Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Old doctrines

Sometimes I just need to sit back and marvel at the old doctrines. Although they are old doctrines, and modern people tend to find them boring and outdated, they are the furthest thing from a dead orthodoxy to those who can see them. Romans 8:1 expresses one of those old truths: "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." Those who have no content to their religion are not going to understand why this makes any sense. If God is not really just, and he really doesn't hold the wicked in derision then there never was any condemnation for anyone. Paul is then simply speaking about guilt feelings or something along that line, and it is quite possible that you can be rid of your guilt in some other way. There is a sense of irony here. By refusing to see that a real problem exists, people have destroyed any hope of a solution. The problem doesn't cease to exist simply because you don't believe it; the God of the Heavens is not dethroned simply because you don't bow a knee to him. The curse on Adam still rests on men.

To those who know there is a real curse, this doctrine affords an unspeakable comfort. It isn't a dry doctrine meant only for theologians or pastors only. This is a truth that effects the whole man; he reads the words, comprehends the meaning in his mind, and then it penetrates into his heart. Can the pronouncement that guilt is gone NOT effect the emotions of people? Can it not make the whole man rejoice? Christ doesn't just redeem intellects, or just emotions, or just bodies--he saves the entire person! Every part of a person is to be brought under the authority of Jesus Christ.

This rejoicing isn't going to be one that is left at church every Sunday when all the emotional frenzy is over--no, this has content. This is a thought that will affect someone 24 hours a day 7 days a week. It will pervade your entire being to the point of overflowing. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad because there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.


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