Thursday, July 31, 2014
I am often reminded of Romans, Chapter 7 when he have our customary fellowship gatherings after our Wednesday night services in church which always include prepared foods or goodies and pastries. I’m sure many have criticized us and especially me, because to them it appears we are more interested in food than in spiritual things. I suppose not everyone will believe me, but we don’t do it because of the food but rather for the opportunity to spend time together as a family. My desire now for a long time has been that ours will be more like a family than a church. Nevertheless, a family gathering is not a gathering if no food is present. If you examine the established assemblies for God’s people in the Bible, you will see that food and merriment always played a part.
Back to the reason our fellowships remind me of Romans, Chapter 7. I have noticed that, when faced with the choice, we most often choose the goodies we should really avoid. It is the same with the things we eat at home or on our own every day; we seem to like the wrong things more and ultimately choose them. In fact, this dilemma applies to all of life as well. The bottom line is we often like the things we should not like. In the chapter in question, the Apostle Paul spoke about that matter. In part, he wrote: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Rom. 7:15) He was referring to the continual inner struggle all Christians have with their two natures, the old one, and the new one that was born on the day Christ came into their lives. Jesus referred to it in the gospels of Matthew and Mark by simply saying “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” The truth is, as long as we are in this world, we will struggle with this issue.
I know this particular matter frustrates many of you. Just like Paul, you always want to do the right thing, but you often wind up doing the opposite. However, what you need to keep in mind is that, in that very same chapter, he reminded us that though we are not yet free from the power of sin, we are free from it’s penalty. That is why he quickly said afterwards in Romans 8:1 that God’s children can no longer be condemned. Keep this in mind also: when we really rely on God’s grace, we’ll be able to overcome the flesh, do the right thing, and sin won’t always defeat us. Now, armed with that hope, that’s something we can live with.
Memory verse for the week: (Ephesians 4:31) Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.