Several years ago, the state of Indiana passed a law which outlawed all bullying among school-aged children. Yet, bullying continues.
Before that, Indiana’s elected legislators and governor passed Public Law 221. It decreed that all students in the state would never be truant and only misbehave no more than one time in a 180-day school year. Yet, truancy and misbehavior in school continues.
In all fifty of the states and every country around the globe, murder is against the law. Yet, murder continues.
The Law of Moses declared covetousness to be a sin. Yet, coveting continues.
Regardless of whether it is laws passed by human legislative bodies or divine law given at Mount Sinai, legislation does not eliminate the practice of sin. It may curtail it, but just because something is declared illegal and/or sinful does not mean it will be eradicated from human behavior.
Sin is so beguiling and tyrannical that “what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do…For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members” (Romans 7:15, 19-23).
Decreeing a sin to be immoral and evil does not eliminate its practice. Holiness does not come via law alone. This truth is a primary reason why the Law of Moses was nailed to Christ’s cross at Calvary.
Sanctification from the inside out does not come through law; it only results in a conscientious soul crying out, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24).