Saturday, June 23, 2007

Pomona Bible Study

I was invited to a Bible study by someone who liked the way I prayed in church about Iraq. Not many in churches like how I pray about Iraq. In the same way, the woman that I plan to marry soon met me 4 years ago because she was sitting behind me in the Vietnamese restaurant and heard me answering my son about Iraq.

I'm reminded that integrity does pay.

We were in Romans 6, and especially verse 14, which says that sin will have no dominion over us. We've all found Romans 6:14 pretty difficult. Paul seems to have been hallucinating, because sin seems to have lots of dominion over us. But maybe he really wasn't hallucinating, since in the next chapter he talks about how sin relentlessly rides his butt and brings him into bondage all the time.

Well then, what was he talking about? As we talked about it, I saw as never before that Isaiah 1 describes specifically what sin not having dominion over us looks like. It happens as we reason together with God. Sin has no dominion over us if we're in Christ because we have this relationship in which we can talk with God and he talks back, bringing us to our senses and breaking our bewitchments. It is as Joel puts it, one of Paul's favorite verses, "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." From what? Lots of things, but not much, if sin is not one of them.

Sin has no dominion over us when we're calling on the Lord and being saved, and that's a constant thing. Being saved is not some theological "truth," but a condition of being rescued continually, since we're always in trouble. "Many are the troubles of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him from them all."

This all fell together for me as I was talking and listening in there, even though no one else really saw all of this either. You know Jesus is in the midst of us when he's showing you stuff which no one in the room including you understands. So long as they want me around, I believe I'll be back.


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