The First 15

Thursday July 15, 2021

by First Methodist Mansfield

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father – help me start today with a clear heart and a clear mind ready to receive your word in a brand new way today. Amen.

Scripture Reading

Romans 7:7-13

What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. Once I was alive apart from the 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. Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.


Paul expands on his idea of the law exposing our sinful nature. He states that the law itself is not sinful, yet it is so holy and good that it revealed sin to us in a way we could not have known before. The law was meant to make sin become utterly sinful by using something good to bring about death. This is a paradox of using good to expose the bad. You might think of the rules you give a child. These rules are good and meant to help the child, leading them to a deeper understanding of what is right and wrong. But any parent can tell you that most of the time, rules expose the bad in your child. For toddlers, it is blatantly obvious when that “bad” is exposed. When I place limits on my 2 year old son, I can see right then and there the “bad” that needs to be dealt with so he can continue to become a holy, righteous and good human being. With boundaries and a lot of grace, we will get there. This is why Jesus himself fulfilled the law, so that he would be able to expose our sinful nature and walk with us through this process of achieving holiness, or sanctification. Just as a parent longs to see that transformation happen in their child, how much more does our Heavenly Father long to see it happen in us? It isn’t always a fun process, but I think we all know it is a necessary one.

2 Questions
What is your natural response when someone or something places limits or boundaries on you?
In what ways have you experienced God’s grace when he has revealed the “bad” that resides in your heart?

Closing Prayer

Lord, these are your words. This is our story. Help me live in a way that honors you today and everyday. Amen.

The First 15

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