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A Faith That Pardons

Daily Reading: Romans 7

 

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. (Romans 8.1-2)

 

Devotional Thought: Yes, Romans 7 is our chapter for today, and the scripture focus is from Romans 8!  The chapter division is really in an unfortunate place and interrupts Paul’s argument.  (The Bible was written originally without verse and chapter divisions.)  Paul’s thought is incomplete at verse 25.  If you stop there, you could be left with the exact opposite understanding of Paul's teaching.

 

Romans 7.7-24 seems to be saying the exact opposite of what Paul was saying in the previous chapter.  In chapter 6, Paul made the strong assertion that we should not plan a “sinning religion.”  God forbid!  But in chapter 7, Paul seems despondent  due to our lack of power over sin: “What a wretched man I am!”  What’s the deal?

 

Notice that Paul changes to the first person singular in this section.  Because of that, some say that Paul is speaking of his own experience in these verses.  Careful examination will reveal that he is not.  First person singular is an abrupt change from the rest of the book.   That is because he is now speaking metaphorically, using “I” to depict the person who is in this condition.  (Paul doesn’t tell the Romans that they or any other Christians are in that condition.  That is important.)

 

The context also tells you that Paul is describing neither himself nor normative Christian experience.  In fact, Paul makes the exact opposite argument in the surrounding chapters!  There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus!  There is no slavery!  We have been set free by the blood of Jesus!  We are no longer wretched.  Before we knew Jesus we were, but now we have replaced the cry “What a wretched man I am!” with “Abba, Father” for we are children of the living God! 

 

Thanks be to God!

 

Prayer: Father, thank you that there is now no condemnation to me for I am in Christ Jesus, and have victory over sin.  Help me to live up to my capacity and not down to the curse.  Through the powerful name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

 

Psalm of the Day: 24.7-10

7 Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.

8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle!

9 Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.

10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah

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