Paul the apostle, perhaps more than anyone else – paved the way – in seeking to understand what the problem was, and what the solution consisted of.
In a previous post, I talked about the law of the Old Testament, and how it clearly pointed out right and wrong, good and bad, acceptable behaviour and unacceptable behaviour in the eyes of a sinless God.
Paul heralded the New Testament or New Agreement, in preaching-form and teaching-form.
He, during his times aside with God, explored many facets of how to live the Christian life.
For those of us (perhaps all of us), who experience what it is to fail God, Paul we find, had the same struggles.
He, by experiencing what it was to be a sinner saved by grace, looked at the whole subject of how to be Christlike, and wrote in his epistles – teachings to instruct believers who would come after him – how to overcome sin, death and hell.
He experienced temptation to sin, like all of us, and found how to live victoriously, so that he could say:
20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.
He stayed in an expectant state of mind and lived in the hope of pleasing Christ in his 24/7 walk with Him until he departed this life.
But he was well aware of another law warring in his members that tried to bring him into captivity… (Romans 7/23): 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.
In light of Paul’s determination and desire to walk perfectly before The Lord – he sought for answers regarding how to do this.
He found as all men and women will find, that sin is lying at the door of our hearts and minds, seeking our co-operation.
There are, I guess, folks who never seem to have a care in the world. Sinning is just a wrongly accepted part of life. But that means they spend their lives suppressing the voice of conscience. This is what the scripture describes as ‘hardening the heart’.
Others are daily looking to live as they should, in the light of what God asks of us, but find it an ongoing struggle. But the beautiful thing about them is the fact that THEY WANT to live a sincere and righteous existence. It’s just they can’t seem to find the ‘how to’ of doing so.
That’s what Paul sought and found for us, paving the way and exhorting us to grasp the truth that living righteously will automatically take place as we maintain a close relationship with Christ through prayer, and meditation on the Word of God.
There is much we could say on this subject but I want to simply make the point that Paul and indeed all – sin – and seek the same answers – as he did – to the problem.
Paul struggled for a period of time, as we struggle.
However Paul the apostle proved that God could supply all we need to help us live the victorious Christian life, and penned the answers, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
The wisdom he was able to obtain – is clearly laid-out for us in the epistles God inspired him to write.
This was his major contribution to the church, remaining throughout it’s history and available to us today.
Read and inwardly digest – the answers are there!