Friday, 28 June 2013
I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:25
Chapter 7 has lead us time and time again to the conclusion that we are fallen beings in a real predicament. No matter what we will to do, the flesh overrides that will and we do what we will not to do. The impossible dilemma for fallen man is resolved though in the Person of Jesus. Paul acknowledged his wretched state and then agonizingly asked, “Who will deliver me from this body of death?”
The cry was made for any person who truly wants to be free of the corrupt nature they were born with. Jesus explained the dilemma to us when speaking to those under the law –
“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:31-36
As Paul has shown in this chapter, the fact that they were under the law only magnified their guilt – a guilt all bear even from birth. His explanation of what Jesus claimed during His earthly ministry has been clear and concise. Conscience could do nothing to resolve the problem, the law could do nothing to resolve it (and in fact only exacerbated the dilemma), and what we in our human weakness could not do – where everything else failed, Jesus prevailed. The release is found in Him.
Another exposition of this is found in 1 Corinthians 15 where the earthly man (Adam – representing all humanity) is contrasted to the heavenly Man (Jesus – to whom we move when we call on Him). Similar concepts are identified and explained and the end result is given with words which confirm the thoughts of Romans 7 –
“The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians:15:56, 57
For all of us, there are choices to make. We can stay in Adam and die in him or we can move to Christ Jesus and live with Him. And even in Christ, we must choose how we will conduct ourselves as we await our glorification. Will we serve the law of God and live lives of holiness, or will we serve the flesh and obey the law of sin? The answer should be clear. Now that we know the remedy, let us pursue godliness and holiness through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Life application: How do you serve the law of God with your mind if you don’t know the law of God? It is incumbent on you to read and know your Bible. Otherwise, your aspirations for following God are no better than a cup of dust on a hot day. Come to the waters and drink freely from the fountain of God’s word.
Oh God, I say I want to serve You, but then I make up my own ways of doing that. Serving You must be by following what You want, not what I want. Give me the hunger and desire to know Your word. After thinking it through, I realize that the only way I can properly honor and serve You is to know what You desire. I know that Your word, the Holy Bible, shows me what is right for this purpose. Amen.