January 18, 2017
...nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. -ROMANS 7:181
My wife and I were engaged in a normal, garden-variety disagreement. In the midst of it, I made one of those “terminal statements” counselors warn against...something like “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.” And she took offense. “Are you saying I’m dumb?” she asked. I should have stopped there. But I didn’t. “Well, at that moment,” I said, “you were not only dumb, you were stupid.” She was hurt (and rightly so). I was mad. And since it was a Sunday morning, I got in the car and headed for church to preach. It wasn’t long before a little voice inside me said, “So you’re the spiritual dynamo who’s going to speak to a few thousand people today, are you?” It persisted. “Who do you think you are? You’re a hypocrite. A phony. You’ve blown it.” I was accused. Have you been accused lately? It’s not a good feeling, is it?
The Bible tells us that Satan is the accuser. When we sin, when we’re down and feeling hopeless, he talks even louder than usual. Before long, we’re depressed and despairing, thinking that we’ve failed Christianity 101 and can’t possibly make up the work we’ve missed. We’re hopeless failures. Accused. Paul understood. He wrote, “For the good that I wish I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish...”. What hope do we have if Paul could not escape Satan’s accusations? Good news! We have Paul’s hope, and it is this: “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”