Some time ago I read The Life of Holiness: Notes and Reflections on Romans 1, 5-8 by James Faulconer. The book is a detailed set of reflections on those five chapters in Paul’s letter to the Roman church. It is not a light read but is full of depth, providing many hours of contemplation on powerful topics.

In discussing Romans 7:5, part of Paul’s discourse on the relation of the law to sin, Faulconer mentions an idea I had not previously considered. I found it to be quite profound so wanted to share it here for further discussion. On page 346, Faulconer says:

From this it follows that if I know that God has given a law and I desire to act contrary to that law, I desire that my will be done rather than his. Contained within my desire for what is forbidden is a movement to usurp the authority of God. In other words, contained in my desire is something like the desire of Satan. In fact, if we look at what is going on in Moses 4, we see that Satan was not willing to acquiesce to God’s desires but wanted his own to be fulfilled. Christ, on the other hand, was willing to give up his desires in favor of the desires of the Father. When we desire evil, when we desire that our desires be fulfilled rather than those of the Father, we imitate Satan.

While I had understood sin to be willful rebellion against God, I had never before considered that one is in effect usurping the authority of God by imposing one’s own will over God’s. The idea that, in doing so, one is imitating Satan’s attempt to do the same, seems profound to me.

What do you think of Faulconer’s assertion?