So I just finished this fascinating study where I learned that even though December 25th is not the birth of Jesus it does have huge significance. It is not the time He was born but rather the time the angel announced to Mary that she was now pregnant and Messiah was on the way.
What does this have to do with Romans 7? A lot actually. I'll never forget when my wife told me we might be pregnant. We were Christmas shopping at a mall. We got a test kit and I waited outside the washroom. She promised she wouldn't look until we could both look. She came out and we sat down on a bench. We waited until there was no one immediately around and we took a peak. There were 2 bars!!! I will never forget the feelings. It was AWESOME!
Now think about Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac. His birth story began with the announcement of his conception. Zachariah and Elizabeth the same thing and so it was with Mary and Joseph. The excitement doesn't begin at birth. It begins the instant you know the baby is on the way.
Romans 7 is a struggle between death and birth. The person we were before Jesus came into our lives or before we finally chose to allow Him in is struggling not to die and the new person we are wanting to become, a person like Jesus, is struggling to be born.
Now think about it. Why do we get excited the moment we discover a baby is on the way? And think about this: When did Jesus go from being a speck in Mary's womb to being the Messiah?
Now think about this: Has Jesus completed His mission yet? Has His role as Messiah been fully "signed, sealed, and delivered"? Let me give you a hint:
(Jesus speaking) "Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father's house are many dwellings. I am going to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you to Myself that where I Am there you may be also."
Now remember how important we said context is right? When did Jesus say this? Right after telling Peter and the other disciples that they would all deny Him! "You are all going to fail Me and abandon Me but don't let that trouble you. Believe in God and believe in Me..." - Jesus
Why do we get so excited when we find out a tiny microscopic seed is growing in a woman's belly? Because experience has taught us that a real living little person will soon arrive.
Are you seeing the connection yet? When we choose Jesus it is like the conception of a baby. There may be no visible evidence of change. We may seem no different than we ever were. The difference is that now we have hope. Real solid hope!
14 "For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 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. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?"
Who will deliver me not what will deliver me.
25 "I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
Jesus will deliver us. It is a process not an event and on the days when our old nature lashes out and we feel hopeless we should not allow our hearts to be troubled. Jesus is not dead and neither is He done. He who has begun a good work in you and I WILL bring it to completion. Jesus has not completed His mission in the universe nor has He completed His work in us but He will. We need to stop looking at our lack and start rejoicing that the seed of who we will become has been planted and that new life is growing and we have MUCH to look forward to.
See you tomorrow when it gets even better!