Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Romans 7: 15-25

For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin (Romans 7: 22,23)

Why does faith community need to be liberated from corruption? Apostle Paul addresses this issue in the epistle to the Romans, especially in our selected passage. And, as we begin our meditation, I beseech you to avoid the two possible extreme interpretations of this passage. Libertinism or antinomianism is one of them, which is based on the concept that the best law is no law at all. The other is the error of legalism, which seeks to produce godliness through a set of regulations and prohibitions. While legalism violates the principle of Grace, antinomianism repudiates the truth and moral absolute.
A struggle within: Paul begins the chapter by decisively establishing that the law has been fulfilled on the cross and no longer has authority or jurisdiction over us. Then, in verses 7-13, the apostle defends law as holy, righteous and good. I believe that Paul was carefully setting the stage to expose the dual nature of humanity in the rest of the chapter. We can see that Paul's struggle is the struggle of a saint, trying to live a godly life. It is the outworking of the righteousness of God. Although the 'old self’ has positionally been reckoned dead in Christ, it is practically very much alive and well in a saint, prompting to continue in sin. Due to this condition, Paul challenges us to allow Christ like nature to increase, so that we master the old self and subdue it until glorification. We find two opposing choices for every decision, and the inner man desires to serve God, but finds himself frustrated by flesh that is dominated and permeated with sin. Paul experienced this conflict after the conversion, not before, because the inner man was not born yet in him. Thus, conquering this perpetual struggle to be liberated from corruption becomes our spiritual journey.
Dual nature of the Law: Paul drives home two major conclusions: (1) the law is holy, righteous, and good, because it reveals the righteousness of God; exposes our sinful nature; and drives us to Christ. The law is also good, for the inner man in all of us agrees with it and wants to abide by it. (2)The law cannot and does not subdue our sinful nature, rather stimulates it. Then, the only cure for the flesh is death, and this has already taken place on the cross. Therefore, the power to live the Christian life in corrupted world is riot folind within ourselves, but in the Holy Spirit of God. And, we see law is as valid today and a standard of righteousness as it was in the Old Testament days, because it exposes our sinful nature and demands liberation from corruption.
Self existing and incorruptible Heavenly Father, We pray that "You must increase, but we must decrease," in our lives for Your glory. Amen!
God wants a righteousness that exceeds the words of the law.
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church