REIGNING WITH CHRIST
So I find this law at work: when I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Romans 7:21-24
The sad truth is that for those of us who most want to follow Christ, the result of that desire is either a deep sense of guilt or an unfortunate tendency to condemn others for not measuring up to the goodness that we know we should display (but don’t). Surely, if Christ has truly come to free us, it is from this!
FJ HUEGEL: The ground must be cleared of misconceptions. We cannot fully appreciate the glory of the Christians’ position as one raised up with Christ and together with Him made to sit in heavenly places—[beloved children who] having received an abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness might reign in life by Jesus—without first looking squarely at positions which for them no longer obtain. First and foremost we must note, though it be very elementary, that the Christian does not stand on the ground of condemnation. His position is not that of a criminal (or a judge), judged and found guilty (or judging and finding guilty), on the way to execution.
It would appear at first flush, unnecessary to mention so elementary a matter. This is for beginners. And yet how much of the Christian’s time is spent secretly groaning under a sense of guilt and condemnation (or righteous indignation and condemnation). Here is where for the most part we Christians, let us be honest and admit it, find ourselves. . . Though at first we did experience a sense of relief and forgiveness and freedom, as time went on we fell back under a yoke no less galling than that which was ours in our unconverted state, before we knew Christ.
PRAYER: Dear God, I cannot believe that you sent Christ to deliver me from sin and death only to allow me to be trapped by guilt, self righteousness, and condemnation. I don’t just want to pretend to be good—I want to be good, pure, holy AND gracious. I ask this in Jesus’s name, Amen.