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God's Law Defines my Guilt

Romans 7:9-12
Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. (NIV)

Paul said that before he understood God's law he felt happy, free and alive. But when he read that he was a sinner, he found God's law condemning him to death. The more he knew the difference between right and wrong and understood the penalty for sin, God's Word made him feel even more guilty. How can that be? Surely God's Word is to comfort us. It is; but it also convicts us as the Holy Spirit takes the light of truth and shines it onto the darkness of our hearts (John 16:8).

That is one of the reasons why many people do not want to get too close to the Bible. They instinctively know that it is true and will reveal their falseness. Yet unless they allow God's Word to come to them, they cannot know the depth of their guilt or the grace of Christ to remove their guilt and make them holy. Even believers who have walked with Jesus for many years can be tempted to avoid certain scriptures because they are unwilling to accept the challenge to repent (www.crosscheck.org.uk).

Hebrews 4:12-13 says "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account." It may make us feel guilty, but repentance will get us right with God. Nothing is more important in our personal lives and church service or the workplace Christian fellowship. So allow God's Word to speak into your heart and the hearts of those you care about; give the Bible priority wherever you have responsibility.

Holy God. Thank You for revealing Your character and Your standards in the Bible. I am sorry when I have avoided reading it because I was afraid that I might feel guilty. But I do sin and I am guilty unless I repent and ask for Your forgiveness and grace. Please help me to have the courage to read Your Word with a renewed passion. And give me the confidence not to hide Your Word, especially where I have responsibility. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams