Monday, July 07, 2014

Bethany Bullet - July 7, 2014

Robert Louis Stevenson’s, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a classic novel about "Right and Wrong", "Joy and Despair", and "The struggle of Good and Evil" or using the language of St. Paul we could call it the struggle of The Natural Man vs. The Spiritual Man.  To do so would not be to violate the point of the author himself, as once Robert Louis Stevenson was asked, "Where did you find the model for your character of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?" and he responded, "I found it in myself.”   A Christian, Stevenson’s experience was the same as Paul’s, as mine, and as yours!  For inside every Christian there is indeed a beloved imitator of Christ & a beast.

This old nature, as long as we are alive, is never removed and it is never improved; but it is always reproved by the law and never approved of by the new nature.  That is what leads to the struggle.   You don’t need to watch Bugs Bunny or The Simpsons, complete with characters clad in halo and horns to glimpse the image; all you need to do is look through the recent past and review your life. 

We all recall, for some of us it happened just before we began reading this Bethany Bullet, that time when…
Ø  Before we even said the words, we knew we shouldn’t and we wished we wouldn’t…but we did. 
Ø  Before we even took a peek, we knew we shouldn’t and we wished we wouldn’t…but we did. 
Ø  Before we began to act, we knew we shouldn’t and we wished we wouldn’t…but we did. 
Time and time again it happens, and we can say (with Paul) how miserable I am.

How did Paul handle this BEAST that lived inside of himself? 

Note that Paul didn’t become aware of this condition until after his conversion! Paul’s struggle with sin didn’t start until the Spirit had done His work!!! Paul met Christ, heard the word, was baptized then evangelized his world, sought to never compromise the Gospel even if it meant a battle other apostles, yet during it all he knew the greatest battle was the one within himself.  

Paul’s advice to all with such a condition, his solution to all trapped in this situation:
THANK GOD FOR Christ Jesus!  Romans 7:25.  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” 

As one who is at the same time saint and sinner, “Dr. & Mr.” who has a nature both fallen and spiritual, who is both beloved and beast…we too must first and last, always and ever, turn to God in thanks for Christ Jesus.  What does such thanks look like?
1.       "Lord, I want to thank you that even though I’m a mess, that you still love me and you are still striving with me and you want to make me something more today that I was yesterday.
2.       “I’m not what I ought to be, I’m not what I want to be, but thank God - I’m not what I use to be.”   ONLY BEAST, ONLY SINNER, ONLY FALLEN
3.       “Lord my life must be lived in your forgiveness, and lived out by holding on to the One who has laid hold of me.” 
4.       Strengthen me to drown daily the old Adam/Eve and rise anew to follow you! 

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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