Wrestling With Paul

Follow up to yesterday before the confessions begin. God is good and faithful. He promises to never leaves us or abandons us in our time of need. Yesterday He kept those promises. I am blessed.

Confession…I am a rule follower. If given the choice between rules and love, I am sad to say that I am prone to choose rules before love.

It isn’t a good thing. I am no proud of it, but it is my weakness. So reading Romans 7 this week has been painful and challenging. Paul in essence is saying that rules can’t save you. You can follow the rules all you want, and you still won’t be saved. Your heart will still want to do the wrong thing. You’ll do the right thing over and over again hoping that you’ll start to want to do the right thing, but you will still have the urge to do the wrong thing. UGGGG! I don’t want to hear that. I want to hear that the rules will eventually change me from the wretch that I am into a better person.

Paul exclaims in verse 24:

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Exactly Paul! Who indeed?! Why is Paul writing this stuff?! C’mon Paul! Then comes Romans 8. Glorious promises of chapter 8.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  For the law of the Spirit of life has set you  free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

Finally! Good news. Jesus death on the cross means I am free! I don’t have to be a slave to my dumb behavior! I can be free to love Jesus and I can be free to allow Him to make me new. Laws have nothing to do with it! It was God’s love for me that sent His son to die. It was His love for me that chose to make a way for me to be free. I get so caught up in what is “right” and miss the fact that love must be what I allow God to plant in my heart. Just because I keep the law doesn’t mean I’m good. The love He is filling me with will be the good in me. I too often make the law more important than the love He desires to give me. The good in me must be motivated by the love He gives me. His love for me and my love for Him must be my motivation, not the law. The obedience of His law is good but it is impossible to maintain without something real attached to it. It’s easy to go though the motion but then it isn’t real. If obedience of the law was enough, the cross would have been unnecessary. But it was necessary and His love is vital.

So, I am free to choose to cling to God’s love rather than cling to my adherence of the law. My suspicion is, is I allow His love to become real to me and alive in me, the following of the law part will take care of itself.

Until another confession…

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