L. A. Marzulli
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: Romans 7;18
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John 15:5
We live life in constant tension. Here’s what I mean.
We are saved by Jesus’s death on the cross, by His blood sacrifice the price was paid for the sin of all mankind. We are “washed” clean in His blood, which of course, is a great mystery.
We are saved by grace and not of works. We are born again and are new creatures in Christ.
Yet, we sin. As Paul admonishes us we do the things we don’t want to do and then he states this:
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing.
I remember when I first read this I was appalled and angry. I didn’t want to admit this. I thought it was way over the top, and to harsh. Now, after almost 37 years of walking out my salvation I realize all to well how true this statement is.
My first mentor Wayne Kendell used to say this: “Another layer of the onion, Marzulli! Another layer!”
What Wayne meant was that like the many layers of an onion so is the depth of the human soul and with it our depravity. One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we seldom discuss is that He —The Holy Spirit—will lead us into all truth. I believe this can be applied to the “truth” about ourselves. In other words how far our depravity really goes. This is one reason why we as Christians are always under construction.
I have found out and testify here that I can do nothing without Him and that in my flesh really is no good thing.
Back to the tension.
So while He is making me into the man He wants me to be, I walk with His peace but wrestle with sin. I have to watch myself at all times. I have to check all thoughts. I have to guard my eyes and my heart.
This is why Paul tells us: All creation groans to be set free.
So with this ongoing tension in our lives we learn to rest in Him. We learn to rely on Him. We come to the startling realization that He is the Prince of Peace, the guardians of our souls, the One who was sent to set us free.
He is in the process of setting us free and this takes time. However, at some point, when we rise to meet Him in the air, we will all change instantly. We will be like Him. The tension we now live in will be gone. We will be clothed in our immortal bodies and will be The Lord forever.
In the meantime… As we live each day we draw close to Him. We acknowledge that we can do nothing without Him. We wait on Him to guide out steps. We present our bodies as a living sacrifice.