Tuesday, November 25, 2008

SOAP No. 12: Compare/Contrast

Scripture: “In order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

“The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

“You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.” – Romans 8:4-10

Observation: We actually covered a lot from Romans 8 in Bible Study last week, so… be prepared!! =)

Observations, in bullet form:

• Paul writes like a lawyer, making sure all of his points get across thoroughly, but not with so much repetitiveness that it makes you lose interest (can you tell I’m preparing for my column writing class?).
• Paul is comparing and contrasting those who live in sin with those filled with God’s Spirit.

Application: Again, sorry, but I’m using the bullet form because I think it’s the best way to get this across.

• People who live according to sin – have their minds set only on what they desire; their mind is on death; are hostile to God; do not submit to God’s law; cannot please God; do not belong to Christ.
• People who live according to the Spirit – have their minds set on what the Spirit desires; have peace and life; God lives within them; their spirits are alive because of righteousness.

Okay, I wanted to sum that up right there so it’s easy to see and compare/contrast. It’s fairly easy to see the differences; they’re night and day.

I see the contrast of the black and white, but I see so many Christians, including myself, living in gray areas. And, it’s not supposed to be gray. It’s supposed to be as clear as Paul’s description there to be able to tell someone who is living for God as opposed to someone who is not.

Christians are supposed to have peace, supposed to do what the Spirit says, supposed to mirror God. Of course, I know there are several other comparisons that could be made, like showing the fruits of the Spirit and such, but I feel like this is almost a basic overview of how we should live. After all, if we live according to the Spirit and follow Jesus’ command to love God and our neighbors, shouldn’t everything else just fall into place?

Prayer: Lord, I pray that I mirror you every day and that when I fall, my failures are seen only as growing pains and not a slight on You. Help me step away from the gray lines and live completely and wholly for You, as intended.

5 comments:

Rachel said...

Yes it should. Good post!

SoonerAggieMom said...

I had to check you out after reading your hilarious comment about Growin with it's turkey.

Nice to meet ya.

~~Laura

Brooke said...

sometimes i wonder if living in the gray is actually living in the black - and we're just try to convince ourselves its not that bad.

Lois Lane II said...

Brooke -- Good point. That's the conclusion I eventually came to, also. =-)

MInTheGap said...

Too bad blogger doesn't let me reply in bullet format...

Paul does a lot of contrasting in his epistles. The whole put off and put on of Ephesians and Colossians comes to mind.

And yet I still bring to mind that Paul said that the things he would do he didn't and the things he should not he did. It reminds me of the fact that we need to be both doers and hearers of the Word.