The Apostle Paul uses some strong and morbid language to describe how sinful we are. Can we really say that we are in a body of death? Can we really say that we are a wretch? What does this mean and why is the Gospel so marvelous?
God is a just God, and God cannot overlook an offense. This is pretty serious considering we have heard that we naturally hate God and our neighbor. So, how did we get in this position? Is there a way to escape this place where we find ourselves?
If we were left with the news that we are a people who naturally hate God and our neighbor then there is no reason to continue to move forward in life. In fact, our lives would be meaningless without any purpose at all. However, the message of the gospel is not something where we just hope we will arrive. If we are sinful, if we naturally hate God and our neighbor, then how do we really turn to the Lord?
Our catechism uses strong language that we naturally hate God and our neighbor. Do we really want to say that we naturally hate God? Do we really want to say that we naturally hate all people? Are we really that sinful? How can we find any way out of this sinful way of life?
Romans 7 is a passage that is debated about its application. Some say that this is Paul under judaism, Paul in a pre vs post conversion, a regenerate man looking at unregenerate man, and the theories continue. How can Paul be talking about the issue of human sin and the law? What if Paul is just laying out that fallen man is so sinful that fallen man cannot attain the holy God apart from Christ?
If we are honest we want to think that we are a little better than what we are. Sin deceives all of us into thinking that we might be a little worthy of the Lord’s grace and favor. How do we know that the gift we receive from God is something that is forced upon us? What is the contrast of Romans 6:23 that drives home the gift that God has given to us? How do we know that we have not earned this free gift from the hand of God?
It would be nice if we could make ourselves a little worthy of grace or maybe earn some of God’s favor during our life. The reality is that we cannot earn the Lord’s favor no matter how hard we work at it. So, why do we continue to press forward if we cannot please God anyway? Or maybe we are just exaggerating and man is not that bad. So, is mankind really so sinful that we cannot work to receive grace?
So often we want to think that we are not really that bad or that we are pretty good to put it positively. In fact, in American culture we don’t like hearing that we are sinners because we want to think that we are pretty good or decent to say the least right? We want to believe that we are going to get better and at this point we are not perfect. How can we cope with life if we are really sinful and by sinful I mean bad enough to do things that would absolutely make us shudder? How do we overcome that struggle?
David has done a very bad thing in the midst of the community. He is the one who has been born in sin. Does this mean that David is not that guilty because he is a sinner anyway? Where does David turn for his hope and assurance of his sin being taken away?