Its one week away! Schools out! And this is my last day of work for the year, no not the year, the decade! The big day is just a week away. Its time for more classic 80’s Christmas from Josh. Today, its back to the early days of MTV Bill Squier and Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You. Nice! Merry Christmas!
Yesterday’s post centered on the frustration of living with sin and duplicity of mind, so it seems just right today to keep going in Romans right in to the next chapter. Romans 8 is one of my favorite chapters – the way it begins, the way it ends. It tells the entire story in one chapter. I find it so rejuvenating. So lets take a look today right at that beginning.
1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1-4 (NIV)
Thats right now condemnation. and then the Message. Wow it brings it straight home
1-2With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.
3-4God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.
The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us. (Romans 8:1-4, The Message)
The Dilemma is Resolved! Wow, those are great words. The Law is gone, Forgiveness has arrived – full of mercy and full of grace. This is why Christmas is so excited. Its not just the presents and the time off work with family, but the arrival of Grace, the arrival of Mercy. The arrival of the resolution of the matter!
Rejoice, rejoice Emmanuel.