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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Apostle And His List (Convictions)

Struggling” With Sin « Jon CookThe Apostle Paul had lists.  Most of them referenced in the previous post were given by the Holy Ghost but penned by him.

Romans 7:15 - For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

Paul obviously had a list of things he believed he should do and a list of things he believed he should not do.  Of course when Paul struggled to live up to his list (convictions) he did not complain against the law.  In fact he clearly states that his struggle brought him to the conclusion that the law is good.  Many people seem to come to a different conclusion.

A couple of things become clear about Paul's list.  It was a list he struggled to attain and he felt bad when he failed.  People who have a list they don't struggle with do not have a list of God's making.  It is not about making ourselves the standard but accepting God's standard which is clearly more lofty than any of us can attain in our own power.  Nevertheless we strive bemoaning the failure.  We strive not as a defendant seeking to appease the judge (this we can never do)but as a child seeking to please a loving Father (here we can have a measure of success as we believe God and seek his power to please).  In doing so he gets all the glory and we get all the blessing.

There are a couple of other things to note about Paul's struggle to live consistently within the context of his convictions.

Romans 7:24 - O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  It caused him to anticipate the day when he would be perfect, delivered from his sin nature and that which hindered his desire to please God in everything and every way.

Romans 7:25 - I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.  He also obviously rejoiced in the areas where God had given him victory.
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