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Romans 7:21-25 1

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Background

To be overly simplistic, the answer to our sermon title question is of course US!. We need a Savior.  To do justice to this question, one needs to answer some other questions first.

  • What is a Savior?
  • Why do we need a Savior?
  • Who is a Savior?
  • How do I find this Savior?

We could also entitle this passage in Romans “The War Within.” Paul says in verse 21, “So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.” In other words, for the great Apostle Paul, he could not escape the temptations of sin or even the commission of sin. This is hardly encouraging. If one of such historical stature as Paul was constantly fighting sin, what hope do ordinary Christians like us have in conquering evil within us? In verse 23 Paul says, “but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.” In verse 24 Paul says, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” Over and over again, Paul, the mature, godly, believing apostle indicates that he still sins.

The dictionary defines a savior as “One who saves, rescues, delivers, or redeems from danger, death, or destruction; a deliverer; a redeemer.” Paul is reiterating a basic Biblical principle, mankind is separated from God. This makes sense in that we cannot directly hear God, see God nor even begin to understand God. God sits in a Realm, a Throne beyond our vision and understanding. Why? We are sinful and that sinfulness brings with it pain and suffering not only to us but to everyone around us. Sin blinds all things good.

Why we need this Savior is because the gap, the distance between our God and humanity is a chasm so large that there is no hope for us to build a bridge across it. Not only do we lack the “engineering knowledge” but we do not have sufficient “materials” to tackle the task. This seems a perfect opportunity to find a Savior, someone who is up to the task, someone who knows what both sides of the chasm looks like, the “Engineer,” who can construct a bridge to carry us over from where we are now, among the sinful, to a place without sin. We all should seek this bridge because to spend eternity on the wrong side is a risk no one should ever take.

However, here comes our answer to who is up to this task, someone who will save us from the fatality of sin. In verse 25 Paul says, “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.” Jesus Christ is our Savior!

Our recap says that we need a Savior because we all fall short of God’s standards for humanity. If left to us, we all would remain separated from God for eternity. It seems that only a cruel God would create us in His own image and then leave us to languish for eternity, void of His love and suffering in pain. But Paul quickly sets the record straight, we have a God that will deliver us through His Son! While this in itself is not overly complex, we come to the final and hardest of our questions: How do I find this Savior?

Advent, on this Second Sunday, it part of a journey. We first celebrated that Mary would give birth to an “Incarnate God,” Jesus. Next, we must recognize that we all need Jesus as if our “eternal lives” depended upon it (By the way it does!). The bonds of sin that bind us to this place called earth are about to be broken forever by the birth of Jesus. Oh but there is a catch, we need to place our faith and trust in God that He sent His Son (incarnate) to us and who ever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

Items for Discussion

  • Why don’t people seem concerned over whether there is an eternal existence or not?
  • Is there evidence in our world that all people, everyone, may not be saved and exist in an eternal world?
  • Our faith tells us that without Christ, there is no Savior – Why is that a struggle for some to believe?
  • Our world happily celebrates a baby being born and Christmas with all of its pageantry – What single family tradition do you have that celebrates the birth of a Savior?
  • How would you explain to someone that it is not possible to be “Saved” without Christ?
  • Paul tells us that he not only saw sin everywhere, he could not stop himself from sinning – How do we honor the call to repentance under these circumstances?  Should we just give up and not worry about sin or try harder to remove it from humanity?
  • What does it say about one’s faith if their belief in Christ has no impact on their morality?

Discussion Challenge

  • Where do you see Christ in Christmas this year?

 

 

 

Notes:

  1. NIV New International Version Translations
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