Part 4 of 8 – What fuels sin?

In previous messages in this series, We have learned so far that sin in the eyes of God is a failure to achieve 100% of the standard of holiness set by God. This means a failure to achieve 100% compliance to all his laws. The laws of God includes the Ten Commandments and all other laws that are found in the bible. The bible as the very word of God, contains the standard of holiness required by God, and given through the law, and how to achieve it. We have also learned so far that from the very beginning sin originated from the devil and came to the world through Adam. The devils makes you question or doubt God and God’s commandments and gives an alternative to God’s law which he knows our weak flesh cannot resist. The devil uses the desires of the mind, the heart and the body to cause us to sin and to trap us in sin. We have also learned that everyone knows the law and through this knowledge, we realized how sinful we are. We realize this because we compare our lives, what we do or don’t do, and what we say or don’t say with what God expects from us through the law and we realize that we do not match up and therefore are all sinners. Therefore the purpose of the law was to show us how sinful we are and by this the knowledge of sin came to us. 


So, now we have to ask a question, what fuels sin? What sustains sin in our lives? There must be something that sustains or give fuel or energy to sin to have lasted this long. Let’s take a look at that.
1 Corinthians 15:56 (ESVST)
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
The power of sin is the law as indicated by the above quoted verse. As long as there is the knowledge of the law, sin has power. The law on its own cannot give sin power if the knowledge of that law does not exist. It is when we gain the knowledge of the law that sin gets its power.
Romans 7:5 (ESVST)
For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.

Our sinful passions are aroused by the law. Romas 7:7-13 summarizes how sin is fueled by the law.
Romans 7:7-13 (NLTse)
7 Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.” 

In the verse Paul indicates that it was the law that revealed sin to him. He would not have known about sin, if it was not of the law.

8 But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power. 

Paul says this very sin, used the law to arouse al kinds of covetous desires within himself. Without the law, sin would have had no power. What does Paul mean when he says sin used the law to arouse all kinds of covetous desires? This simply means when we as human beings realized that what we have being doing and what we are currently doing is unlawful in the eyes of God, the unlawful act became more attractive. A good example would be when you tell a child not to touch something, the child’s curiosity increases until he is overcome by it and then touches the very thing you said they should not touch. The same thing happened with us in relation to sin. When we realized that we are sinning, because the law showed us that, simply because we were told not to, that very thing we are not supposed to do became even more attractive. So, sin used the law to make sinning even more attractive.

9 At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life, 10 and I died. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead. 11 Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me. 

Paul says here that at one time, we lived without understanding the law but when we learned the law, when we came to the knowledge of the law, sin came to life and we died. Paul is saying, when the law came, we realized how sinful we are when we compared our lifestyles with what God demands through the law, and we therefore realised that we do not match up to God’s standard and therefore are condemned to death. As scriptures say that the wages of sin is death. So sin used the law to entice us to sin even more by making sinning look more attractive and as a results, we died. Sin used the law to kill us.

12 But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good.
13 But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my death? Of course not! Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation to death. So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God’s good commands for its own evil purposes.

This obviously does not mean that the law is not holy. It simply means that sin used that, that was holy to bring about the realization of how sinful we are, made sinning more attractive and condemned us to death. To show even more that sin is only powerful when the law exist, look at this verse
Romans 6:14 (NLTse)
Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.

Romans 4:15 (NLTse)
For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it. (The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!)

The minute one moves away from living under the law, sin looses its power. The more you try and obey the law, the more sin gains power over you and I can assure you, sin will win. The only way to defeat sin, is to move away from the very thing that sin uses to gain power which is the law. We need to accept that it is only through God’s grace, which we now live under that we will ever see eternal life. The minute you move from trying to comply with the law and live under God’s grace, sin looses its power. Does it mean now that we move away from the law we can sin as we want because we are under grace? I will let Paul answer that
Romans 6:15-16 (NLTse)
Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! 16 Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.

Romans 4:16 (NLTse)
So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe.
To defeat sin, one needs to move away from trying to live under the law and live under the Grace of God by having faith in Jesus. 

So, we have learned now that sin(which was already there before the law came) revealed sin through the law, aroused our sinful nature through the law and condemned us to eternal death through the law. Therefore the very thing that fuels sin, the very thing that gives sin it’s power, the very thing that sustains sin, is the law.
We have learned so far that sin in the eyes of God is a failure to achieve 100% of the standard of holiness set by God. This means a failure to achieve 100% compliance to all his laws. The laws of God includes the Ten Commandments and all other laws that are found in the bible. The bible as the very word of God, contains the standard of holiness required by God, and given through the law, and how to achieve it. We have also learned so far that from the very beginning sin originated from the devil and came to the world through Adam. The devils makes you question or doubt God and God’s commandments and gives an alternative to God’s law, which he knows our weak flesh cannot resist. The devil uses the desires of the mind, the heart and the body to cause us to sin and to trap us in sin. We have also learned that everyone knows the law and through this knowledge, we realized how sinful we are. We realize this because we compare our lives, what we do or don’t do, and what we say or don’t say with what God expects from us through the law, and we realize that we do not match up and therefore are all sinners. Therefore the purpose of the law was to show us how sinful we are and by this the knowledge of sin came to us. We have also learned now that sin reveals sin through the law, arouses our sinful nature through the law and condemns us to eternal death through the law. Therefore the very thing that fuels sin, the very thing that gives sin it’s power, the very thing that sustains sin, is the law.
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Nehemiah 8:8 They read from the Book of the Law of God and clearly explained the meaning of what was being read, helping the people understand each passage. (NLT)
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Posted in Selected Scriptures, Sin.

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