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Wretched man… continued.

April 27th, 2009

Last November I wrote a post titled "Sifting” then pretty much just stopped blogging.  What a horrible and empty place to leave off.  Yesterday, I was blessed to hear a great sermon from my pastor on Romans 8, along with a challenge to memorize that chapter in the next six weeks.  It was a little twinge to hear him remind everyone that the chapter numbers aren’t inspired, that where chapter 7 leaves off, chapter 8 continues, and provides a solution to our fleshy dilemma.  I skipped over that part in that last post, so lets start back in chapter seven and flesh some stuff out.

21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
      So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Romans 7:21-25 NIV

This passage shows that the struggle for a Christian is much different than someone that hasn’t accepted Christ.  A Christian seems to be having a dual nature, one that delights in God’s law, and a parasitic flesh that rebels against the law.  This duality would seem horrible trap should we end the passage right there, a constant struggle between sin and obedience.  We desperately need to get to the next sentence:

1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

Romans 8:1-4 NIV

No condemnation for this struggle?  Is that what it says?  Why do we struggle with such guilt when we fall?  Is that another part of the flesh? the willingness to flay ourselves for less than perfect obedience?  We need to remind ourselves, constantly, that we are free. We need to remind ourselves, constantly, we are dead to the fleshy way of life.  We need to remember that the spirit is there to help us in our struggle.  We live, not according to the flesh, our sinful nature, but according to the Spirit, His perfect love for us.

This is grace: ‘For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.’ God’s requirements, met by God, freeing us from the penalty that we’d otherwise be doomed to pay.  It is already paid in full.

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  1. April 27th, 2009 at 13:45 | #1

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