He Who Regards Himself as a Sinner
There is a perspective that demands that to think otherwise is ludicrous. This is the viewpoint that is based upon the examination and judgment of sin, and it is called law. The law convinces us that even though we are supposedly saved from sin through Christ we are still sinners who are subject to the law of sin. It's only reasonable, isn't it? After all, why would we ever think that just because we believe in Christ we would not still have to deal with sin? Unless, of course, we really did share in Christ's death and also have been raised to new life in him.
I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. Romans 14:14
This always used to stump me because I would always do the "Yeah, but..." You know, as in KNOWING that Paul obviously wasn't referring to those things that ARE unclean in themselves! Haha! So, how could it be that Paul could have ever been "CONVINCED in the Lord Jesus that NOTHING is unclean in itself"? What about all the evil stuff in the world? And yet the only exception he made had to do with the PERCEPTION of the one who regards something as unclean: "...to HIM it is unclean."
He who regards himself as a sinner, to HIMSELF he IS a sinner.
But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be! For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. Galatians 2:17-19
This rather potent statement of Paul's to the saints in Galatia describes through different wording what he also addressed in Romans 6-8, especially chapter 7. "Seeking to be justified in Christ" was one of Paul's summations of the "other gospel, which is really not another" to which the Galatian believers were giving ear. "Seeking to be justified in Christ" is nothing other than a Christianized version of living by law, and this is what happens when we give heed to another gospel.
Simply stated, if the life to which Christ has called us is in fact based upon a seeking of acceptance in Christ so that our continued following Him - whatever one believes this to be - only proves how unacceptable we are, then Christ would be nothing but a dealer or an enforcer of sin. But then, that is totally absurd since Christ is the one who did away with sin. If I rebuild another gospel that re-establishes a relationship with God through some form of legality, then I am the one proving myself to be a law-breaker, or sinner.
Notice how Paul continued his point:
For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God.
Exact same thing he told the Roman believers, for through death we were made alive to God. Now, why would I try to re-establish the thing that can only bring knowledge of sin when that thing is what killed me so that I could be delivered from it?
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