Question: There were five frogs on a log. Three decided to jump off. How many were left?
Answer: Five. They decided, but never really jumped.
We’ve been digging deep into our identity in Christ, focusing on the Christ-like nature that we have since our old, sinful self was crucified. But how do you jump into this new life? The question is this: Since we’ve been made holy, how do we walk in that holiness? The apostle Paul openly wrestled with this issue. Throughout the book of Romans he talks about the tension with the law and sin.
We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual … So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. (Romans 7:14, 21-23)
- Paul freely admits that outside of Christ he is “unspiritual” (literally “fleshly”). He then describes what it looks like for a Christian who’s attempting to live in his own strength:
- “I am … sold as a slave to sin.”
- “I do not understand what I do.”
- “I know that nothing good lives in me—that is in my flesh.”
- “For what I do is not the good I want to do. The evil I do not want to do, this I keep on doing.”
Does this sound familiar? How do we jump off that log of despair and swim in holiness?
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:24-25)
Jesus is the one who rescues us from this. As you function in Christ by His Spirit, Jesus overcomes the sliver of indwelling sin, the temptation to live in the flesh, and the oppressive burden of living by the law. But first, you do have to decide to jump.
O Jesus, I’m choosing today to leave the way I used to live. I place my faith in You, and not in my own strength. I trust You alone to live the Christian life through me. Amen.
Taken from Pete’s 365-day devotional book Experiencing LIFE Today.