God Did What I Couldn’t Do

Pastor's Ponderings IllustrationBible Readings for the day: Proverbs 17:25-11:11, Romans 8:1-17, Hosea 8:1-9:17
Meditational Reading: Romans 8:1-4
1  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
2  For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
3  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,
4  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.

“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.”  What a great Holy Week thought!  It’s the whole of Jesus’ earthly ministry wrapped up in one short sentence.  God did what I could not (would not, will not) do.

So often we view sin as a minor distraction in our lives, a problem to be overcome with the right spiritual disciplines and a little will power.  I remember to my early days as a committed believer.  I wore a cross around my neck.  The iidea was to look at the cross when I was tempted and then not sin.  I wish it worked so easily!  More often than not, I would take the cross off, put it somewhere I couldn’t see it and then indulge myself in sin–I’d feel guilty while doing it, but did it anyway.  My intentions were good, my follow through wasn’t.

In the midst of my sin, I used to wonder what wrong with me.  What was my problem?  Why couldn’t I overcome sin in my life?  Why did sin have so much power over me?  I had a skewered view of sin!  I saw temptation and sin as a problem that came from the outside that I could fight and overcome.  I had a poor view of sin!  Sin is powerful (at least over me).  Sin is always present (at least with me).  I have no power over sin.  Sin seems to have an unbreakable power over me.  With all of my good intentions, I was still mired in my sin.

“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.”  This is truly good news for me (and you!).  God did what I cannot do!  God knew my problem and my inability to overcome it.  He did what I cannot do.  He sent his Son into this world.  Jesus lived the sinless life I cannot live.  He took my sins upon himself and paid their price in full on the cross.

I am freed from the power and curse of sin not through my spiritual disciplines (I’m very indiscipline in that way!), but through the person and work of Jesus my Savior.  On this Wednesday in Holy Week, God’s Word brings me back to the cross and my Savior who died there for me.  But God’s Word does more, it brings me to the empty Easter tomb and God’s solid proof that he has indeed forgiven me and that I have life with him as a free gift.

God did what I could not do.  God did what I cannot do.  God did what I will not do.  God saved me in and through Jesus my Lord!

A prayer:  Thank you, Lord, for doing what I cannot do!  Amen!

Should you wish to access Pastor Kerner’s sermon archive, you can do so at https://gslcsuffield.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/sermon-archive-2010-2011/

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 585 South St. (Route 75), Suffield CT 06078 USA  http://www.gslcsuffield.com  Should you wish to support this ministry, you can mail a check to the church.

If you liked this post in any way, please think about sharing it on your social media sites.  This is an effective way to evangelize on the internet.  You can also friend me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/james.kerner

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