For today

I've got a lot on my brain. I keep forgetting to blog and it sort of piles up. I have a journal that is more regular than the blog so I get to dump a little ramble there. But this morning I don't have language school (and can sit and drink coffee) so with each sip of coffee another thing I've wanted to blog about percolates up.

I've read through 1 Peter, Hebrews and Galatians in school. I'm reading to improve comprehension and vocabulary and pronunciation and how to speak in the rhythm of Spanish. But the Word of God is living and active! So it's impossible to read it for the purpose of understanding it and not be changed by it.

2 things (of many) have stuck with me. 1 Peter 1 says this: "13Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." And later I read in Galatians 5, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."

So, I confess, that I still have sinful passions and desires. No reason to detail those, but a look at the previous verses in Galatians 5 will give a glimpse if you need a reminder of what were capable of.

So, in Spanish, the verb for "crucified" is in the preterite perfect tense. Hold on here, grammar-phobes, there's a point. And the meaning of that tense is an action that has both begun and ended in the past. It is completed and won't be repeated.

And so I've been thinking (sometimes a good thing) and wondering if those two things are in conflict - my command to be holy (and not choose the sinful nature) and the fact that those desires have already been crucified and therefore are dead. How do I choose not to do something that is dead? And if it's dead, why the present struggle? I know the Bible isn't in conflict so its my job to figure it out. And I've thought about this before but each time I read the Bible the Lord brings things up fresh and in a new light.

And so I thought and read some books and asked the Lord about it. Because my experience is that I still struggle with these desires that have been crucified. And Galatians tells me (in one of my favorite verses in the book) that I have been crucified with Christ. I read a book that put that passage in this light: That the desires (and all sin) have been judged on the cross. The cross is the point in history when God judged sin through the sacrifice of His son. I am to consider those desires as judged, condemned forever, and therefore removed of their power over me.

And so it is because of that 'confusion' that I have been constantly thinking about this. And that, as Paul states in the beginning of chapter 5 that "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free". Can I get an "AMEN"? Freedom! Freedom from sin. Freedom from the crap I am capable of (please excuse the vulgarity). But oh, it is a daily decision. And today, this Sunday, I am deciding to live in freedom and not in bondage. Because bondage is awful! Slavery is awful. Freedom is wonderful!

So join me today in choosing to look those desires dead in their nasty face and say, "You have been judged forever on the cross of my Lord, so back off and get out of my way. I have a freedom to proclaim today."

1 comment:

Mike Messerli said...

it is funny how we choose to eat out of the dumpster rather than eat at the buffet. But notice that after all of Paul's explanation of what has already happened there is an invitation to a response to the reader, "therefore let us...." It's still, even with the chains off, a matter of personal choice to respond to what has already been done for us. Like you I too often choose the dumpster....I hate that.