“Therefore no one will be declared righteous in [God’s] sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of [our] sin.”
~Romans 3:20 (NIV [adapted]).
Many people have taken the Ten Commandments and have backed up to them as a height chart to see where they stood—and how ‘tall’ they were against them.
Not many come away from such a comparison with much to feel proud of. Indeed, the Law condemns us quicker than appeasing us; if, that is, we’re using it correctly.
Sure, we may not have actively murdered or committed adultery but our thoughts have betrayed us to these very ends. Who’s never been angry or leered lustfully? Our hearts, though broken through, contend for or against God, however unreliably.
The Law is the greatest reminder—our consciences always attending—that we’ll never escape this nemesis called “sin”... and the point is, we don’t need to; our sin is covered for, by the cross, and the blood and body of Jesus Christ.
Grace it is that makes the impossible suddenly possible—the unreal, a practical reality.
How peculiar it is that the power to not sin is only found when the guilt of such an interminable thing as sin is dealt with, and that by the grace of salvation through Christ our Lord.
This is the resurrection power of the risen Lord in us!—to never be ashamed of our sin, but deal with it penitently, appropriately; to learn, train and improve.
No shame, no guilt. Not now.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.