Journal Ro 7 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “…I do not understand my own actions…I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
Now if I do what I do not want (then) I agree with the Law, (that the Law) is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but Sin that dwells within me.
- For I know that nothing good dwells in me (that is, my flesh).
- For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
- For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep doing!!
- Now, if I do what I do not want, (then) it is no longer I who do it, but the Sin that dwells within me.
So, I find it to be a law (a principle) that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. (For) I delight in the law of God, in my inner being (deep down in my soul), but I see in my members another law (principle) waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.
Wretched man that I am!! Who will deliver me from this body of death? [Through Jesus Christ our Lord, thanks be to God!] So then, (it is evident) I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of Sin…” Ro 7:15-25
Observation: Man has an inherent conflict in themselves. I want to do good, but evil is right there. Not the evil without (like the devil or other things), but the evil/desire to sin within. Man cannot get out of his own way without supernatural changes…like being born again.
Analysis: The Holy Spirit has Paul writing about the reality of what Man experiences. When I confess Jesus as my Savior, the Holy Spirit engages in two Eternal realities:
1) My position in the Sight of God has changed. I am changed within, I am adopted, I am redeemed, I have become family, and a number of other things. These are what God has decided to engage in me.
2) I still have sinful tendencies to work out of me. Yes, this is also within what the Holy Spirit engages in, but NOT without my involvement. Look at the last chapter: “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Ro 6:11) This is not a passive statement relating only to the Holy Spirit’s role in our lives, this is an ACTIVE statement indicating that there is an effort to maintain in “considering ourselves dead to Sin.”
This is perhaps what is experienced: If I take solace (rest) only in what God has done, but do not take pursuing (an effort) righteousness seriously, then what happens? One brief reference in Matt 7 indicates that Jesus will say, “Begone, I never knew you.” That is a negative proof. A positive proof is, “…If you abide in my word (a directed effort), you are truly my disciples…” (John 8:11b)
What is a disciple? Is it only a confessor of belief in the Atonement? Or is it something more as the Holy Spirit told Timothy: “Rather, train yourself for godliness…” (1 Tim 4:11b)
Think about it: a Disciple is one who learns. My question to the Face in the Mirror is, am I a disciple that pursues knowing Him and more importantly, his Ways? Or am I just good for the title?
Prayer: Father, I am stirred up this day. I want to represent You in every way of my life. I submit my thoughts to you, O God.
Ricky Two Shoes