Romans 1:24-25

24. Therefore God handed them over into the deep desires of their hearts to desire, to dishonoring of their bodies within them, 25. such as exchanging the truth of God for falsehood and worshiped and served to the one created instead of the Creator, the one who is blessed to all eternity. Amen.

Giving in to my lusts, desires, perceived needs and the like is easy. I don’t have to think about it. I don’t have to ignore myself and my sinful, Ed-centered voice in my head. In fact, some days I’d rather follow those desires and give in to those temptations. Life would be easier if I made a god in my own image. A god that approved of the depravity and wretched putridity of my sin and encouraged me to do more of it. A god that praised me for the hard-work, sacrifice and service for others I do out of self-serving desires. The old man is always wanting to put God down on his own level, to put God down in the muck and the mire.

How much easier it is to worship the creature than the Creator. How much easier it is to put myself above what the Lord commands in His Law, “”You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). There is nothing worse in this world than what I know than my own sinfulness. “For there is nothing in this world worse than sin” (Luther).

Yet, I do not desire sin. I abhor that I am sinful and confess my sins to God the Father, seeking His forgiveness. St. Paul in Romans 7 says, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.”

Thank God that St. Paul continues with Romans 8, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you  free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

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