Ignorance Is Bliss
7What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”
8But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead.
9I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.
10The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me.
11For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.
12So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
13Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.
Poet Thomas Gray penned the words “ignorance is bliss” and the phrase has been repeated often. Here we find that Paul actually states the same sentiment centuries earlier in regards to the Law and our faith. It comes down to a very simple principle. If I didn’t know the Law then I don’t know what God considers wrong sin’s power to hurt me is gone. Ignorance is bliss.
The actual point of this passage is fairly simple. We are grateful to the Law for it shows us God’s standards which we know we have not kept. The Law is instrument in driving us to the foot of cross were we find release from sin’s power to end our lives. One cannot help but return to the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve do the one and only thing God told them not to do. They eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. And that is where we stand. We now know the complete Law and yet we do the very things that God has commanded us not to do. Mankind has not changed at all since the days of our First Parents. Just as Adam and Eve believed God’s promise to send a Savior to rescue them from their sin, so we also believe that Jesus was the fulfillment of that same promise. They looked forward and I look back to the same Jesus and trust in Him to save me from my wretched condition.