Gospel Thoughts from Paul ~ BitterSweetLife

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Gospel Thoughts from Paul

Paul: Here's the paradigm by which God overcomes our dark natures and brings us home: Sin. Grace. Sin. Grace. More sin. More grace. More sin. More grace...

Snide, libertine observer: But if grace is so overwhelming, I think I'll take advantage by getting drunk, sleeping around, and then taking morning after prayers. Can you stop me?

Paul: Of course I can. No one cheats on the one they love. And if you don't love Jesus, grace does not apply. Those who trust Christ have been legally freed from sin. So if you go on whoring, or even step up your pace, you're not revealing your theological foxiness--you're just showing that death still calls the shots, you're still dancing sin's jig, and you don't know Christ at all. In other words, if you go on willfully dying, you haven't found beautiful life. Get it?


Paul: Now I would like to talk about how The Law is no longer our evil nemesis--that is, "evil" in the sense that it revealed the evil inside us, not that The Law was evil itself. Let's face it: The Law had good qualities, and in fact was given to us expressly by God--but it wasn't much of a wife. Or rather, The Law was simply the kind of woman who shows you what a sorry excuse for a man you really are. And she was right.

When The Law called you out, you found yourself living up to all her accusations. She read you like a book, and pointed out the disgustingly monotonous and smutty storyline. She was sympathetic, but you couldn't change. This is why the liberation of grace that Jesus brings is profoundly good news...

Snide, legalist observer: What, no law? People will start drinking and smoking and making out in public! We're just supposed to sin promiscuously, now that this Jesus has arrived?

Paul: Not a chance. Think about this: You're a slave to whomever you obey. Your life reveals your loyalties. If you really gave over to grace, you are now free from knee-jerk sinning. You should be excited about this new possibility of not sinning, instead of grubbing in the dirt for your splintery old crutch, The Law. All you'll find is that The Law will give you splinters, and your darkness will continue to bleed out.

Jesus Christ is different--he doesn't just reveal your blood type (sinful), he changes it (justified). Leave the crutch where it fell. If you humbly receive the grace of God, your stability will live inside you, changing you from the inside out. Slavery to God's glorious Spirit is far better than domination by the well-meaning Law.

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Will Robison said...

I just started reading Romans the other day (again) and I found that I just couldn't get into it this time. It was not reaching me.

Then I read this blog and WHAMMO! It jumps right out at me and nearly gives me a coronary! Thanks.

Now I'm ready to go back and start Romans again and see if I can get into this time.

Timothy Goering said...

nice modern paraphrasing. like it!

Ariel said...

Thanks, fellows. I find that when I can "hear" the Bible being talked through in contemporary English (w/ admitted paraphrasing), the text becomes alive...I also know that I'm understanding some of it.

Now I'm ready to go back and start Romans again and see if I can get into this time.

That's the goal! Good to hear.


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife