“Inconceivable!” the bald guy with the cartoon voice keeps shouting. He uses the word over and over to express his shock.
And finally Inigo Montoya – of “… you killed my father, prepare to die” fame – has had enough and utters my favorite line from The Princess Bride: “you keep using that word – I do not think it means what you think it means.”
I mention this because I’ve heard several explanations of the famous Romans 7 passage where Paul says “… the things I want to do, I don’t do. What I don’t want to do I find myself doing,” etc.
And with nearly every explanation I find myself thinking “You keep using that Scripture. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
People like to say “see, Paul struggled the same way we did! His life was an ongoing battle too! Just like ours!” It’s the ultimate “misery loves company” moment for us. We should EXPECT for our lives as Christians to be a tooth and nail fight for shreds of goodness!
… wait, how is this good news? It seems to me that if Paul’s saying “yep, the Christian life is one big, ongoing ying and yang battle against sin and you’ll probably never see much progress” … well that just depresses me.
But I don’t think that’s what Paul’s saying. At all. But seeing that involves backing up a bit. Continue reading