Saturday, May 26, 2012
Welcome to Day 146 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Proverbs 1:1, “The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: 2 for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; 3 for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; 4 for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young—5 let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—6 for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.
7 The fear [reverence] of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Proverbs 2:1, “My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—3 indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding… v 9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. 11 Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.”
Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.”
Romans 7:6, “We serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”
v 21, “So I find this law at work:
Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.
22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 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. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
I love how today we started Proverbs along with Romans 7… Paul (the author of Romans) puts his personal struggle with sin out there for the whole world to see. And in Proverbs 2:11 it states, “Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.”
Paul asked the question, “Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” Discretion and understanding may guard us… may keep us out of trouble, but salvation itself is only provided through Christ.
At my very best, I am still not that great.
I really don’t like using the term, “sinners saved by grace.” Because once we accept Christ we are no longer called “sinners.” In fact, Paul calls the believers,
(See 1 Corinthians 1:1, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia…” Ephesians 1:1, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1 and Colossians 1 both have the same greeting! To the “saints!”)
Do we still sin? Yes. Are we perfect? No.
The difference is our sins are washed away by the blood of Christ. (Remember the Passover? “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.”)
Wisdom, understanding and discretion may guard me, but Jesus saves me. As we “trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding; 6 in all our ways submit to [acknowledge] him, and he makes our paths straight!”
I know people who don’t know Christ that are very moral people. And I know people who know Christ who are still working out their salvation and trying to put their sin behind them. Just like Paul…
What both have in common is that our “sin nature” that came into the world through Adam, can not be dealt with by avoiding sin or being a good person. Salvation only comes through the work that Christ did. (See Romans 5.)
Just like Paul, we can say, “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Thank you Lord, that it’s by your work, not ours that we are saved. That you are the one who rescues me from this body of death… wretched man that I am!
P.S. I love this picture… Every time I end with a prayer of thanksgiving, I think of this picture!