Question? Have you run 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 ( especially verse 14 on ) Paul seems to nail the equation down very well ( to the cross ), he describes a battle within, one between the flesh and the spirit.
“For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 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. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:14-25 ~ KJV)
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 altar 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 a 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 crawls 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 cool 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 you’re still in bondage and rob you of your peace.