Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Romans 8:7 - "The sinful mind"

Romans 8:7
the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.

This passage is fairly similar to the last one, and what I say will probably be along the same lines. But that doesn't mean that it shouldn't be said - there is wonderful truth in these words, but challenge and comfort, and I see no problem with expressing it daily and repetitively.

"The Sinful mind": that means the mind which strives after sin, which loves sin and ultimately the mind which is controlled by sin. It is us. Aside from Christ, this is us - from Adam to the last person alive before the second coming. This is you and it is me (without Jesus), we are both completely and utterly depraved, slaves of sin and completely under its control. What does that result in? Well verse 6 tells us that its death - God's eternal wrath (i.e. hell). What does the passage say about the sinful mind? about us before we are saved in Christ? We are "Hostile to God". We are sinful, he is perfect - the exact opposite. We are evil, he is good. We are rebellious to him, he is the lawgiver and judge. He is the creator, we are the creation who ignore him. He is all wise, we live our own way and reject his way. He is all powerful, we deny that and set ourselves us as 'gods', living our own way. His law demands obedience and we shout "NO!". He is just, sin is corrupt and cruel. he is eternal, yet we deny his existence claiming that we evolved instead from pond scum, or at the very least we acknowledge his existence yet pretend he has no impact on our lives or right to rule them. This is us. This is you. This is me. We all sin.

Likewise, God is hostile to sin. He isn't just a helpless teddy bear who's sad because we disobey. Sure, he's sad that we reject him, and he's angry - rightly so. As a result his wrath is on us, eternal condemnation, hell, his justice - his perfect, pure, good and righteous justice is on us. Sin "does not submit to his law" and the result of that is death (Romans 6:23). What's worse is that we cannot submit to his law - we are hopeless, helpless, powerless to save ourselves. We do not obey his law, and we cannot obey his law. We have no strength to oppose sin in our lives and obey God, sin is our master. Well, if we're christians, it was our master. Yet look back to v1! "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus". How? Jesus is God. He is all powerful, he is holy, he is just, he is majestic. He created the world. He is all knowing. He is GOD (along with the Father and the Holy Spirit). He gave that up and instead became a frail, weak, finite human being. Still 100% God, but living on earth as a human. He got hungry, he probably got sick, he died, he suffered, he made and lost friends. He was rejected, beaten, scorned, mocked and rejected. He was murdered by those he came to save - crucified. But he knew that would happen. Yet he still came. He died. What's the significance of that? He was perfect, and he came and took our sin if we are christians. He died the death we deserved, took the wrath, God's just and perfect penalty against our sin in our place if we are his people. Then he rose again, proving he had truly conquered sin and death, he had truly dealt with it in full and therefore had risen again - no longer under the sentence of the law because of our sin. Why would he do that? Two simple yet awesome reasons: 
1. For his glory. God deserves and demands all praise. But he doesn't demand it unwarranted  He deserves it for creating and sustaining us, and now also for saving us and giving himself for us.
2. Because he loved us. Sure, we are sinful and evil, and God is just, he hates sin and will put and end to it. He will judge the non-christian and send them to hell eternally. But he still loves us, he does not want any to perish. He loved us so much that he was humiliated for our sakes and took the wrath we deserved.

1 Timothy 2:3-4
"...This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."
John 3:16-17
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."

So two points of application: 
Non-Christians: you are stuck in your sin. You cannot escape. Turn to Jesus. Repent and out your trust and faith in him alone. We cannot do it ourselves, but God is gracious and ready to forgive. He is also able - Jesus is God, his death is more then enough to cover any and all of your sins no matter how "bad" they seem to you.
Christians: If the sinful mind is hostile to God and leads to death, and in Jesus we have life, then we also must not have a sinful mind - we need to get rid of sin in our lives. Not just lessen it, but destroy it. It is hostility to God, and if saved then we can no longer be hostile to God. It has no place in our lives. Get rid of your sin! We still fall and fail, repent when you do. But don't be ok with that - fight it and get rid of it! James 4:4 You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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