31st May 2017

Keep At It!

“…but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do…But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.”
Romans 7:14-15, 17-18 (NKJV)

Now, as a long-term Christian (approaching half a century in my case!), I find that passage written by Paul very encouraging. Here is a man of the stature of the Apostle Paul, also a long-term Christian by the time he wrote this, who found, as it were, a law which, despite his every effort to avoid sin, only led him into it.

He didn’t want to sin – he did everything he could to avoid sin. And we’ve all been there, too. We seek to avoid the situation which leads us to sin; we try to surround ourselves with activities which will distract us from sin; we can work so hard at being good, and still we find sin sidles up and catches us out.

And yet, what Paul writes is so encouraging – because he gives us the total solution to our dilemma. We want to do good, and to be good; but we find, as he puts it “that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good” (verse 21).

He gives the answer in verse 25 – Jesus Christ. And so Paul found he continued to sin. I hope it was less and less as time went by. But still he sinned. He found that he had to rely on the saving grace of Jesus Christ every day.

Christ, who died for sinners – of which Paul was one (he claims to be among the greatest of sinners) – Paul found that he had to rely every day on the death of his Saviour to pay for his (continuing) sins. Paul found that each day he had to begin anew with Christ, as it were, dusting him down as he fell over yet again, setting him back on his feet and saying to him, “Go on, try again. And keep trying.” And that’s what Christians are challenged by Jesus to do every day – to keep at it. Keep trying, keep going, keep relying on Him. Now, that is so very encouraging for us all.

Most merciful Father, thank you for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to pay for my sins. And His sacrifice pays for past, present, even future sins. You know I want to be like Him, sinless, but we human beings find it so difficult to avoid sin. It seems built in, a part of us. We have no hope, except through your continuing mercy and encouragement to keep trying, keep at it. And for that knowledge that, despite everything, you continue to work with us, as long as we keep trying, we give you grateful thanks. In Jesus’ name.

Study by John Stettaford


About the Author:
John Stettaford is an Elder in the Reading Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Reading
Prospect School,
Room A1 (Main Building)
Honey End Lane

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11am

Local Congregational Contact:
John Stettaford
Phone: 01923-241426
Email: pastor@wcg-reading.org.uk

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One Response to “31st May 2017”

  1. peace on May 31st, 2017 12:36 pm

    looking unto JESUS the author and finisher of our faith.For He that is able to keep us from falling his name JESUS.
    phill 1:6

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