By Gary Miller
You might be surprised as to what I love about fall. Hunting? Of course, but a close second is football. I love football, especially the NFL. I can remember the first game I ever watched and no it wasn't when they had leather helmets. It was the 1970 Super Bowl between the Minnesota Vikings and the Kansas City Chiefs.
As a result of that game I became a Los Angeles Rams fan. Yeah, I’m not sure why either but it was a great day to be one. With the likes of Merlin Olsen, Deacon Jones and Jack Reynolds, they were easy to love. I don’t know why I was always drawn to football. I only played for part of one year. It’s hard to make a statement on defense when you you’re nickname was “Slim.” I was the brunt of so many skinny jokes that I got a complex. So while football was my love, basketball became my sport. And one of the benefits of playing basketball was that you got free tickets to all the football games – which were pretty worthless to me.
You see, there was this hole in the chain link fence that surrounded the football stadium, so when the neighborhood gang wanted to go to the game, we just climbed through the hole. What was strange was that not only did I climb through the hole before I had free tickets; I also did it after I had free tickets. It was just more fun, and risky, and daring, and wrong. Therefore I wanted to do it. Here is where the lesson comes in. If it would not have been wrong to crawl through that hole to get in, I wouldn’t have done it. After all, I had tickets. It was the law that encouraged me to sin, not by making crawling through the hole a law, but in showing me my desire to break the law.
This is exactly what Paul had in mind when he wrote, “I would not have known sin except through the law.” (Rom 7:7 NKJV) The law was not sin but only revealed to him what sin was and that he actually had a desire to commit it. It revealed his sinful nature and thus his need for grace. What goes for Paul goes for us as well. God’s desire for us is to turn to Him as the answer to our inability to keep His laws. His answer is not in giving us the ability but in giving us the righteousness of His own Son – if we will only receive Him.
Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org