B.asic I.nstructions B.efore L.eaving E.arth

I used to sleep with a bible under my bed, because I thought it gave me safety to have a black pleather bible that I wold read on some Sundays and special occasions.  There was security in knowing that it was under my pillow.  No bad dreams could get me and every sin committed would not come back to me. Crazy: that I would put so much trust in pieces of folded paper.   Bad as that sounds, it’s not unlike what we do when we open the bible today.

The bible for many of us is the book that we go to to get nuggets of good wisdom to get us through our day.  A magic amulet that can ward of all evil and give us all knowledge.  It is B.asic I.nstructions B.efore L.eaving E.arth.  While it does have tremendous wisdom for life and living, the bible is more than just the “B.I.B.L.E.”  The bible is a book that from cover-to-cover is a book about Jesus.  The Old Testament is Jesus concealed.  He is the good news prophecy made in Genesis 3:15.  He is the fourth man in the fiery furnace.  He is the Wonderful Counselor spoken of in Isaiah.  He is where the temple and all the pieces of furniture in the temple point.  The Old Testament is about Jesus.  The New Testament is about Jesus.

That is what separates the Bible from any other book such as the Koran and the Book of Mormon.  The Bible isn’t a Good Book amongst many.  It is God’s progressive revelation about the Savior of the World, Jesus Christ.  No other book was designed to grow your faith in Jesus and his ability and desire to save people.  When you pick up other books you may read good things and get good principles.  When you pick up the Bible you read about a good God-man, Jesus!  The bible was designed by God the Spirit to help us see Jesus as God and grow our faith and dependence on him.  “Faith (in Jesus) comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”  Romans 10:17. Stop reading it for good sayings and good quotes, begin to prayerfully read the bible to see Jesus and watch your faith in Him come alive.

Confessions of a Preacher

*preface* This may be too transparent for some of you. If you have an image of a crispy clean young man who’s “on fire” for God, read with caution if at all…

There are many times (really all the time) when I just pause at the idea of me being a Christian. I’m so much more morally bankrupt than those unsaved people around me. I stumble into pride, lust, hypocrisy, gluttony, laziness and foolishness often…there are folk who if they had my shoes would be doing much better morally, I know it. I know it because they are in situations much worse than me and are much more moral than I am. The fact that God’s mercy is new every morning is still not fully grasped in my heart, which is a lack of faith, another testament of my shortcomings and God’s grace in spite of myself.

I really don’t NEED to hang around folk. My desire and idolization of acceptance pushes me to hang around folk, but my other idol of self dependence and secrecy push me to be alone. Even when I play spades with folk, often my aim is to win and big up myself, not simply enjoy community. A thing as simple and seemingly innocent as spades becomes a prop to the idol of self preservation and improvement… I glory in being a winner, in being right, even in a stupid game of cards.

As much as I rail against the unloving self righteous pseudo Christian, I am extremely unloving to those people, or people I self-righteously judge to be so, making me just as bad as those I tweet/preach/facebook against. “Oh, I get on your nerves? Then don’t talk to me, it’s not like you’re adding anything to my growth. You don’t like how I preach? Well forget you then, if you knew the Gospel you’d like it. I don’t need your community or your love, I do well just by myself.” The same arrogant, entrepreneurial, hypocritical Christianity I preach against I myself find myself living in with sprinkles of “Gospel-centeredness” on top.

I work hard. Very hard. 3-5 jobs hard. I justify it by saying I’m giving it and saving it to plan for a family that will glorify God. I hardly give to the local church as much as I budget initially, and even when I do I battle a fierce beast of pride and self righteousness. I don’t look to the fact that Jesus has established me through His work on the Cross because I look at my own work and think I am established, or at least close. I fail to work out my salvation with fear and trembling and instead work to fill my pockets with fearless pride. I justify who and how valuable I am through the jobs and money I have saved, the things I can afford on my own, failing to realize God is the one who gave me everything to earn what I don’t even give back to Him.

….I could go on. But pause and think about this: God through Himself saved me knowing I would be where I am and loves me enough to continue to not leave me or forsake me, but in fact sanctify me. He continues to reign down on my life…mercies and grace. My life doesn’t make any sense in a karma sense. In fact, I deserve death, but God in the blood of my own menstrual rags of righteousness said live…I am so nobody. No..body. But Jesus is Somebody and was Somebody for me on the Cross dying and raising for me…freeing me from living up to the expectations presented by my parents, society, even the expectations set by myself. Those character flaws listed are not up to me to correct because they have been paid for on the Cross. Even me re-realizing my identity in Jesus and submitting to the Spirit is done through the mind of Christ given to me by Christ. Thankful.

Please pray for me. I want to love more, submit more, lead more….die more to live more.

I love you.

Bruh, Man Up (Submission, part 1)

There’s a incorrect popular idea in masculine culture ,and especially even Christianity, that the practice and idea of submission is primarily the responsibility of the woman. The usual themes I see on Twitter, Facebook, college campuses, Sunday mornings,  Wednesday night Bible studies, etc., go something like this:

Woman Submits to Man, Man Submits to nobody. Man is King.

Let’s look at the story of a famous King and see how the popular idea of submission matches up.

So there was a man who God called to preach to a city called Nineveh; his name was Jonah.  After a crazy journey to get there, he finally preaches to the city of Nineveh to repent – to turn away from their sin and turn to God. This was the King of that city’s response:

Jonah 3

6 The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.7 And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water,8 but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands.9 Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”

The city of Nineveh was horrible, very much like the terrorist culture of Al Qaeda. They were known for torturing folk, pillaging other nations, and the worship of various false gods. The King of this city literally ran all of these things. He was the head. Nineveh was his world, or so he thought. However, peep the text and let’s peep what he does in light of the message Jonah preached:

1. Arose from his throne

The King of this mighty nation, the ruler of everything around Him, this man of renown and power, arose from his throne. This man had a seat of authority, influence, wealth, power, women, you name it. But in response to God, the King got off of his throne. This points to the fact that he was willing to give all of what he had up to be in alignment with what God’s desires were for him.

2. Removed his robe

The robe of the King was a public display of his position. This is who he was. Folk saw this Kings robe and knew who he was. This was his identity. Again though, this man was willing to give up who he found himself to be, as well as who others found Him to be in response to God.

3. Put on sackcloth and sat in ashes

Even without knowing the Bible, The King was able to understand God’s will to such an extent that He was willing to take off “everything” and put on nothing. In this realization, the King was able to put on humility- and to sit in humility. All in response to a message from God.

Keep reading the text. Look at how he took these steps in response to God, leading his community to follow suit. This is what Biblical submission looks like for men. Men are called to submit to God. They are called to get off of the thrones of their own hearts, take off the identity given to them by the world, and sit in humility- agreeing to the role that God has for them- which is always one of leadership in some degree, and always one that leads others to turn to God.

So we know what submission is, but the question is how do we do this? It’s hard to get off the throne of your own herd, take off your identity that the world gives you, and then sit in humility. I dare say it’s impossible. So how do we do it? Quick verse and we’ll wrap up part 1…

Philippians 4:12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

The answer is Jesus. We need Him for us to submit … that means we repent -turn away from our sins and turn to Him, to believe in His work on His Cross where he paid the debt of sin against God that we owe. Through Him we can do this thing men. Next time we’re going to talk about another King who submitted so that we can really unpack this thing even further.

Part 2 coming soon!

grace and peace.

the stranger.

i met a stranger on may 6, 2010 – he was young.  he was handsome.  and it surprised me when he said that  he was homeless. he traveled to houston with no money, no shelter and no family. he was a tenant in the downtown park we visited to disperse lunches to the homeless. his spirit was lively, on first meeting him. he was without timidity and full of Joy. he had so much to say, as if he had been mute for months. he was vibrant and cheerful. he was a stranger.

in his possession were crumpled papers that were bound together by two staples. the layout and print of the pages appeared familiar to my memory. they were scriptures from a Bible he once owned. somehow, he was able to obtain and keep the middle pages of his Book. he had been reading isaiah 54 (the eternal covenant of peace), which he ended up giving to me, to keep. he wore a shirt that read “transformers: romans 12:2” and pictured on the shirt were transformers with a cross in hand. in my mind, he was a different breed – a stranger from a different breed.

it was amazing to me, you know, a homeless young man who had only a few pages left from his Bible, still made it a point to read it as often as possible. and he said that he reads it everyday, he reads what’s left of his Bible every single day. i stood in admiration because, even though i have a full Bible, it is hard for me to pick it up and read it faithfully, as he did. i was amazed and convicted all at once. he desired to be in his word as much as possible because as he said, “it’s all i have left.”

we spoke for a while and he had been pouring into me his life experiences and how he ended up where he was. i was in disbelief and wondered what his next step would be. i could not bring myself to ask but i was able to tell him how beautiful his deep sea blue eyes were to me. and when i said that, he was shocked. hesitated and then said, “thank you! i have never heard that before.” once we were ready to depart, he ran up to me and said, “take care of yourself. it was nice meeting you Jasmine.” i was shocked and asked, “how did you figure out my name?” he said, “i overheard you tell him.” i smiled with the deepest sincerity and said, “you take care of yourself as well. i hope to see you again.” he replied, “me too.”

this is the beginning of a story where strangers become ex-strangers. his name is nathan.

Bruh, Man Up! (Love)

CAUTION: This blog may make you upset, but the ultimate aim is for you to see love in a possibly very different way.

F%^&%K LOVE”

I hear and read this quite a bit from my female peers. In loving curiosity, I have asked why these women would say that and it always goes back to a broken relationship with a guy, always. More specifically, this stance on love usually stems from a broken relationship in which sex was involved. You know, the guy and gal did the do and then for one reason or another, the guy left the relationship. The guy usually gets it in under some pretense of marital insinuation, and the girl is broken by the prince that never was. And while there is a large contingent of males young and old who harbor harsh opinions towards these women, they have neglected the fact that they own a large bit of the blame.

Peep This…

Genesis 38:6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar.7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord put him to death.8 Then Judah said to Onan, Go in to your brother’s wife and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.9 But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his. So whenever he went in to his brother’s wife he would waste the semen on the ground, so as not to give offspring to his brother.10 And what he did was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and he put him to death also.
Let’s take a moment to add some cultural context. Back then, in order to preserve the family line, it was culturally acceptable for a brother to marry his deceased brother’s widow. Onan’s brother Er was wicked in God’s eyes, so God killed him. Onan then is called by his father to marry Tamar, Er’s widow. Onan is asked to “raise up offspring for [his] brother”. The thing is Onan would have sex with Tamar, but as the text says he would pull out. The text then says God kills Onan because “what he did was wicked in the sight of the Lord”.

So if it was culturally acceptable for Onan to sleep with Tamar, why all the pulling out?

Onan wanted to get what Onan wanted, which was a nut (yeah I’m sorry, it sounds bad…but that’s what the text says). Onan just used Tamar as a receptacle for his selfishness.  When it came down to actually planting a part of himself inside of this woman, he pulled out. He didn’t want to cultivate, he wanted to copulate. This wasn’t love-making, this was extended masturbation. His act of wickedness was being selfish, and not loving this woman.

The text revealed that because Onan used Tamar as an object of extended masturbation, God killed him. This is a problem for us, because most of us guys are Onan’s. We literally get it in, and do our thing for 1, 4, maybe even 20 whole minutes (#wow!), but when it’s time for insemination what do we do? That’s right, we pull out (most of us get tired of pulling out and want to increase our chances of not getting the woman pregnant, so we just wear a condom, which is worse than pulling out really).

**And for the guys who are saying “well wait a second, I have a child and I raise them too”, I’d say good for you man, but 1. did you go in planning to have a child, or 2. did you just get caught up, or worse 3.  knew you’d get her pregnant and have an abortion and then she said she’s not down? You’re worse than Onan too. There’s good news for you too if you keep on reading.**

Men, we are willing to do it all, cuddle in bed afterwards, share a dog, pay for the food, buy the movie tickets, take her on a trip to New Zealand, but we aren’t willing to make a commitment. We’re willing to get as much as we can from them, without giving them any part of us.  It’s selfish, and certainly not loving–God actually calls it wicked. And like Onan, God has a punishment for your wickedness (death).

Good News

For too long we’ve followed in the marks of Onan, acting out of pure selfishness. We don’t want offspring, we want to get it in and get out. We’re not looking to produce, we’re looking to pollute. Thankfully, Jesus Christ died for this wickedness.  The Bible says “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:8).” You see, Jesus Christ went all the way in for some folk who didn’t deserve it. He didn’t look for pleasure in self-preservation, He saw pleasure in being obedient to God and honoring Him. He looked beyond Himself. He died on a Cross, not because He was wicked, but because we were wicked.  After paying for the sin of all those who believe on the filthy cross, He was buried, He sowed His seed (which was Himself) into the ground. And He didn’t pull out early. He stayed in the Earth for three days. That seed did not lay dormant, it rose in new life. This new life represented the life that would be given to the millions upon millions of people who would place their faith in Jesus Christ. You see, His seed was not wasted, it went on to produce the biggest family ever. The family of God. And there are people born (again) from this seed all the time. I’m one of them.

1 Corinthians 15:20-23
But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.

That’s love. That’s the kind of love we are called to live in and through and share to others men. Love that looks beyond ourselves and chiefly aims to honor God.

grace and peace.

Foreign Language 101

Language barriers are one of the most frustrating things ever! Whenever I’m trying to speak to someone who doesn’t speak the same language as me, I’ll try breaking the sentence down, speaking slower, or using a lot of hand gestures. Nevertheless, in the end I usually get the big smile and slow head nod which usually means that they didn’t understand a word I just said, but still appreciate my effort anyways. Language barriers can be completely frustrating and when it comes to things like electronics or handling important paperwork they are downright angering.

But if you really think about it, language barriers aren’t really anybody’s fault. Some people were simply born speaking a language other than the plain old English that I speak.

This analogy really hit me hard when I started thinking about feelings of frustration I sometimes experience within the body. Sometimes when sharing the gospel or trying to sow seeds, you can feel like your pouring your heart out and you want the person you’re speaking to to really get it. You desperately want them to soak up every word so they can experience Christ in the same life changing way that you have, but the only feedback you’re getting is a big grin and a slow head nod.  It’s as if a language barrier exists between you and the people you’re speaking to. It’s kind of frustrating and sometimes even angering.

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”                                                                              1 Corinthians 1:18

For those who have placed their faith in Christ, there now exists a language barrier between us and those who are still in the world. In Corinthians, Paul says that the words of those who are in Christ sound like foolishness to those who aren’t saved. Because we were all born into a sinful nature, it’s like we were all raised to speak this language that is not of Christ. But now that we have trusted in Christ and have given our lives over to Him, He has opened our eyes and renewed our minds, and we now have a new language.  We really have to understand that no matter how hard we try, it is the Holy Spirit who is the giver of this new language. He has the power to open people’s eyes so that they can understand the mystery of His gospel.

Lastly and perhaps most importantly, I’ve come to understand that my response needs some redirecting. Once you experience and realize this spiritual language barrier, why get frustrated or angry, what good does that do?  Thinking back I was so frustrated because I felt like people weren’t understanding or making an effort to understand. I was angry that I wasn’t getting across to them and it killed me that my words or the words of others weren’t making an impact in their lives.  And in those instances I didn’t take into account the possibility of a spiritual language barrier. Now I could kill myself for not praying for them. Now I see that they didn’t need me to be frustrated with them or angry at them, they need me to pray for them, to pray for understanding, to pray for the opening of eyes, and to pray for the Holy Spirit to work inside of them. Jesus Christ is the ultimate breaker of barriers and my hope is in Him. Realizing that my vertical communication greatly affects my ability to communicate horizontally has completely changed my outlook.

Bruh, Man Up! (Courage)

*Hey fam, this is a series on Biblical masculinity. It’s been a while, so if  you missed the introduction this series called “Bruh, Man Up”,  peep it here: http://www.thecitygoodhope.org/?p=2798

Let’s be frank (help me Lord)


Candis and I were talking and she pointed me to a certain text that really troubled me (Yes I can admit the Bible bothers me sometimes, but that’s for another blog). This was the text:

Deuteronomy 22:23-27
23If there is a betrothed virgin, and a man meets her in the city and lies with her,24 then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbor’s wife. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.25But if in the open country a man meets a young woman who is betrothed, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die.26 But you shall do nothing to the young woman; she has committed no offense punishable by death. For this case is like that of a man attacking and murdering his neighbor,27 because he met her in the open country, and though the betrothed young woman cried for help there was no one to rescue her.

These verses bothered me y’all, no lie. It seems pretty… extreme, but then the Holy Spirit revealed some things to me (thanks for the Bible reading tips Emike). From reading the text I’m going to make some logical, non-leaping assumptions.

1.
From looking at verse 24, there is a righteous assumption made by God that if the woman had cried out in the city, the men would have acted.

2.
From looking at verse 27, men are expected by God to be those who seek justice in direct and confrontational action.

THE CITY
The text makes a differentiation between the city and the country. In today’s context, even the areas we consider rural would be cities back then.  The country at that time meant a largely uninhabited area, primarily uninhabited by men. In today’s culture, everywhere we go we are in a city.

CRYING OUT
The text illustrates a literal screaming out from women for help from danger, hurt and harm caused by men. Today women also scream out this way, but they also are screaming out through bitterness, long threads of “indirects” on twitter, ranting Facebook statuses, and/or inappropriate twitter and facebook avatar pictures. Women today are still crying out, and as we have asserted, they have been crying out all in the cities-there is nowhere else to cry out.

EXPECTATIONS
The expectation God places on men is one of justice seeker. In the text, the men were called to rescue the women from getting abused by men. This means the men had to stand up, confront the attacker and possibly strike him repeatedly, maybe even kill him for the sake of the women in danger.

Now, we know there are plenty of scorn and broken women in the cities. If one walked outside of thier house/dorm/apartment or even got on any social media, or turned on The View for 3 minutes, they are aware of this reality. Again, women are crying out and they are doing it in the cities. If this is true, then why are so few men stepping up for justice sake and stopping the abuse? Well, if I were to be honest from personal observation, it’s because most men are the abusers, and by definition won’t tell on themselves, and many more are cowards deciding to not “do the most” and “mind their own business”, all the while injustice is happening.

Hold on, before you x-out of this blog upset thinking I’m male bashing, hear me out ( and if you haven’t x’d out already, good for  you!).

In the recent words of a known speaker and ministry leader, “there is an epidemic going on around college campuses” and the rest of the cities. The epidemic isn’t “men running around getting girls pregnant and leaving them alone”; it’s sin! Sin produces cowardice. Sin doesn’t confront, sin cosigns. Sin doesn’t correct, sin cowers. It’s this sin that has our males (who call themselves men) acting this way in common society. Most of the men in a very real way are much like the man in the picture above.

I want us to see what God has called man to do, how we have fallen, and the state we are in.  The answer may surprise you, but it may not.

We gotta look to Jesus.

From reading Deuteronomy 22:23-27, we can see there is a victim/abuser relationship in place and that there is to be a person who is to rescue the one abused, in the name of justice and love out of the position they are in.

See, we all (men included) were abused and manipulated by sin. We cried out, but the difference is we enjoyed it, we were all following sin, indwelt by demons and loving the mess we are in [Ephesians 2:1-3]. According to the Law, in Deuteronomy,  we were to die along with the abuser because we were dishonorable and cheated on God, but in love and grace God stepped in and beat back then abuser sin, nay God crushed what was abusing us. Yet instead of killing us along with the abuser, God in perfect justice punished Himself as if He was the unfaithful one.

He punished Himself on our behalf in the GodMan Jesus Christ on a feces and urine covered Cross, delivering perfect love and justice.
Men have to look towards this fact (not philosophy or idea), change their minds about their sin and believe in Jesus. In that new life likeness, man is changed! Only from there can they move from abusers and cowards to advocates of Godliness and confronters of injustice.

Jesus Saves.

Grace and Peace,

Bruh, Man up! (An introduction)

What I’ve been seeing…

No lie, I stay on social media, perhaps a bit too much. Whilst perusing the various facebook updates and tweets, I often will see complaints from women concerning “trifling ni**as”, updates and tweets from men justifying their behavior,  and then and still even more women applauding these men for their behavior.  So needless to say there’s a lot of confusion out there as to what really being a man is. In this series we’re going to see what manhood is, and yes reader, I’m sure you’ve read or heard at least 405 other sources about what being a real man is, but I can tell you the answer in this series won’t be self-improvement, money, extenze (that’s a sex pill if you didn’t know), a workout plan or education.

To open this series up, let’s start with

RESPONSIBILITY

Genesis 3:7 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, Where are you?

Giving context to the verse:

Adam and Eve were living and ruling in the Garden of Eden but disaster struck, Eve was deceived and ate the forbidden fruit, committing the one sin in existence for mankind at the time. Though it was Eve who initially sinned, God holds Adam responsible. Adam was the man and was created first to lead and cultivate (Genesis 1:15-16). Though this was His role when God asks Adam what went down in Genesis 3, his response is less than admirable. He blames God and then throws Eve under the bus.

The hard thing I don’t believe Adam understood was that though he did not commit the initial wrong, he was called to take responsibility.  Men, does this sound familiar? How often do we as the one called to lead and serve fail to do so, blaming others for our failure, including God? I can speak for myself and say there are many times where I want to blame-shift, not realizing that my call is higher, to be a servant leader in my community, my friendships, and when the time comes, my marriage.

Let’s peep what the 2nd Adam (Jesus) did. Although our shortcomings were not His fault, He took responsibility for them. How? On His Cross. He absorbed all the wrath due to us as the man, the leader, our Savior. (Romans 5:8)  Men, we are called to live this way, taking the responsibility for something that isn’t our fault (yes I know that sounds foreign!). Often times this will hurt, but  the answer for us as males is to submit to the only real Man, Christ Jesus. Let’s give up our small ideas of manhood and pick up what the Bible has for us as manhood (the Cross).

This is just an intro though!

We’ll be tackling these other subjects and their relation to this thing we call manhood:

LEADERSHIP

LOVE

COURAGE

SERVING

PLANNING

SUBMISSION

Concerning this series, like the Apostle Paul said “Roll with me as I roll with Christ” 1 Cor 11:1 (NGV), I think you’ll like it!

Grace and Peace.

Jesus wants the Rose

This is a favorite clip of mine by a man of God by the name Matt Chandler.

The Rose

There are many of us who secretly feel unworthy to be in relationship with God. Many of us feel because of our past   (or current) mistakes, that we’re just too dirty to come to an immeasurably clean God and dare ask for a relationship. The Good News is that this immeasurably clean God came down and took your filth and gave you His cleanliness, if you realize you need Him and believe He can save you! Peep the vid and comment!

If You Know Better, You’ll Do…Worse?

*please forgive me for the length in advance*

I HEAR THIS STATEMENT ALL THE TIME:

“If you know better, you’ll do better”

Now, I realize I can come across as a jerk sometimes (probably because I am a jerk and Jesus is working on me), and so I try to be careful and correct with what I say when speaking to others. With that said, I have to respectfully disagree with this statement. First, let’s peep the scripture:

Romans 7:7  What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! Certainly, I would not have known sin except through the law. For indeed I would not have known what it means to desire something belonging to someone else if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” 7:8 But sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of wrong desires.

Okay, backing up and checking the context: Paul in this letter to the Church in Rome addresses core issues of Christianity and comes to address the issue of the Law. The Law was what God wanted us to know what to do right, however the author Paul says that with the knowledge of the Law (what to do right) came sin (doing wrong). Paul is saying when he knew better, he did worse. His (and our) own inherent sinfulness cannot do better, even when we know better. Perhaps I should say especially when we know better.


“Okay, so if when we know better,  we’ll do worse and not better, how do we do better?”

The issue is in the statement – the charge is for us to DO  something better in order to be better. But the text shows that we can’t be better…we’re evil. We’re sinners. Paul himself explains that he wouldn’t have known about doing bad until he saw what he should have been doing right. So it would seem we’re in trouble. We know plenty of good, but how good are we doing?

Wait…ah here we go.

But what about someone who was and is Good? Good as in perfect? Who lived a perfect life? Who is God in the flesh? Yeah! #Jesus! He lived the life we could never live and died the death we were supposed to die so that upon changing our minds about our sin and holding on to Him we could be saved from eternal punishment and given perpetual placement in His precious presence (whassup alliteration) by merit of Himself and everything He has done.

He (God) who knew better DID more than we could ever imagine. He died, under the wrath of Himself on a cross so that we may have His righteousness. Upon repentance and belief in this fact, He (God) dwells inside of us so that we may live a lifestyle of continually doing better not by our power, but by the power of Him who dwells within us (God).

So let me go out on a limb and say if you know better, you’ll do worse. However, God knows best. He knows you need a Savior, so He sent Himself (Jesus Christ) to save you.  You won’t do better until you know Jesus.

Do you know Him?