Read Romans 7:7–25 7 What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. 10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. 13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin. Romans 7:13 “Eat your vegetables. They’re good for you.” Do you remember hearing these words as a child? My guess is at some point in time all of us had to be told to eat our vegetables, despite not liking them. But despite our initial response, they actually were good for us. In today’s reading we are met with a similar truth – if we let the God’s commandments work in us, they will reveal not only what is wrong in us, but actually show us the goodness of God in our lives. Since sin dwells within us from the very beginning, we lost the ability to do the good that we should. As Paul says, “What I want to do I do not do.” Our sinful nature causes us to fail. The Law, which we cannot keep, condemns us. We need this message because it is God’s diagnosis. The Law crushes us because we cannot keep it and save ourselves. But, in Christ, our sinful nature and actions are crucified. We rise forgiven in him. With all sin forgiven, we see the good that God intended for us all along. His will is good for us. Prayer Heavenly Father, your word has shown me the sin that controls me. Help me to see freedom through the cross of Christ and use your word to guide me in living for you. Amen.