Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?

Rom. 7:14-24 NLT  
  14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. 
   18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.  
   21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?

The first portion of Chapter seven reveals Paul's philosophical presentation of the role Theistic Law pays in a people who would be people of God. The Written law codified acceptable and unacceptable conduct. It made adherents aware of violation whereas before they had only their inner nature to guide them in discerning the will of God. Truth is God does speak to people at their inner level and written laws are not essential. But the written law made clear that God was to be first, foremost, and the highest priority of each person who would call himself or herself "God's person."

The fallen nature is not capable of naturally obeying God's will. It is bent toward self-will. Paul says that even when I know the right things to do and the conduct to avoid, I fail. I am unable to self-determine that I will serve self less and God more. It is a 'law of sin and death' because of my bondage to to this principle. Paul brings us the solution in Chapter 8 but before we go there let's unpack this principle some more. We are not predisposed toward good as the liberal philosophers say. We must admit that humanity is predisposed toward evil-- evil being self-service. You cannot look at any period of history and say that, left to our own devices, humanity improves. We continue to spiral deeper and deeper into self-centered sin. Now we have passed laws in our nations attempting to make acceptable that which God calls "sin." Our rebellion against the will of God that began at the famous Garden with the famous first couple and God's enemy continues to expand today. So we inherit a life that is dominated by sin and death.

The Good News, however, is that there is a way out. Tomorrow we will look into it more but I can give you a hint for now. Just say "yes" to Christ being Lord over all aspects of your life and all things will be made different for you.

Your servant in Christ's love

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