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Devotional - week of March 20, 2011


DESTINED TO WEAKNESS

   

For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh.  Romans 8:3

 

Paul’s use of the word “law” in this verse, is a reference to the law arrangement God made with the Jews. This arrangement is called the first covenant. That arrangement was weak. Consider the nature of that—the law—arrangement.

 

Three times at the giving of the law, the Jews said, “What God has said we will do.” They were saying, “God, you tell us what to do and we will do it.” That is the law arrangement. God would give the laws and the Jews would keep them in their own wisdom and strength. But how well did they keep them?

 

The Old Testament is filled with accounts of the sins of Israel. One reading the Old Testament leaves a person saying, “What is wrong with these people. God has made great promises if they would obey and promised great suffering if they failed.”

 

Paul explains the failures of the Jews in Romans 8:3 when he writes that the arrangement of the first covenant was weak because it called for the Jews to serve God in the flesh. That is, they were serving God in their own wisdom and strength.

 

Everytime a Christian reads a command in the Bible and says, “I must keep that and I will,” he is doing the same thing the Jews did in their attempts to keep the first covenant. He is engaging in the arrangement of the first covenanat.

 

When we attempt to keep the commands of God in our own wisdom and strength, we are keeping the flesh in power. Read Galatians 5:19-21a to see a list of sins we open our lives to when we keep the flesh in power. When we attemp to keep the commands of God in our own wisdom and strength, we are destined to weakness.

 

If we are to have the quality of life God has planned for us, we must give up on life in the flesh and move on to the life of grace.