I've never had a real understanding of Paul's exposition about sin and the law in Romans.
Verse 7: Yet, if it had not been for the law, I should not have known sin. ...9 I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died; 10 the very commandment which promised life proved to be death to me.
Clear enough in the reading, we understand the words, right?
But maybe not really the meaning, not by experience anyway. I know I didn't.
But I got a personal glimpse this morning. I love Bible study, I really do, so when I was given a Bible study workbook that looked interesting, I thought it would be great to do. This particular workbook was first published in 1954, and things have changed a lot in Bible studies since then. I started to get into it, and felt this awful, but very real spirit of rebellion rearing it's ugly head. "You will, you will be expected to, you will complete, you will memorize, you will provide, you will master....." said the study guide. "Oh, I will, will I?" said my spirit. And caught myself short, realizing it was an example of exactly what I had been reading in Romans. The rebellion wasn't there, until the orders came.
Bible study writers that I've experienced lately make a point of identifying with their readers, give suggestions, give encouragement, offer urgent reasons why it's important to do this or that. This study simply assumes that you are in it for the work, and says "Here's the work! Do it!"
I thought it was an interesting revelation.
Now I can go back to the study armed with this bit of realization, watching out for this rebellion (sin.)
I'll let you know how it goes.