We’ve been reading Romans 7 this week and have found some very interesting truths. The difference between the body of sin and the body of death for one, are closely related. The Law shows us the sin, and sin infests the body to bring forth death. Paul walks us through this process and what it looks like.
I stood before the ladies in jail and asked them if they have ever been deceived? I reminded them that we have all been deceived from the very beginning. It all started in the garden with Adam and Eve. The serpent told Eve if she ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and evil, her eyes would be opened, she would be like God, and she could make up her own mind about what is good and what is evil. Many hands went up as they could relate to what was being said. They also agreed with the struggle they have with doing what we don’t want to do and not doing the thing we want to do. Why can’t we accomplish the right thing?
I went on to explain that we have to get to the point where we are so weak that we can be no weaker, and all our expectation is in another. I said, “We are crucified with Christ, nevertheless we live, yet not I, but Christ who lives in me, and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” We have already died, what does a dead man do? They answered, “nothing, because we are dead.” We are totally dependent on Jesus Christ to deliver us, oh wretched man that we are.
I think we fear that if we do nothing, nothing will happen. That is another deception we have bought into. My answer to that is God made the whole world without our help and He doesn’t need our help now. God is not going to share His glory with anyone. He wants to do all of what we need done for us, instead of us. When we think we can help God, or that He is helping us, then that gives us some kind of false sense of accomplishment. On the cross in John 19:30, Jesus said, “It is finished.” There is nothing more for Him to do or for us to do to make us righteous. Phil 2:13 says, “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Did you see your name in there anywhere? I didn’t think so, but we have been deceived into thinking after we get saved, we must read our bible more, fill up the pews in the church building, and busy ourselves with “good works”. There is nothing wrong in doing these things, but they will not make us right with God.
Often times when I council young ladies in jail, I hear them say, “I want what you got.” Or “whatever it is, I want that in my life.” He is a “someone” not a something. His name is Jesus; He loves you very much and went to great lengths to prove how much He loves you. He is not going to shut up nor will He back up, whatever He is saying to you, just say “yes.”
He is the one who Paul cries out to, “Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” My favorite part about our next verse is, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” He is our answer, it’s all about God who began a good work in you, and He will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Let God be God in your life and don’t’ listen to the lie about you being your own person, separate and independent from God. Seemingly living your life the way you want to because it’s not going to work out the way you think it will.
The response from the ladies in regard to this teaching was astonishing. God revealed the truth, and the ladies testified to what God was showing them. I couldn’t go back to my seat because so many were responding to the Holy Spirit. One said she was going to stop eating lozenges (smoking aid) and couldn’t do it on her own. Another lady said she found forgiveness for her husband since she has been locked up. She was upset when he took her car away from her because she was drinking heavily. God did the forgiving in her for him and she knows it was God doing it.
Several ministers came out tonight to pray for these ladies, like Carla, Gina, JoAnna, Margo, Tammy Strader and myself. It was pretty awesome to be a part of what God is doing.
Written by Tracey