If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more. (Philippians 3:4, NIV)
You see what the apostle Paul is saying: “I saw myself as a morally upright person.” But then Paul says, “All that changed,” and he tells us what led him to a complete reevaluation of his position: “I would not have known what sin was except through the law” (Rom. 7:7).
This religious man had concluded that he was morally upright. But now he is telling us the commandments showed him that he is a sinner. What happened? He ran into the tenth commandment! “I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, ‘Do not covet’” (Rom. 7:7).
Here he was with his moral checklist: He doesn’t steal. He doesn’t kill. Then one day he comes face-to-face with the tenth commandment. That’s the language he uses: “The commandment came” (7:9). He’s talking about personal experience, “It suddenly came to me. God is not just looking at my outward actions, he is measuring my heart.”
The tenth commandment is an absolute killer for morally upright people, because once you see the meaning of it, you will conclude that you’re a long way from keeping the other nine!
Many of us are just like Paul – good people, hard workers, upright, trustworthy, and generous. We have good works and good values, and we see our religion as something that we offer to God. But if this is true of you, your biggest problem may be that your moral uprightness is the very thing that keeps you from seeing that you need a Savior.
This tenth commandment is for you. You need the killer commandment to show you that morally upright people need a Savior too.
Have you come face-to-face with the tenth commandment?