- The Text
- The Chapter
- The Confession
Psalm 19:7b (CSB) [...] the testimony of the LORD is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise.
The same law that was first written in the heart of man continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness after the fall, and was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in ten commandments, and written in two tables, the four first containing our duty towards God, and the other six, our duty to man.
The same law that was first written in the heart of man continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness after the fall
Romans 2:14–15 (CSB) So, when Gentiles, who do not by nature have the law, do what the law demands, they are a law to themselves even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts. Their consciences confirm this. Their competing thoughts either accuse or even excuse them
At the heart level, we had the law of God within us because when God first made us, in our original parents, Adam and Eve, we were in perfect relationship with God and therefore, in the perfection and righteousness, knew who God was, what he wanted, and had the right ability and right heart to do his will.
We can only speculate how long Adam and Eve dwelled perfectly with God. I certainly hope it was more than a few of our lifetimes. We don't know. The Bible never says. But I suspect, from looking upon the face of God with bleary eyes, his own heart, and his Spirit, I know that once we have first sinned against God, that perfect time with God wasn't nearly long enough.
and was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in ten commandments, and written in two tables, the four first containing our duty towards God, and the other six, our duty to man
Deuteronomy 10:4 (CSB) Then on the day of the assembly, the LORD wrote on the tablets what had been written previously, the Ten Commandments that he had spoken to you on the mountain from the fire. The LORD gave them to me,
Since now Adam is corrupted, all of humankind is born corrupted. We know this because we were born trying to suppress the knowledge of God. Ergo, since we are born trying to push down and forgot about God, we certainly do not want to know nor follow all the laws of God.
And here is what is so devastating about our indwelling--it has fooled even the most devout Christian into thinking that since we are good at following some or even most of the laws of God, that we are somehow doing good enough to be pleasing and acceptable to God.
But what does James says?
James 2:10 (CSB) For whoever keeps the entire law, and yet stumbles at one point, is guilty of breaking it all.
What does Isaiah say about all of works--not just as unbelievers but believers as well?
Isaiah 64:6 (CSB) All of us have become like something unclean, and all our righteous acts are like a polluted garment; all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities carry us away like the wind.
What does Paul say when he quotes Psalm 14?
Romans 3:10-12 (CSB) as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away; all alike have become worthless. There is no one who does what is good, not even one.
Romans 3:23 (CSB) For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
That is all of us. And becuase of sin, it is still all of us.
What am I saying? On this side of heaven, all of God's children still carry around that body of sin--the war against our born selves that Paul speaks in Romans 7 about every believer. We have a new heart by God, we have his Spirit, the Christ dwells in us, the Father has made his home in us. And yet...
We still sin. We still sin. We stumble. We still fall. God help us. God be merciful to us. Give us mercy because it seems like it never lets up.
Why is this? Both the unbeliever and believer sin against God. But because the believer is a child of God, that has been transformed by God, renewed by God and is being conformed into the image of the Son of God, we see our sin--even imperfectly--we see our sin and it torments us! It grieves us. It has us shaking our heads. It causes us to doubt ourselves and our calling by God. And is there any relief from this? And what about the weight of our sin? It feels like it is going to break us.
Psalm 38:4 (CSB) For my iniquities have flooded over my head; they are a burden too heavy for me to bear.
1 John 2:1-2 (CSB) My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father — Jesus Christ the righteous one. He himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.
We once had the ability and the will to obey God. Sin broke all of that. But because of the perfect obedience of Christ, we have the ability to see our sin, and now we are willing and able to repent of our sins and be cleansed by God from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 (CSB) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
You might say, "Oh, we have to perfectly repent to be saved." Let me put it in a way that people actually believe: "We need to see heartfelt repentance in others to believe that they are saved."
But what does Paul say?
Romans 10:9-10 (CSB) If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.
Here's a newsflash: you, me, and that person you are so concerned about? None of us have perfectly repent of our sin. Ergo, that is the effect of sin.
We cannot perfectly obey God. We can't even perfectly repent of our sin when we do sin or figure out we were sinning against God.
Who is going to save us from this body of death?
Jesus Christ is his blessed name!