1 Corinthians 15:56 – “The strength of sin is the law”
Recently in the news was a story of a man that accidentally set fire to three cars while trying to get rid of bed bugs! The New Yorker was hospitalized after dousing the interior of his rental car with rubbing alcohol, hoping it would kill the insects, but instead caught fire when he lit his cigarette, and spread to two other cars nearby. You could say his error in judgment added “fuel to the fire”.
This same principle bears out in the Word of God when it comes to sin. 1 Corinthians 15:56 says the strength of sin (the fire) is the law (the fuel). Just like when the man lit his cigarette and it set the car on fire, the same happens with the law, it excites sin, it fans the flames of sin, sin actually increases when operating by the law.
Romans 6:14 says, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law, but you are under grace”. When the law is used to try to control sin, you can be sure sin will increase and abound. But the answer to sin is not the law, it’s grace. The law is the fuel that adds to the fire of sin. Grace is the “water” that puts the fire of sin out. Grace empowers us to overcome sin. Grace strengthens righteousness, the law strengthens works. Grace gives freedom, the law brings bondage. Grace is like a fire hydrant dose of water let loose on a little spark.
If you want a sin situation in your life or the life of your loved one to go up in flames, pour on the law, rigidness, legalism, performance driven works, sin consciousness. If you want freedom and spiritual growth, pour on the grace of God, His unmerited, undeserved favor, His Word, declare that you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, that sin has no dominion over you. Then what? Like Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery in John 8, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more”. The Pharisees were adding fuel to the fire of sin with the law, demanding death. But Jesus added grace, the water of the Word that put the fire of adultery out for good in her life.
Next time you encounter sin, you choose, add fuel to the fire with the law, or water to the fire with God’s grace. Hint: choose grace.