Bethany Lutheran Church, Bigfork, MT

 

March 2019

By Pastor Christopher Miller

Dear Friends in Christ,

Before reading this, please read Romans 7:7-13.

Paul starts out by getting rid of the notion that the Law itself is sinful. Some might believe that, based on what he has said about being freed from the Law up to this point in Romans. "That seems to be the problem here, so you're saying God gave us a problem." This is actually a very common argument in our day, but regarding the church. Many people have been hurt by the church, through abuse, rejection, or neglect, and some of those who have been on the receiving end of that have left the church behind entirely, claiming that the church is the problem.

Paul's response to the argument is to not blame the tool for the pain. Think of it like a hammer. A hammer is a good tool. Pounds nails. Pulls out nails. Gets the job done. But what happens when that hammer comes down on your fingernail? You're not very happy with what the hammer did, right? But do you blame the hammer? Some of us might, but the hammer is just the tool. The one operating the tool was the problem. In the hammer's case, it was your mistake; in the Law's case, it is the purposeful work of sin. The tool is good.

But did the tool bring me death? Did the Law kill me? Well, yes and no. Paul's point in Romans 7 is "no." It was your sin that killed you, using a good tool, in order that your sin would be revealed completely. But here's where the "yes" comes in: that is exactly the place that God wants you. He wants you to realize that your sin is cut through everything you do, even your best works. He wants you to despair in yourself, because that is just the place that Christ will work.

What does that life of despair look like? That's next month.

 

In Christ's Hope,                  Pastor Christopher Miller

 

 
 
 
 
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