God in the Guilt Trip?
Go from Romans chapter seven and read on into chapter eight and you’ll find the same guy writing from two very different places. One is hopeless, helpless, frustrated and stuck in the middle of some really heavy stuff. He’s guilty as charged; and he’s charging himself it out loud, sort of, on paper, in a letter to Roman church people. Paul; the guy that wrote a ton of the New Testament, the guy that took the gospel on the road to Rome – He was awesome… But not if you ask him.
Sinner. Wretched sinner. Way worse than not sharing the Jesus ‘likes’ on facebook – He was apparently actually dealing with sin.
But then – thanks be to God? Oh yeah, turn the page. Remember that those chapter and verse divisions were added later? Paul was writing one big letter here. Thank God for what, Paul wretched-doing-it-wrong-guy?
Grace. There is therefore (What’s that ‘therefore’ there for? Context!) now no condemnation for those in Christ. We may be guilty, but thank God, that doesn’t matter. We aren’t condemned. We’re saved! And sometimes guilt is a good thing to feel so that we don’t live like we’re taking grace for granted (even though it is, if we want it).
What about those guilt trips? It sure seems like Paul was riding one out there. Those are fun aren’t they? Well, if you or I ever strive to make anyone feel guilty then we’re just being silly, or thoughtless maybe. But if the trip is coming from the Holy Spirit, especially when you’re checking out HIS words, then don’t get mad! That’s a GREAT thing! This means that you’re paying attention! The Holy Spirit is doing his job and working on you.
Think about this statement: Unless we seriously understand the hard truth and depth of chapter 7, we may never really truly understand the great news of chapter 8.
Now go read Romans 7 and 8. And like this if you love… …nope – can’t do it – not even to joke about!
I like this one