Question? Have you ran across those who try and suggest that if we openly confess we are still a work in progress ( still wrestle with sin ) that we must therefore be unsaved? Now as I read Romans 7 Paul seems to nail the equation down very well ( to the cross ), he describes a battle within, one between the flesh and the spirit. He never suggests that he has reached some sinless state of nirvana but concludes that his peace can be found in the realization that he can be reckoned as perfect, not by his works but by the work already provided by way of Christ on the cross.
Have you ever noticed that Paul has several trademarks that act as a marker of sorts of his writing style. It’s kinda easy to miss if’n your not really looking for it but this one in particular is of great interest., here’s a few examples..
“To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” Rom 1-7
“”Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” 1 Cor 1:3
“Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ” Gal 1:3
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” Eph 1:2
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” Phil 1:2
…could go on typing out verses but the theme remains the same in each letter…do ya see it?
In every instance Paul inserts “Grace” before “Peace”. Does it kinda give ya the feeling there’s a message there?
Folks there is no real peace until we first realize the grace He’s given us, the law never offered peace, on the contrary it was a standard that held man in bondage, man couldn’t be free or at peace, he had to return again and again to the same alter to offer the same sacrifice for his imperfections, his sin taunted him from year to year, Yom Kippur to Yom Kippur ( Day of Atonement to Day of Atonement ).
This is a subject I could just keep typing about, offer verse after verse after verse stating over and over what Jesus has actually done for us on the cross. Do we have responsibility, you betcha, should we be changing and growing into His image you betcha, but when I start thinking I’m gonna accomplish perfection in some pious self ascribed efforts apart from GRACE…I’ve deceived myself end of story.
There is indeed 2 ways to heaven, now stay with me here okay? One is to do it the way some obviously seem to suggest they can, and try and suggest you should.
Jon Courson said something along this line but this is my rendition….
…Be MR. or Mrs. Perfect. That’s right just get up each morning and brush your perfect teeth, comb your perfect hair, eat your perfectly balanced breakfast, drive your perfect car to your perfect job as you perform each task perfectly. At the end of your perfect day drive home in the traffic keeping your perfect attitude intact, smiling perfectly at those with road rage cursing you driving perfectly at the speed limit while maintaining your perfectly controlled attitude arrive home parking your car perfectly in the driveway surrounded by your perfectly manicured grass. Then walk in the door and kiss your perfect spouse perfectly centered upon the lips, discuss the perfection of each of your perfect children’s days as you enjoy your perfectly prepared dinner perfectly scraping any leftovers into your perfect dog’s dish. After dishes are washed to perfection settle in for a perfect evening with your perfect family all behaving perfectly toward their neighbors and themselves then end that perfect day with the perfect prayer crawl into your perfectly made bed to enjoy the grandeur of your perfect dreams concerning the perfection to come in your following perfect day!
Pull this off day after day and then when you leave this life simply walk right up to the throne and take a seat, just say “Excuse me, there’s 2 of us now”!
Or you could perhaps choose the way Paul concluded was the greater and more feasible option….by way of the GRACE! God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Through the blood of Christ we become just-if-ied….just as if I never sinned! How kewl is that!
I’m not going to be surprised if a Pharisee or two disagrees and wishes to argue this, Pharisees always have, but ya know it really doesn’t matter, cuz ya see I’m at peace, and I’m loving it, thank you Jesus!
“..knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified” Gal 2:16
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me”. Gal 2:20
Never let anyone convince you your still in bondage and rob you of your peace.