Lenten Reflection 3-7-22

Lent Reflection Day 5 - by Kim Wu

Romans 7:14-25  14 For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin.[a] 15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17 But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, 23 but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Paul speaks of the battle within us that we all feel:  the battle between our sinful selves and the new versions of ourselves we gain through Christ.

Sin wants to hide within us, to conceal its breadth and power.  We enable sin and increase its power when we trivialize our sins, excusing them as weaknesses or mistakes, calling them “little sins.”

John Piper, in his book, “The Passion of Jesus Christ,” writes, “Sin is not small, because it is not against a small Sovereign.  The seriousness of an insult rises with the dignity of the one insulted.  The Creator of the universe is infinitely worthy of respect and admiration and loyalty.”

When we are aware of our own carnality, as Paul was in this passage, then we know God is at work in us.  “No man knows how bad he is until he has tried to be good.” (C.S. Lewis)  It is when we know we are helpless in the struggle of obedience in our own strength that we come to realize our need for the saving grace of Jesus.

Lord Jesus, our High Priest in heaven and the Son of God, help me to hold firmly to the faith I profess in You.  You understand every weakness I have because You were tempted in every way, although You did not sin.  I know I can come to you in my moments of weakness, and ask for Your mercy and grace to help me in my time of need.  Thank you Lord, for your constant presence in my life.  Amen.  (Based on Hebrews 4:14-16, CEV)

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