2019-03-26 A Two-Sided Coin

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Spring is in the air, with all sorts of birds now showing up in Central Minnesota. Sunday, I had a bluebird splashing in a puddle. The red-winged blackbirds are singing like crazy. Of course, Canadian geese fill the sky. There also seems to be way more crows than usual. At the same time, my regular guests are absent – the cardinals and ring-necked pheasants. Apparently, they no longer need my feeder now that the snow cover is disappearing. Today, the sandhill cranes arrived! One warning, however. We have not had a snow since I saw my first robin. My grandfather used to really pay attention to the seasons and weather. He told me that when you see the first robin, there will be one more snow. As far as I can remember, it hasn’t only happened once since I was a kid.

Anyway, I thought it was time to share another type of verse. Perhaps people think that I am too much on the “sin” side of the cross. There is some validity to that. While the law convicts us, Jesus paid the price of our sin on that cross, relieving me of the penalty of my sin. There is great comfort in God’s love, and perhaps I should write about it more. I think God does have me going through a season to teach me just how big of a problem sin is. After all, Jesus went to the cross for a reason, and our flesh will not be free from sin until it is resurrected anew by God himself.

Let’s put it this way. We all can see big problems in the world and within our own country. Wholesale sin has consumed us. One needs to look no further than how fast homosexuality and transgenderism have become mainstream to understand this. Yet this is like looking at the stars in the night sky. Through a telescope, we see countless galaxies in even the darkest regions. The same is true with sin.

The same is also true when we turn the telescope around. We find that there is what seems to be a whole different kind of universe in the things we can’t see. Our bodies are not a collection of organs but of cells. These cells are made up of smaller and smaller components. It’s staggering to think about such things. Check out this video:

So it is with sin. There is just as much to it on the small scale as on the large. It’s the small scale, my own sin, that has really bothered me of late. I’ve heard it said many times by radio preachers that with maturity of one’s faith comes a heightened awareness of sin. Well, I must be maturing because my sin is more troubling now than it ever has been. In all fairness, by comparison, I sin far less than I used to. It’s just that I never was bothered by it all that much before. Now, I don’t sin nearly as much, but I am bothered immensely more.

What’s most troubling is that the “residue” seems to be impossible to eliminate. And, as Paul discusses in Romans 7, it actually is impossible to remove it all. That’s the reason for his lament, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” As I heard John MacArthur over the weekend say, the only thing keeping us from God is our sinful body. Our spirit is clean, but our body isn’t. Separate our spirit, it will then be free to be with God.

Until then, I hate my sin. However, there is relief. Indeed, I must keep working to remove sin; I must not get “comfortable” living with it. No, the relief comes because the sin forces me to seek Jesus. It is in Jesus that I find my comfort. When I’m not seeking him, I sin; and when I sin, it’s unpleasant. When I seek him, I find the Fruit of the Spirit. So, this season of my life is a thorough understanding of sin. Why is that important? So I may have a thorough understanding of my deliverance. You see, Romans 7 is followed by Romans 8. It’s a two-sided coin. Of that, there is no escape. Therefore, I shall embrace it.

Romans 8:37-39 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Thank you, Father.

Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers

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