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.” But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
I wanted to spend a little more time on these verses. One of the favorite things unbelievers like to throw at Christians is, “if God is all good then why is there evil?” Then they smugly wait for our answer. Unfortunately for many Christians they too have no ready answer. If this is you I highly recommend Norman Geisler’s “If God, Why Evil?”. Now what the unbeliever usually ignores is that they too need to explain evil in the world. Actually what they need to explain is how in the world do they know to call something evil.
Yesterday we looked at how we can know evil or sin because God supplied us with His law and an absolute moral authority in Him. As Christians we can point to God’s word and God Himself to show how we get our concept of good and evil but where is a non believer to go? They can go the Richard Dawkins route and deny evil this is one of his quotes “Nature is not cruel, pitiless, indifferent. This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous — indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose.”
But since most will eventually admit that they too see some things as evil they will need to call on either society to establish what is moral and what is not or the “elite” or maybe the head authority/dictator to make the call. Now here in the US we might go along with the will of the people and let the majority decide right from wrong, but would this work? History would say not always and it can fail in big ways. People are easily persuaded and often let their fears overcome their common sense. And sometimes we are just wrong. Take slavery for instance. It was accepted by the people and it took a bloody civil war to end it. In World War II we put thousands of Japanese Americans into camps for no other reason than they had Japanese ancestry. I would not want society as my touchstone for morality.
Of course history has shown that the elite and individuals even when well meaning often fall horrible short. No men are not great arbiters of morality. They change, are unpredictable and often times let personal goals and desires get in the way of what is right. Give me God to decide what is right or what is wrong. He may seem harsh at times but he is always consistent. He never changes.
Have a blessed day,