Saturday, March 26, 2011


Romans 7:14-15, 19, 22-24
14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

We are carnal -- fallen -- and we sin. We sin and hate that we do; in our spirit we want to do right, but we succumb to the canal side of ourselves.

19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
I want to be better, to do all the good things that I know I should...but over and over again I do the same stupid stuff...

22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
...even though I love God and I want to serve him and do everything he has asked me to. Giving myself to Christ and feeling his love pushes me to joyfully follow him!

23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
But I can't seem to stay constant... like the old cliche: "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" and not only that, even though I know that through Christ I can do all things, even though I know he has taken upon him all my sins and weaknesses, I still see myself failing...

24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

There is this division that exists within me. Between what my spirit wants and what my flesh wants. Between what I do when I do good -- and what I do when I sin. It's like the ultimate case of split personality disorder... a split between myself. 

I want to follow Christ...yet I often fail to do so...

Which Nephi felt all too keenly, "Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities (2 Nephi 4:17).

the mistakes of my natural self... that "natural man" who "is an enemy to God..." I am AN ENEMY TO GOD?! It is a scary thing... especially considering that that this emnity "...has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless..." AND THIS IS THE KEY because there is nothing we can do to be rid of this enmity except this "...he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord" (Mosiah 3:19).

the battle between spirit and flesh can only be ended, the two can only be reconciled, by our yielding to the Spirit and putting off THROUGH THE ATONEMENT. let me repeat, our yielding and putting off happens THROUGH the Atonement of Christ. It's not OUR doing. It is HIS doing.The Greek word for atonement is "katallage" which means reconciliation. to reconcile is to bring into harmony. this is part of what the atonement does for us.

It's what the atonement DOES FOR US. because changing our behavior isn't enough. nothing that I do is enough. 

back to Romans 7

25 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.
Because of Christ it is possible for this division to exist - for us to, in our mind and hearts serve God, and yet in our actions in the flesh still make the mistakes we will inevitable make and serve "the law of sin" because our faith is in the reconciliation that the atonement will work in us........ Throughout my life the atonement will bring into harmony the warring members of my soul and ultimately my will, my desires and actions - of spirit and flesh - will become whole, and one with Christ's will. 

"For we are saved by hope" and "we with patience wait" for "the redemption of our body" (Romans 8:23-25).

And one day, when I am resurrected and my body is made perfect through the blood of Christ, my reconciliation will be complete.

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