Romans 7:7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.”
Paul wrote these words nearly 2,000 years ago, but the truth of his main premise is clearly borne out by today’s post-modern thinking. We have become a society that has NO PLACE for the concept of ‘sin’ because we have denied even the possibility of formulating ‘laws’ to govern how we should live! In other words, we are told by influential philosophers that absolute truth CANNOT exist because everything is RELATIVE. They claim that one person’s definition of what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’ might differ significantly from the way another person defines these things, and there is NO ABSOLUTE BENCHMARK by which we can KNOW which of them is ‘correct’.
On this basis, the only way we can hope to survive as a society is by a majority vote, and then by requiring everyone to comply with the majority decision. If we disagree with the correctness of this decision we are SILENCED – and the concept of ‘freedom of speech’ is rendered meaningless. There is no place for a worldview centred on there being a Sovereign Creator God who brought everything into existence, who determines the whole course of human history, and who therefore has the right to DECLARE the reality of ABSOLUTE TRUTH – because the very possibility of absolute truth has already been dismissed, with absolute certainty!
In the light of all this, it is not surprising that there is no longer a social conscience, and we are seeing more and more the effects of the practical outworking of such a worldview. Sadly, Christians are not free from its influence. What Paul is saying is this: The concept of ‘sin’ is only possible in connection with a worldview that admits the reality of right and wrong; but this doesn’t make ‘laws’ ‘sinful’; in fact, how we view the world does NOT change the reality; the only ‘correct’ worldview acknowledges that this is God’s world, he made it and rules it, and he rules it according to declared fixed laws; we can live in blissful ignorance of all this, but it is only when we try to start living God’s way that we find out just how hard it is to do so, and by how far we MISS the mark! This is the BAD news; but until we embrace the reality of it we will never know his exciting GOOD news: “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. (24-25). Yes, worldview DOES matter!
– Bruce Christian