living and worldviews, but this is no reason to reject it. Biblical law has a stronger foundation than any other moral code in all of history. Society’s priorities change and evolve, but the law of God is founded in the unchanging character of God. Earlier in Romans, Paul gives another verse that defines what sin is. He writes, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We miss the mark when we fail to uphold the glory of God, which is His moral character.
Because sin is defined in Scripture as both lawlessness and falling short of the glory of God then the two are the same. The law of God reveals the character of God, and we are to follow the law because we were created in His image. For example, God did not give the commandment “You shall not steal,” because stealing is unkind, though it is, but because God is not a thief. Since God is not a thief, we who are made in His image are not to steal.
God has given His law so we will know His character and how to live, but many are unaware they miss the mark day in and day out. Ignorance will not be an acceptable excuse at the Final Judgment. The law of God exposes the harsh reality of sin, but acceptance of this reality is the first step to realizing we need a Saviour. The law exposes our inability to hit the target, but it can do nothing to fix us. For that, we need Jesus, the only One who consistently hit the mark. It takes recognizing that we are sinners, unable to save ourselves or to obey God’s law before we become the recipients of salvation. Then God, by His Spirit, begins the work of transforming our lives so that we are increasingly conformed to His moral image.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the law. Though it can be discouraging and shaming to have my sin revealed to me, I am thankful because this makes clear how desperately I need You.