Sometimes I just need to see things to believe them. I remember understanding on an intellectual level, from a very young age, that smoking was bad for my body, but I didn't really get it on a visceral level until I saw a picture of a smoker's blackened lungs. The effect was so overwhelming that, to this day, I will often hold my breath when walking past people who are smoking.
Unfortunately, it's not easy to peer inside our own bodies and check out the health of our lungs. It's also difficult to see the effect sun exposure is having on our skin, especially when a tan can look so deceptively like a healthy glow. For years, one of the best-known tools to view sun damage has been ultraviolet photography.
Researchers have recently tested its use as a tool in the fight against cancer. The researchers studied the assumption that actual signs of vulnerability to melanoma cancer – things like freckles, red hair, blue eyes, and pale skin – would identify skin markings of a particular severity seen through UV photography.
Paul tells us in Romans 7 that the Law of God does the same thing to us concerning the cancerous sin in our lives. While we may not see it in our own lives, or for that matter, even in the lives of others, the Law uncovers or reveals even the most hidden sin and exposes it and the deadly consequence that it has on us. While the law is not sin, as Paul says, it definitely reveals it.
Not many of us would want to see the flaws in our skin which can be revealed through UV photography much less have exposed the flaws of our sins which are revealed by the Law of God. Yet, it is necessary for us to learn from our past to avoid the same problems in the future. Jesus says we are to be a light in this world which not only exposes the deeds done in darkness but guides the way to salvation.
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