At the end of each video and blog I’ve been asking you to leave a comment based on an inductive approach to the texts we’ve been studying. So, that’s what I thought I’d do today. Here are some of my thoughts from my own personal devotions on Romans 7:21-25.
I believe that Romans 7:21-25 reveals a Three Item Checklist To Spiritual Health
Please read the text (click the link above), and follow along as I answer two questions…
I. What does it mean?
a. I’m fighting with myself
There are two realities simultaneously at work within me. First, it’s a reality that I desire to do good and that I really do want to follow God. However, it’s also a reality I desire to do what is evil and aggressively pursue an independence that excludes God.
b. I’m losing
Paul (the writer of Romans) summarizes the evil desires and the competition that rages within us with the phrase, “sinful nature.” We have a tendency to choose what is forbidden. Stated more simply, this isn’t a fair fight. Our desire for good is outmatched by our desire for evil every time. Because this is not who we want to be Paul summarizes our condition by calling it “wretched.”
c. This fight ends with fatality
Because of our sinful nature (our desire for and tendency to do evil) we are doomed. There is no course of action or pathway available to us that could remove us from a path that will end in judgement. We will not win our battle against our sinful nature.
d. Because of our faith in Jesus, He stepped in and ended the fight
Paul thanks Jesus because Jesus has won the battle. We’re not left to fight a battle we can’t win. We have been saved by grace and are no longer subjected to paying the price of a dominant sinful nature.
II. What do I have to do?
a. Stop acting on my own
Part of the point of this passage is to reveal that there is nothing you or I can do about this. Left on my own, I’m powerless to avoid judgement.
b. Start cooperating with Jesus
This passage also helps me see that it is essential for me to believe in Jesus and follow the Law of the Spirit. I need to resist the urge to try to please God based on measuring my behaviour against a set of rules. Instead, I need to pursue a lifestyle growing in an expression of Love for God and for others – a lifestyle that begins with a choice to believe in Jesus.
Based on my personal observations, here is The Three Item Checklist To Spiritual Health
1. Believe in Jesus (personal note: check)
2. Intentionally avoid the trap of trying to please God based on a system that measures my behaviour against a set of rules (personal note: ongoing)
3. Intentionally grow in expressions of love for God and others (also called, the Law of the Spirit) (personal note: ongoing)
What about you?
Based on this three item checklist, how’s your spiritual health? Can you say “check” and “ongoing” like me? Or, did you come up with something different when you studied this text yourself?
Please Share & Join the Conversation
Did you receive some insight from today’s post? If so, please share this post. And, please join the conversation by leaving a comment below telling us what you heard, what it means to you, and what you’ll do about it.