25 September – Additional Notes

ROMANS 7: DR JEKYLL & MR HYDE

With the birth of evolutionary thinking everyone thought we could pull together and, as a group, make ourselves better. There’s at natural force at play that’s spiralling us upward and onward. If we jump into the flow of that, we’ll personally evolve and corporately evolve making ourselves a better world. Communism, for example, had a basic belief that humans are intrinsically good. We just need perfect conditions around us to bring out the best in us. The “evolution of society” (where all basic needs are covered and no one person succeeds ahead of the rest), was meant to facilitate a natural spiral into a super-race or super-power – that we should, by natural order, be moving towards.

Corporations, unions and federations have been formed worldwide during the past century. But what I notice today, is many are looking at devolution. Former alliances seems to be eroding and being slowly dismantled in favour of independence. The “No” vote in the 2015 Scottish referendum shocked everyone. Most were fully expecting a vote for independence from England. I’m sure that the issue won’t go away until independence is finally gained. I guess the idea of group power works until we don’t like being told what to do.

If I just look at what’s going on inside the four walls of my house, for example, our oldest daughter says I treat her like a baby and never listen. My husband says I never say what I mean. I’m not sure what I do wrong with our youngest daughter because she just puts up with me. Now in my 50s it’s really hard to change. It’s SO easy just to say, “Look, this is me. So why can’t you just love and accept me for who I am?” Surely at my age I should be allowed to be “me”, isn’t that my birth right?

But as long as we’re all under the same roof the “law” that requires behaviour changes has authority. [v1] If I throw up my hands and say, “I want total freedom to be me – to do and say what comes natural to me”, relationships around me will soon die. Because I’m controlled by my sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the “rules” are ignited in me. [v5]

At the end of the day I’m unspiritual and sold as a slave to sin. [v14] Like a schizophrenic divide between positive and negative, what I want to do, I don’t do. What I don’t want to do, I end up doing. [v15] With sin alive in me [v17] my sinful nature is at work. [v18] The old story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a good example: when I want to do good, evil is right there with me. [v21] I’m a prisoner of the law of sin and death, which is at work in me. [v23] So rather than evolving into something better, my life will disintegrate around me because no-one would be able to live with me.

Although at the core of it, most of us hate being tied to rules of any sort – I wouldn’t have known what sin was, except through the law. [v7] But the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. [v10] Either relationships disintegrate and die (because I’m so set in my ways, don’t see a need to be different, or refuse to be force to change), or, on the other hand, by choosing to die to what once bound me (my sinful nature), I’ve been released from the law so that I can serve in the new way of the Spirit. [v6]

The “breadcrumbs” from yesterday, today and tomorrow cover three chapters, Romans chapters 6, 7 and 8. These are crucial in understanding the divine transformation taking place after someone is born again. Yesterday was about being “Justified”. Tomorrow it’s about a Day in the future when Believers are “Glorified”. Today it’s about the daily struggle that a Believer experiences as God’s Holy Spirit carries them along through a lifetime process.

No matter what theory we come up with – whether the evolution of society, tried by communism, or the evolution of race tried by Nazism, we still have the issue of the existence of sin and corporate effects of our sinful human nature. So who can rescue me from this body of death? [v24] Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord! [v25]

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