2 Corinthians, Acts 20:1-3, Romans 1-7
Ack! Here at the end of my Bible Reading Challenge, I am facing adversity that is challenging my will to cross the finish line. I am sick. A constant tickle is over my voice box and spreads down to my chest. My cough sounds horrible; a visit to the doctor may be in order — the last time my cough sounded this bad, I had bronchitis. But I had fever then…and I don’t now, at least as of this moment.
So this evening I got caught up on my reading and will share this passage from Romans:
12 Do not let sin control the way you live;[a] do not give in to sinful desires. 13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. 14 Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.
15 Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! 16 Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. 17 Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. 18 Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.
Paul is obviously setting out the ideal and not necessarily the reality of the Christian life, because in the very next chapter he writes:
21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power[e] within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
So…am a slave to sin, or am I really set free? Perhaps here we are given a peek into Paul’s mood. Maybe he’d just messed up royally and was feeling down on himself when he wrote those words…but I can totally relate. As I yell with an unpleasant “mommitude,” I know that my tone is wrong…but I do it anyway. But I will latch onto the fact that the answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Jesus is the answer, no matter the question, it seems.
I end with a plea: Jesus, heal me.