It’s ROMANS-O-RAMA here on GUWG, where all week long we’re digging into one of the Bible’s most revolutionary books.

Today, we’ll start with this verse:

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

Everybody sins and falls short of God’s glory. You. Me. Your pastor. Billy Graham. Mother Teresa. The Apostle Paul. EVERYBODY.

God makes it 1,296% clear that we can’t work our way into heaven on our own no matter how hard we try. If that’s the way you approach your life, it’s a bit like being in a high-jump competition where after years of training, vitamin supplements and maybe even steroids and blood doping your best effort barely clears three feet — but the qualifying height is a googolplex times infinity plus a gazillion miles. You’ll always, always, always come up short.

So, what’s the solution? The Apostle Paul grappled with that very question in the greatest Bible tongue-twister of all time …

I do not understand what I do.
For what I want to do
I do not do,
but what I hate
I do.

And if I do
what I do not want to do,
I agree that the law is good.
As it is, it is no longer I myself
who do it,
but it is the sin living in me.
For I know that good itself
does not dwell in me,
that is, in my sinful nature.
For I have the desire
to do what is good,
but I cannot carry it out.
For I do not do
the good I want to do,
but the evil
I do not want to do–
this I keep on doing.
Now if I do
what I do not want to do,
it is no longer I who do it,
but it is sin living in me
that does it.
(Romans 7:15-20)

Basically, it’s a war. Paul continues:

So I find this law at work:
Although 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 me, waging war against
the law of my mind
and making me a prisoner
of the law of sin
at work within me.

What a wretched man I am!
Who will rescue me
from this body
that is subject to death?
Thanks be to God,
who delivers me
through Jesus Christ our Lord!
(Romans 7:21-25)

Paul’s conclusion?

there is now no condemnation
for those who are in Christ Jesus,
because through Christ Jesus
the law of the Spirit
who gives life
has set you free
from the law of sin and death.
For what the law
was powerless to do
because it was weakened
by the flesh,
God did by sending his own Son
in the likeness of sinful flesh
to be a sin offering.

Those who live
according to the flesh
have their minds set
on what the flesh desires;
but those who live
in accordance with the Spirit
have their minds set on
what the Spirit desires.
The mind governed by the flesh
is death,
but the mind governed by the Spirit
is life and peace.
(Romans 8:1-3,5-6)

So, stop jumping on your own and let Jesus carry you. It’s a matter of life and death.


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