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Scripture Text (NRSV)

Romans 7:15-25a


7:15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

7:16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good.

7:17 But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

7:18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it.

7:19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.

7:20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

7:21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand.

7:22 For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self,

7:23 but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.

7:24 Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?

7:25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!



O how true it is that I do not do the good that I
want. If I stop at just blaming it on sin and let
it go at that then I have failed. I cannot save
myself but neither can I allow the battle cry
within to go unanswered. Christ alone can save me,
but salvation may require me to act on faith.
A great conundrum as I trust in Christ for
salvation from my sins but still enguage in the
fight with all I have knowing I cannot win and
Christ already has.

Rev. Smith, Lacey IA

This passage seems to open the door for a
discussion about "original sin" (which
is a doctrine that seems to be in question
increasingly in modern theological circles)

Don Miller spoke of sin as an addiction to
ourselves which i must admit i think is
appropriate. Most people misunderstand the
doctrine of original sin as = "Adam and Eve
disobeyed God and wrecked it for the rest of
us" but the doctrine i think rightly speaks
to the default setting we all have to have or do
what ever we want or what is best for us
regardless of others. ( It just so happens that
Adam and Eve were the first story that records
the selfish ambition of humanity) So it seems that
there is an ongoing war in us to love God and love
our neighbor.

I'm not sure that many of us may want to dive into
this end of the pool but ... it seems that the
questions we should be asking are not " Am I
happy with my healthcare, but am I happy with my
neighbors? Or am I ok with my level of security
and safety, but ask is my neighbor ok with theirs?
Or am I ok with my working wage and conditions,
but ask is my neighbor ok with theirs... etc...?

It seems that this inward battle is the thing
that keeps people of faith from truly working for
justice and peace in a systematic way, rather than
individual acts of mercy... your mileage may vary

Mark, Spokane

Mark, you're on to something.

I think Paul has come to Jesus --as in the gospel
text--and 'learned from him,' which was something
precisely what was inside of himself. Seeing Jesus
brings self awareness. Our selves are measured
against Jesus, who is asking the questions you
raised: how our neighbor's are with their health
care, not just our own.

Steve Souther