Saturday, November 9, 2013
chafing against the rules
Good afternoon sisters and brothers,
Today's reading is also our main sermon text for worship tomorrow. It's a favorite for me because Paul gets at the heart of our religious rules (other rules too, for that matter). We often feel trapped by rules or feel like we don't need them because we know what its right. That instinct is correct: we don't need rules when we really follow our best self. The trouble is a lot of the time we know what's right but we have a hard time doing it. The rules are their to remind us when we aren't being our best self. They aren't to trap us, but to guide us, to discourage us from leaving the path that our best self wants to follow.
blessings on your walk today,
14For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. 15I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.
20Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. 21So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. 22For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, 23but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin.