The Great Physician


In order that sin might be recognized as sin, it {sin} used what is good {law} to bring about my death {condemnation}, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

~Romans 7:13 NIV


The proof of a foolish carnal man is this–He regards himself as spiritual and is pleased with himself.

~Martin Luther

Romans get more difficult to understand which each succeeding chapter. Five is more difficult than four: six is much, much more difficult than five and seven is even tougher. However, I thank God for Romans seven. I don’t pretend to understand it all but I can assure you it has been a comfort to me on many occasions. I know I am a sinner but the bible [law] is the mirror that reveals my true sinfulness. I desperately need to know the word of God in order to know my sin. The greater my knowledge of His word, the greater my awareness of my sin. Legally speaking, the law not only reveals my sin, it also condemns me for being guilty and within itself, there is no help {grace} for me to meet its demands. In Christ we have grace to help. As Augustine said, “The law was given that we might know sin: grace was given that we might fulfill the law.” Yet Romans seven is Paul personal testimony of his on going battle with the flesh and the law of sin. We Christians sin, it is just not our desire to sin. My desire is not to sin: in truth, I want to be perfect. Luther said, “Although we often sin, we are not perfectly willing.” I concur! I know this is true with me.

Paul said, “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.” As Paul says, although we want to do good, we inevitably mess up and the end result is that we hate our flesh and its nature to sin. Eventually, this frustration with the flesh leads to a place in our sanctification where we are sick of ourselves and only want one thing–for God to get glory. Then we discover the joy that comes when we move beyond ourselves and began to serve God for His glory only. This is a major hump in the road to sanctification and sometimes it takes a crucible to reach this point.

Sin is in man like heat is in baking soda. You don’t know there is heat in baking soda until you pour water on it. We don’t know sin apart from God’s holy and perfect law. Luther says, “We are saints and sinners at the same time.” We are righteous because we are in Christ but we are sinners in these fleshly bodies and this sin cursed world. Luther says, “We are sick people under the care of a Great Physician who has the cure for our disease.” A sick man is content just to know he is getting better. Sin remains in the believer in order that he/she might exercise grace and give God the glory. I know of nothing more humiliating than sin. How critical can I be of you if I know my sin?

I have news to share with you tomorrow that I do not want to share on the LORD’s day. Today we need to concentrate on worship. I am excited: I get to go to worship three times with a birthday party in between. The Chloe Bug is 8 tomorrow. We had three birthdays this weekend: Chloe, Hunter and Holden but Chloe would not share a party with the guys. Chloe demanded her own personal Chloe party: imagine that!

Have a great time at worship!

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