Monday, June 11, 2012

Romans 7:9, Alive Before the Law

Romans 7:9
Psalm 37:1-9
One of the reasons I don't post a new meditation 7 days a week is that it can take a couple days of "chewing" on a verse to understand it and write about it. Reading a large chunk of Scripture every day benefits us in many ways but also gives us an escape route to skip over verses like Rom 7:9 that are more complicated. I chose to move verse by verse so I couldn't pass over the challenging verses but give the Holy Spirit an opportunity to speak through verses I've skimmed past in previous readings.
It seems odd for Paul to talk about being alive before the coming of the Law because he was a Pharisee. There was a time that the Law didn't rule his every action? Didn't he find himself sinning and therefore "dead" even before understanding the Law?
The innocence of a child can never be fully recovered
Yet as I look at my own perceptions and the comments made by so many people to me, I realize that there is an innocence that is also an ignorance which an introduction to God's Law can disrupt. We look at our lives and believe quite blindly that we are doing okay. Sure, we know our imperfections, but they're not as bad as some other people's sins. There is a mentality that the norm is to go to Heaven (or at least not the other place) and I am certainly at least as good as the norm, probably better than average. It is only as we begin to understand God's ways through His Law or another encounter with His absolute perfection that our eyes are opened to the depth of our own failing. Yet recognizing our sin doesn't lead us to stop. We find our sins growing and the eternal fate we deserve becomes obviously different from what we expected in our ignorance. The debt of sin grows and the Law becomes a source of our death rather than our life. The Law tells us who God is, how we can be like Him, how we can avoid evildoing and live righteously. Yet we find ourselves breaking the Law, powerless to obey it perfectly. We want to follow the advice of the psalm but find ourselves dying through sin despite our desires to honor God.
There is no way to return to the innocence/ignorance once we've encountered the purity of God. The only way is forward, through His grace.

No comments:

Post a Comment