But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
Thoughts for Today:In Romans 7:11, Paul provides additional insight on this topic: "For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death." Humanity's rebellious nature will cause us to want what we can't have. How so? Think about it. When people see a sign that says, "Wet Paint, Don't Touch," what do they have the urge to do? Touch it. A sign on a door says, "Authorized Personnel Only." What are we inclined to do? That's right, open it and see what's behind the door. When people are prohibited from doing something they were only mildly interested in before, the prohibition itself will produce an almost insatiable desire for the very thing prohibited.
Sin was already at work in humanity, but when the Law came condemning the actions, sin came alive (compared to what it was before). Romans 7:7-8: "I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, 'You shall not covet.' But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead."
In our passage today, Paul is basically saying that all of humanity is imprisoned and subject to sin and its bondage. We are condemned because of sin, yet God has also provided a way out. How? Our deliverance from sin and righteousness comes not by observance of the Law, but through faith in Jesus Christ. (Romans 7:24-25: "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!")
Questions to Ponder:In what areas of your life do you still feel bound by sin? Are you working your own way out -- trying to make up for past misdeeds, or allowing grace to do its work? God has provided Jesus as our Deliverer. Will you accept His grace? What difference will it make if you do?