Saturday, March 22, 2008

God Loves Me - a sinner

We know that the law is holy. But I am not. I have been sold to be a slave of sin. I don't understand what I do. I don't do what I want to do. Instead, I do what I hate to do. I do what I don't want to do. So I agree that the law is good. As it is, I am no longer the one who does these things. It is sin living in me that does them. I know there is nothing good in my sinful nature. I want to do what is good, but I can't. I don't do the good things I want to do. I keep on doing the evil things I don't want to do. I do what I don't want to do. But I am not really the one who is doing it. It is sin living in me. Here is the law I find working in me. When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. Deep inside me I find joy in God's law. 23 But I see another law working in the parts of my body. It fights against the law of my mind. It makes me a prisoner of the law of sin. That law controls the parts of my body. What a terrible failure I am! Who will save me from this sin that brings death to my body? I give thanks to God. He will do it through Jesus Christ our Lord. So in my mind I am a slave to God's law. But in my sinful nature I am a slave to the law of sin. Romans 7:14-25 (New International Reader's Version)

Huh? You say. I wanted to find the verse that kept saying to me that sin is a constant struggle. This verse is it. Isn't sin frustrating? Isn't sin just awful? Sometimes it feels like I can't even stop myself from sinning, even when I’m consciously aware of my guilt, even while I’m right in the middle of sinning. I know to do the right thing, I know what I'm supposed to do, but I just can't. I know what I'm supposed to avoid, I know what I shouldn't do, but I just do it anyway. Argh! I like how the old King James reads in Romans 7:24 “O wretched man that I am!”

For me, it's slightly comforting to know that even the great apostle Paul struggled with sin. Not that he had a habitual sin problem, but he was at times weak and did fall. He was frustrated to be such a mature Christian, and yet still have to fight within himself to beat down his humanity. 1 Corinthians 10:12 We've got to be careful, and compare our lives with the pattern -- God's word -- to know whether or not we are standing. Our lives can't just 'feel right’; we've got to know for sure. Romans 10:17 God is wonderful in that he would never 'leave us hanging' and have us not knowing what we are to do. God tells us and His way is found in the bible -- the word of God.

It also says a lot about apostle Paul in that he was such a mature Christian he was able to distinguish the difference between right and wrong, good and evil. We must continue our walk in Christ, continue to learn from Him, and continue to grow and flourish and bear fruit. One of our Christian goals should be that we should resolve to never stop learning God's word, it is inexhaustible. Each time we read a passage of Holy Scripture, we can think about it, chew it up if you will and allow it to nourish us, and grow in us.

The point that's made in Romans 7 shows how the law was necessary and that it did its job perfectly. The law is holy. One of the things that it did perfectly was to show, or to expose sin. Without the law, no one could know what sin was. But with the law, everyone knew what sin was, and everyone knew that it was impossible to be perfect. What a bummer it must be to go through life and be unable to be found perfect. But, we do have hope. Hebrews 7:19 Hebrews 7:22 by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant. It is up to us to study for ourselves and determine what God's word teaches about sin. We must know for certain if our actions or practices are sinful or right. And it is through this knowledge of God's word that we can see that we certainly cannot save ourselves. Romans 3:10

But we do have hope. We do have grace. We do have love. Ephesians 2:8 and Romans 5:2 God sent His son to this earth, in order to be the perfect sacrifice -- to take away the sin of the world. No longer is offering sacrifices, or burnt offerings for sin necessary. These practices were only a pattern of what was to come. John 1:29 And also, John 3:16

Sinning is definitely a hard thing to swallow. Every time I sin, I just feel like kicking myself. The 'silver lining' if you will about sin is this, Romans 5:6 Romans 5:7 Romans 5:8 Romans 5:9 Romans 5:10 God's love is so deep and wide, that I just cannot comprehend. I cannot even put myself in His position to fully understand. I'm not required to comprehend, or to fully grasp His love. But I can freely accept it. I must believe that He is, and that He can save me. It's called faith. Hebrews 11:6

A few more passages on God's love, and then I'm finished with this one:

Romans 8:31, Romans 8:32, Romans 8:34, Romans 8:35, Romans 8:38, Romans 8:39

Ephesians 3:14, Ephesians 3:15, Ephesians 3:16, Ephesians 3:17, Ephesians 3:18, Ephesians 3:19, Ephesians 3:20, Ephesians 3:21
Are you listening to what God is saying in His Word?

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