January 21, 2019

Letter to the Editor

Dear Mr. Nathan Grimm,

                                                      Our bondage to the power of Sin

     Excuse me for mentioning the awful word “sin”. We seldom use that word anymore.

It was the great missionary Paul who wanted to teach us about sin. So, in his great

Letter to the Romans--- let’s see what he said: “All human beings are under the power

of sin” (Romans 3:9).

     Paul went on to explain from his own experience, “I do not do what I want, but I do the

 very thing I hate --- I can will what is right, but I cannot do it --- the evil that I do not want

is what I do.” Does this sound familiar? It does to me. Like many people I find it easy to sin.

     Sin may be a very unpopular subject these days. But when I do what is unjust, dirty

and damaging to another person I call such behavior sinful because that is what it is.

     Paul goes on to finish his point about sin’s power: “Now if I do what I do not want,

it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me” (Romans 7: 15-20). The apostle

believes that all human beings are in the grip of impulses that are more powerful than one’s

desire to do good. Sin is often a force so powerful that it cannot be resisted by puny folks like us.

     It is no use blaming Adam and Eve; yes, they sinned, tricked by the devil (Genesis 13).

But it is Satan himself who deserves our blame. It is Satan who seeks our destruction and

who hates God’s whole beautiful creation.

     Now here is the good news: thanks to the Son of God who gave his life for us we are not

defenseless anymore. Jesus Christ rose from the dead with power in his blood, the blood of the Lamb. When Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, died and was buried, and on the third day was raised up alive again, it changed everything. By his wounds we have been healed.

     According to the Episcopalian scholar, Fleming Rutledge: “The death of Christ was the gift of God

to us when we were utterly helpless and unable to do anything for ourselves.” He lifted from our shoulders the power of Sin and laid on us the breast-plate of Righteousness. God’s own righteousness, holiness, steadfast mercy and forgiveness is greater than the power of Satan, Sin and Death.

   It is right for us to admit our sinfulness for we are only human. Our hands still get dirty sometimes

by the way we treat one another. But we can always rejoice in knowing that God is on our side

against our common Foe.

     The holy righteousness of God and the enormous power of his Divine Love reigns in us now through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. Because of what Jesus has accomplished and will accomplish in

us, we are set free to live “not according to our sinful nature, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:4).

Jerry Wickenhauser    Godfrey     618- 467-0384