Unlimited: Every Kind of Sin
Nov 16, 2022 209
But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting (Romans 7:8a).
The commandment, “You shall not covet” created the opportunity for sin to produce coveting, for if the commandment had not existed, coveting itself would have been unknown. Sin exploited the commandment to produce “every kind” of coveting in the apostle Paul.
We find here an echo of Christ’s important teaching that the law is deep and spiritual in nature. The law is not defined by its written form, which Paul also calls “the letter of the law” (2 Cor 3:6). That’s why Jesus taught that the sin of murder isn’t simply the physical act of killing someone, but that even if you are simply angry with someone in your heart, you have committed the sin of murder (Matt. 5:22).
Whatever is not perfectly loving is sin, because love is the fulfilling of the law.
This is very confronting to those who are pursuing righteousness through their own performance. They would not normally classify being angry at someone as a “kind” of murder. But when you understand the true nature of the law of God, it is. Whatever is not perfectly loving is sin, because love is the fulfilling of the law. The great principle of love encompasses and summarises all law. That’s what Paul means when he writes that sin produced in him “every kind of coveting” through the law.
In summary, the commandment magnifies sin. Christ magnifies grace.
One of the keys to a successful life as a Christian is to magnify your focus on the grace of God in your life, and to minimize your focus on sin. What can you do to get your focus right?