Rom 7:10-13 “And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.”
God’s law was given for us to live by. It was set apart for that very purpose. The very first commandment that God gave to Adam was in order that Adam might live. Like Adam, when we transgress against God’s law, we find the pronouncement of death waiting for us.
The Greek word translated as “commandment” carries with it the idea of a “prescription.” The basic definition of prescription is something that is to be carried out according to a specific set of rules. When we think of the word prescription, probably the first thing that comes to mind is a script written by our physician that is intended to help us get better. This script, or prescription, informs the pharmacist exactly how the medication is to be dispensed and tells us exactly when, how much, and how often we are to take this medicine.
God gave Adam a prescription that told him exactly what was expected, how it was to be applied, and what duration. Furthermore, there was a warning label: “in the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die (Genesis 2:4).” Paul (and we) experience the same thing that Adam did. Sin deceives us, and we violate the prescription.
In Adam’s case, sin (in the form of the Serpent) sent the message to Adam that he would not really die. Actually, he would become as a god, knowing good and evil. Sin took the occasion of what the prescription meant and instead said that was not what was really going to happen. Sometimes we may have a prescription that tells us to do things a certain way, but we skip doses or double up on doses (because someone tells us it will be ok) with death being the end result.
We need to always remember that the law is holy, and the prescription is holy, and right, and good. It was given to us by our Great Physician who holds both the power of life and the pronouncement of death (1 Samuel 2:6). Did our Great Physician give us a good prescription (commandment) that we should die from it? Absolutely not!
The good prescription that we have been given reveals the deceitfulness of sin. God gave the law so that sin might be seen for the ugly, deadly thing that it is. Righteousness will never be found on the path of sin. God’s law is good, and it is always sin that works death in us.
There is more to the wages of sin being death than the end of our corporeal lives. We die to peace in our hearts when we walk in sin. We die to the joy of His salvation when we are deceived by sin. Only in the righteousness of Jesus Christ do we find a final remedy.
May God give us the grace to know that His prescription is always for our good and ordained to life!