Friday, February 2, 2024

 The Two Creations

Part 2

Pastor Vicky Moots
Kingman, Kansas

Before Paul’s conversion, he had been a very religious person. He was a strict Law-keeper of the Mosaic Law, a Pharisee, and considered himself to be blameless before God.  In fact, he thought he was doing a good service for God by persecuting the church and those who called themselves Christians. He thought he had much to be proud of and to boast in until one day he came face to face with Jesus in a vision on the road to Damascus. The light of that vision was so bright that he fell to the ground and was blinded. That encounter changed his heart, for he became a new creation in Christ. Three days later God opened his blinded physical and spiritual eyes and called him to preach the gospel. Yes, he was a new man.

But then a struggle began. In his heart he wanted to serve and follow Christ, but his flesh, his old nature, was rebelling. A war was now waging within him between the “old man” and the “new man.” He soon discovered that in his own strength, in his flesh, he was not able to do the good that he wanted to do.

That spiritual battle is recorded for us by Paul in Rom. 7:18-24. He stated in vs.18-19, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” Does that problem sound familiar to anyone? It certainly does to me, for it mirrors my own experience.

Paul had not yet learned to lay hold of the power of the Holy Spirit in order to have victory over the flesh. He continues on in v.20 to say, “Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I [as a new creation] that do it, but sin [the old creation] that dwelleth in me.” And in v.21, “I find then a law, [principle] that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.”

He further describes this war in vs.22-23: “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”

This constant warfare was very distressing to Paul, and he cried out in despair in v.24. “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” But, praise God, the conflict did not end in defeat! He claimed the victory in v.25: “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord…” And also in Rom. 8:2 when he stated, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”

To be continued – Part 3 next issue