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Sabbath: No Condemnation — 14 Comments

  1. Isa 53:5 tells me that by His stripes, we are healed. But today's lesson tells me that Christ is the "Substitute who died in our stead"? So, if I have a terminal condition (eg cancer), how would the Doctor dying in my stead save me? Something doesn't seem to fit.

    Amen!(7)
      • Sin is not an illness that we developed. SIn is the result of an action, that action requires a death sentence. CHrist taking responsibility for our wrong action also takes on the penalty for that action. The gift he offers is the gift from the penalty of death (life eternal), and a chance for restoration. However, if we concontinue in the wrong action we develope a cancer like disease which will eventually kill us.

        Amen!(1)
    • The question I have who is the Doctor? Now if the Dr. is Jesus then the Bible our only hope for salvation, says the Dr. died in my stead to save me...Now you can only accept with the Bible says by FAITH. A human Dr. Is a sinner just like you and I.

      Amen!(6)
    • The penalty for sin is death. But the gift of God is eternal life. Christ died in our place, so that we could have life- and live all the more abundantly in Him.

      Amen!(4)
    • Yes, Anele, I agree that Romans 8 is the answer to the struggle in Romans 7.

      However, much depends on how we read what Paul says in both chapters.

      Let's look at Romans 7 first:
      Some interpret Romans 7 as the testimony of someone who sins without ceasing, so to speak, making them very certain that this is the testimony of in unconverted man. I see several problems with this interpretation:
      1) Even atheists can live good moral lives, and they may not be struggling with sin because they know they are living "good moral lives." Others who give themselves over to sin are not struggling. They do not "delight in the law of God." So Romans 7 cannot be referring to abandoned sinners.
      2) The persona of Romans 7 is very aware of personal sinfulness and inadequacy in light of the law of God in which he "delights" in his mind. (Ro 7:12, 14, 18, 22.) That can only be true of someone awakened to his condition by the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, Romans 7:25 goes so far as to claim "with the mind I myself serve the law of God." That even sounds like a converted person, does it not?
      3) Lastly, we know by experience that, even after conversion, we often find ourselves doing what we did not intend to do because our intention is to do the will of God. (One person interpreted Romans 8 as a walk of complete victory and a clean break with Romans 7, but he did not offer a direct reply when I asked whether he believes that converted people do not sin.)
      4) I believe Romans 7 is the experience of everyone who tries to overcome sin but fails because of focusing on overcoming sin, rather than focusing on Jesus Christ. Even after conversion, we often fall into this trap. Other times, we fall into sin because of negligence - not being conscious of being "in Christ" in the moment or not spending enough time to gain the strength we need for the day. At times like that, Romans 7 describes us. (I believe Romans 7 is referring to the struggle at such times.)

      Romans 8:
      I believe this is the answer to Romans 7 because whether a person has been converted or not, victory over sin is only possible through Jesus Christ and a conscious faith and trust in Him to save us - not just to justify us, but also to sanctify us.

      It was only after I understood this that I began to experience genuine peace and joy in the Lord. I know that my strength lies in nurturing a relationship with Jesus and remaining conscious of His Presence throughout the day. I leave the judging of how sinful or "perfect" I am up to Him. It's His business, as long as I put myself at His disposal. I need to surrender myself to Him daily. I need to ask for the "mind of Jesus." (Phil 2:5-8) I do not claim to walk in uninterrupted victory. I often have to bow down and weep at the feet of Jesus for my failure to represent Him in all my dealings. But He does not cast me off but assures me that, as He has begun a good work in me, He will also finish ("perform" KJV) it. Phil 1:6.

      I believe others should be able to see that we are different now than we used to be. They should be able to see a growth in Christian graces. In fact, we ourselves should be able to see progress in being more like Jesus today than we were a year ago. But I believe it is unhealthy to focus on our level of "perfection" or even to focus on our sinfulness. Either is, intrinsically, a self-focus and is not a faith focus - since faith means fully trusting in Jesus Christ, that He will do for us what He has promised. I believe that, as we grow in Him, we spend a greater and greater amount of time consciously in His Presence, and when we do that 100% of the time, we will not sin, but we will be the last to be conscious of "not sinning," because our whole focus is on Christ.

      As I understand it, God judges our hearts, not our outward appearance (including our actions). And as long as we are moving closer to Him, rather than turning our backs on Him, we can trust that is saving us to live with Him eternally.

      The bottom line, as I see it, is that focusing on keeping the law, on becoming sinless, or whatever, is a path of failure. It is the path of Romans 7. In sharp contrast lies the path of victory, as portrayed in Romans 8, with a focus on Jesus Christ who is the only one who can justify us and sanctify us. Rom 8:1-3, 16, 26, 28.

      I think Jeffrey Carl's transparently honest comment on November 24 provides some needed texture to this discussion, especially if you are aware of his story. PLease read his story, "Love Wins Again." (Since he wrote that story, he has spent some time as a volunteer missionary)

      Amen!(14)
      • Amen for this Inge."The bottom line, as I see it, is that focusing on keeping the law, on becoming sinless, or whatever, is a path of failure. It is the path of Romans 7 . In sharp contrast lies the path of victory, as portrayed in Romans 8 , with a focus on Jesus Christ who is the only one who can justify us and sanctify us. Rom 8:1-3 , 16 , 26 , 28 ."

        Amen!(2)
  2. Justification simply means that the guilty past has been erased and does not refer to salvation.
    The law to which Paul referred in addressing the Jews at Rome, was the various works of the law required by Moses--The law the Jews professed but did not keep.
    Belief in Christ means believing in everything He stood for.

    Amen!(6)

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