Friday, April 6, 2012

"you can see a black spider crawling up your shirt a lot better if you are wearing a white shirt than if you are wearing a black shirt" (Key Insight to Romans 7)

Ken Berding at the Good Book Blog recounts an exchange with J.I. Packer while he was attending college that helped him with some key insight into Romans 7:
Packer gently leaned over the table, looked me in the eye, and said, “Young man, Paul wasn’t struggling with sin because he was such a sinner.  Paul was struggling because he was such a saint.  Sin makes you numb.  People who sin over and over again become desensitized to sin.  The reason Paul’s “struggle” was so intense was not because he was caught in a web of sin, or because he thought of himself as hopelessly doomed to giving into the temptations that he faced.  Rather, it was because Paul lived a life so sensitive to the Holy Spirit and passionate about the glory of God that he intensely felt his sins whenever he became aware that he had committed a sin (since he was not, of course, sinlessly perfect).”
One of the analogies Mr. Berding gave in his article was actually used for the title of this post.
I greatly enjoyed his story and Dr. Packer's insight into understanding what a Christian of Paul's stature could mean by writing Romans 7 right smack dab between Romans 6 and 8. Excellent!

Just a few notes of my own:
Romans 6 - Paul as a new creation; having been crucified with Christ.
Romans 7 - Paul's newfound sensitivity toward conviction of remaining sin he still experiences in this life.
Romans 8 - Paul is empowered by the post-resurrection given Holy Spirit to do battle against remaining indwelling sin, so he does not still live as a slave to sin, but rather as a son of God.
We walk in Paul's footsteps -- no condemnation in our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus!
All Praise and Thanks be to God!

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