Sunday, January 16, 2011

Read That Again?

I ran across a verse the other day that made me stop.

I like that.

Sometimes I can get into Bible reading cruise control where the text is no longer alive, but just another task on my to-do list.

I don’t like that.

(I’ll stop writing one sentence paragraphs to avoid a Rob Bell copyright issue.)

Romans 7:20

"Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it."

This verse is not written to excuse sin, not at all. Paul describes sin with words like evil and wretched and death in this same section, but there is a bold statement here.

The statement is about exactly what God has accomplished.

God has so separated his sons and daughters from their sin that their sin does not even represent them anymore. Yes, I am still a moral free agent, making decisions, choosing wrong, choosing right. But, as God’s son, sin is so other from me that it is as if I am not sinning at all. It is some different person. Some parasite that temporarily takes me over and steals my identity.

If you belong to Christ you can say this with confidence:

“My sin is not me. Not anymore. Nope. I am the righteous, redeemed, loved, cherished, treasured, sought after, rescued, pure son/daughter of the King. I belong to Christ. I stand in Grace. I am His. To such a degree, that my sin isn’t just turning from God, it is turning from the real me, because I have been changed.”

That’s good news.