“The Widow Maker” – One Year Bible Reading – July 21

Old Testament:  2 Chronicles 4:1-6:11

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2 Chronicles 4:1-6:11   Home Sweet Home

Since I have a special place in my heart for Obsessive-Compulsives, here are the parallels in Kings to our section for today:

1 Kings 7:13-51                                                         2 Chron. 2:13-14; 3:15-5:1

1 Kings 8:1-66; Ps. 136:1; Ps. 132:8-10,1            2 Chron. 5:2-7:10

Of course, I’ve written on this already here:

Solomon’s Place

A Gigantic Potluck Dinner


Notice in chapter 5, verse 10, states, “There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets which Moses put there at Horeb, where theLord made a covenant with the sons of Israel, when they came out of Egypt.”  What’s missing?  The Manna which represented Jesus as the “Bread of Life” (John 6: 35) and Aaron’s rod that had budded, representing the Resurrection.  Only the law remained which was the trademark of the dispensation of the nation of Israel.

Though the ark had been on the move during the Exodus, then captured by the Philistines, and finally moved to Jerusalem, it had found its permanent home in the Temple.

New Testament:  Romans 7: 1 – 13

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Romans 7:1-13   The Widow Maker

Paul has explained in chapter five that there is no sin greater than God’s grace.

In chapter 6, he has stated that we are actually dead to sin so it would be uncharacteristic for a Christian to sin.  He went on to exhort believers to (K) Know that we are dead spiritually, (E) Expect to live for Christ, and (Y) Yield the parts of our body to Christ to do His will.

However, in chapter seven Paul warns believers of a gigantic roadblock to living in the joy of the Spirit.  The problem is that although we are dead to sin there is still a problem, Houston.  The problem is that we are still carrying around our dead nature.  It wants to gather its strength and rear its ugly, dead head to try to take over again.  In fact, it will if we don’t follow the key in chapter 6 and resolve problems with the truths we find in chapter 8 on the Spirit.

Here’s the problem:  Just as a woman is freed from her husband if he dies, so a believer is freed from the law when he or she died with Christ (v. 1-4).

There are certain key terms that refer to man’s nature (when I refer to man, I mean woman, too — give me a break!) in this passage.  They have to do with mind, will, emotions, and body (there will be more terms in tomorrow’s blog).  This is the classic way to break down a person’s nature.  In verse 5, we find a term “sinful passions.”  They work in the “members of our body.”  The “sinful passions” are emotions but bad emotions.  They are the emotions that cause us to covet and break commandments.  They wouldn’t be able to work if it wasn’t for our bodies because they are at work in the “members of our body.”  Of course, we are “dead” to these passions as we saw in Romans 6:6 where we saw that our our bodies were “rendered powerless” (see yesterday’s blog).

So what’s the problem?  The problem is that the Law which shows us that we are sinning actually stirs us up to sin!  Don’t believe me?  What happens when you are on an airliner and the sign comes on after a landing and it says, “Keep seat-belt fastened.”  What happens?  All over the plane you hear, “click, click, click” as people release their seat-belts!   If you have a weakness for ice cream cones, what happens if you see a picture of an ice cream cone?  What if I say, “try not to think of a pink elephant”?

Paul says that the last commandment “Do not covet” is the stickler.  He says he wouldn’t even know he was coveting if there hadn’t been a law against it.  No one would know they were speeding if there weren’t speed limit signs.  But since there is a law, it works spiritual death in him.  It revealed his sin and his sin separated him from God.  It broke his relationship with God and we call that death.

Francis Schaeffer says in his book, True Spirituality,p. 7, “The commandment not to covet is an entirely inward thing.   . . . It is an intriguing factor that this is the last command that God gives us in the Ten Commandments and thus the bug of the whole matter.   . . .  Actually we break this last commandment, not to covet, before we break any of the others.   . . .  any time we break one of the others. we break this last commandment as well.   . . .   This is the hub of the wheel.”

But Paul makes it clear that Law has its purpose, it reveals the separation between us and God.

Paul will complete his explanation of the rift between us and God in tomorrow’s reading.  The chapter 8 will give us the solution to the problem.

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