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Devotional - week of April 2, 2006


THE STRENGTH OF SIN

            … the strength of sin is the law.  1 Corinthians 15:56b

What does “the strength of sin is the law” mean? Paul gives us an explanation in Romans 7:5.

For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.

 All believers were in the flesh before they received Jesus as Lord and Savior. Sadly, even after we received Jesus, all of us have our lapses into fleshly living by placing ourselves under law—either biblical or man-made laws.

 

When we live by law, we are living in our own strength. We are attempting to do things for God. We are in the flesh—even if we are living by the law of “doing my best for Jesus.”

 

Consider this hypothetical circumstance. One day we heard that two of our friends were getting a divorce. We thought, “That is impossible. Both the husband and wife are passionately dedicated to God.” And they were.

 

If, in their passion for God, they were doing their best for Jesus, they were engaging in law-living. So they were in the flesh. And that is where the danger of doing our best for Jesus lies. Regardless of how much one loves God, when he is in the flesh, he will do works of the flesh—some of which can result in divorce.

 

Such events as this prove that the strength of sin is the law. So, if doing my best for God puts me in spiritual danger, what can I do?

 

In Romans 6:14 Paul writes:

 

For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

 

These words follow immediately after the five commands for experiencing our crucifixion, burial, and resurrection which puts us under grace. When we are under grace, we are not serving God in our own strength. We are making ourselves available to God for Him to do His mighty works through us. God is our strength.