Sunday, June 06, 2010

Need a Deliverer

Romans 7:24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

24 Ταλαίπωρος ἐγὼ ἄνθρωπος· τίς με ῥύσεται ἐκ τοῦ σώματος τοῦ θανάτου τούτου; 25  χάρις δὲ τῷ θεῷ διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν. Ἄρα οὖν αὐτὸς ἐγὼ τῷ μὲν νοῒ δουλεύω νόμῳ θεοῦ τῇ δὲ σαρκὶ νόμῳ ἁμαρτίας.

This can be a pretty difficult chapter to figure out.  Is Paul speaking in terms of how he is currently struggling or how he once struggled?  I think that he is painfully aware of his sin and realizes just how desperately he needs Christ to be free from this bondage.  This is something that we all need to consider.

It also flies in the face of what passes for the theology of sanctification in many evangelical circles.  As we grow in Christ we should indeed grow in godliness.  If we're not making some progress then there is a real problem.  However, we also don't want to let our actions define our standing before the Lord.  Our hope is built on Christ's righteousness, not our own.  We make a grave error when we forget this and try to live based on our own works.

I know this all too well.  My battles with my eyes and stomach are ongoing.  They are certainly much easier than they once were.  I don't consider myself in bondage anymore.  However, I also know that I cannot let stumbles discourage me too much.  If I base everything on my performance I am going to be very depressed.

Along with Paul I ask τίς με ῥύσεται?  My answer is the same as his -- Christ Jesus my Lord.  What's your answer?

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