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Graceful Law

I was reading this post from Kevin this morning - wow, that's deep. In Romans 7, Paul deals with the Law and Guilt and Death and Condemnation.
What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can't be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God's command is necessary.
- Rom 7:15-16 (msg)
There is a center, a balance to the thoughts of grace and law, a place where we sit like Paul and wonder what the heck we're doing here and how we're ever going to do the right thing.Christians put forth the face that we've got it all figured out, but in reality we don't (I do have it figured out, of course - it's those other hypocrites that bother me).
It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?
- Rom 7:21-24 (msg)
I know that Paul answers his own question in the next verse, but I also know that we don't dwell enough (I dwell enough - it's just those other people, you understand) on what makes His grace and His law truly worthwhile. The real question is right there: Is there no one on this planet who can help, since I so obviously can't help myself? We're too self-sufficient, too comfortable carrying the chains and the deadweight around. We probably need to drag that stuff a little - our guilty conscience proves we need more help most of the time. Unhealthy guilt needs to be dealt with head-on - but a dead conscience, dead to guilt and feeling the shame of sin, that needs to be dealt with, too.

Just thinking before church, blogging from the lobby.


Anonymous Rebecca said...

great thoughts-I wonder sometimes how much of our guilt, both the healthy kind that can be more accurately described as conviction, but also the unhealthy kind-how much of it and what degree is a productive of our human nature, how much of it comes from our culture, and to what degree it is conviction that upon repentence we need to lay down-guilt/conviction-interesting topic

26/6/05 10:09 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

good point. i think things we "get convicted on" might be coming more from culture than from the Spirit. works both ways, pays to be discerning, etc. thanks for posting your thoughts, too.

26/6/05 3:45 PM  
Blogger carrie said...

i love Paul

26/6/05 5:07 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

thanks for stopping by, carrie - yeah, figuring him out is the hard part sometimes :)

27/6/05 7:47 AM  

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