To Live or To Die, that is the question. The question is NOT “To be or not to be.” However, “Shake-us-sphere” aka Shakespeare came close in his soliloquy. 😛
On this journey I made a list of seven notes about being released from the law and sin. It’s important to acknowledge to self that we as Believers do indeed sin and sometimes become so bound up in it that we are unable to release ourselves from it. Peradventure, some are astonished about what sin is and wrestle with it daily. If we are not cognizant of our sin, what then? (((JESUS))) And now, allow me to share my words of understanding. Please read the bible verses in Romans 7 to receive your understanding.
- God’s law never dies. (Entire Bible)
- If you strictly follow the law then the law has dominion over you as long as you live. It’s basically a marriage between you and the law. Paul gives an ensample of a marriage between a man and woman. A living spouse is only released from the marriage if the spouse dies and is free to remarry without being labeled an adulterer/adulteress. If both are still living and one remarries then that one is called an adulterer/adulteress. According to the word a divorce still bounds one to that marriage even if one remarries. Huh? The only thing that is clear to me with this scenario is that the point is this: someone must die for another to be released from the law. (vs.2;3)
- You only become dead to the law by the body of Christ which is a good thing. If we are honest with self and with God, we know how impossible it is for us to follow the whole law. Who alive have not broken one or more of the Ten Commandments? Even so, now we are assured that Christ is the ‘someone’ that released Believers from the law. Believers that are alive in Christ “should bring forth fruit unto God.” (vs.4)
- Let’s swim for a moment. While swimming in the flesh w/o some lifeguard protection, the motion of deadly waves can cause one to drown. Drowning = Death. Sometimes the flesh thinks its ok to swim in calm waves. Don’t be fooled by the motions. By law, oceans always have waves. (vs.5) Ocean Moment- http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/wavesinocean.html
- Deliverance from the law allows you to be more attentive to serve in newness of spirit (the new way) and not serve the flesh which is administered by the letter (the old way). Point– An antique piece can be renewed, yet it is still an antique. (TYHS) In Christ, you still have the same old body but you are no longer bound in that old body when you have freedom in Christ. The chains have been broken; the prison door has been opened. Peter can testify to that. ( vs. 6) Speaking of testify…why is it that some churches no longer allow time for testimonies anymore? Sad!
- The law is NOT sinful, but you learn what sin is because of the law. Let’s look at it this way using this statement- “I would not have known it existed had I not seen it there with my own eyes.” (vs.7)
- Sin is always ready to seize its moment because of the law. Remember, it is always alive and crouching at your door looking for that opportune moment for breaking the law. (vs.8)
In verses 9 thru 23 we will find the wrestling match between the law and sin, the spirit and the flesh. S-T-R-E-S-S is what it boils down to. The wrestling between the spirit and the flesh cause us to be in a ‘do I do’ or ‘do I not do’ constant Thorn-ful Stress Head Lock.
Story Moment– (Read Genesis 32-33) This study reminded me of the wrestling match Jacob had. Let me go into the childhood part of mind here before closing out this blog. Jacob was on his way to meet his brother Esau, who he betrayed while in the flesh.(TYHS) He was afraid to approach Esau first, so he sent his servants ahead of him with a message for Esau. Messengers returned with a report from Esau. Jacob becomes scared, puts the people and things he love most into one group and the people and things he loved less in another group. Guess which group was placed in front to allow a chance for the other group to flee.
He then prays to God, chose gifts to appease Esau and sends his servants ahead of him with the gifts as he slept in the camp. He woke up from his sleep and took his two wives, two maidservants, and his eleven sons and other stuff he had over the crossing of Jabbok’s brook. (Still serving the flesh) Now he was alone, the wrestling match begins with “a man with him until the breaking of the day.”
The man could not get a good choke hold on Jacob, so he used his touch move to the hollow socket of Jacob’s thigh to push it out of joint to slow Jacob down. Jacob still had a hold on him as he asked Jacob to “ Let me go, for the day breaketh.” Jacob said “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” He asked Jacob what was his name. He then told Jacob that his name is “no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power (wrestled) with God and with men, and hast prevailed. Out of that wrestling match comes a new name and something to remind him of why he received it. What something reminds you that you are new in Christ and blessed? To live or to die, that is the question beloved.
Jacob was blessed by the man and he believed that he had met God face to face and that his life was now preserved. The story ends, Jacob has no fear of meeting Esau, they meet, hug cry (you know what forgiveness releases you of) and introduced family they never met. And so, Jacob arrived at his destination without wrestling with his brother.
There were three points that the Holy Spirit shared with me here. (1) Jacob was no longer serving the old flesh(backstabbing a family member), but was now living and serving God with a newness of spirit and with a new name. I guess flesh shrinkage does wonders. (2)God can work through you to change even the negative attitude of another person that has cause to be against you. Is that not a blessing? Go ahead. Let’s shout for that is an opportunity for a “Praise God” moment. I surely can’t wait for the day that I receive my new name. (3) No where in the bible does it allude to the adage “choose (pick) your battles wisely” that is preached and taught. The bible does show and tell us that we are to be ready for battles(wrestling matches) as Jacob was. Had he not been ready to fight, the wrestling match would have been over before daylight, don’t you think?
And now I close.
The bottom line of this wrestling match is as Paul states in verses 24-25: O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 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.
Thank you for reading and may you receive many blessings and understanding from the Holy Spirit.
Come, let us worship and sing with joy, “I will never be bound again”.