12/23/16 The War Between Good & Evil In Our Hearts

“Please don’t misunderstand me.  I am not saying that the Law that was supposed to be good instead brings death.  It is not the Law that brings death, but sin taking advantage of the Law to ensnare people and bring them away from God.  Sin was all but hidden before the Law was given to Moses, but the Law illuminated sin and its penalty, death.  God’s Law is meant to be kept wholly by His Spirit, which lives within us only when we surrender ourselves to Jesus.  But we, apart from Jesus, are part spirit and part body, and both of those parts are enslaved to sin.  In that state, we cannot possibly keep God’s Law as He intended.  Even the best of the Pharisees have not been able to keep the whole Law; although they often excel at keeping the letter of the Law, they tend to completely miss the spirit of the Law.  And here is the power of sin within us:  I doggedly pursue those things that are sinful, those things that in my conscience I know are wrong and don’t want to pursue.  And those things that I know are good, that I want to focus all my energy and attention on, are the things that I don’t do, because I am doggedly focused on pursuing what I hate.  But the simple fact that I know I want to do what is good proves that the Law is good, because the Law commands me to do what is good.  My disobedience to the Law doesn’t make the Law evil, it just means that my sinful nature is stronger than the part of me that desires to be obedient to the Law.  And really, I am not the one who is disobeying the Law, but it is the sin that lives in my heart.  I know that there is no good within myself, or within any human being.  All of creation is sinful by nature, so that to do evil comes naturally and to do good requires a struggle that we rarely have the strength to win.  I want to do what is good, but in and of myself, I don’t have the power to carry it out.  So I don’t do the good that I want to do, but instead I keep on doing the evil that I don’t want to do.  If I don’t want to do something, but I do it anyway, it’s the sin that lives within me that is carrying it out, not I myself.”

 

Romans 7:13-20

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