(Quote by Angus Starling from The Ghost and the Darkness)
“’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.” Verse 2
John Newton in verse 2 touches on the struggle within us between good and evil. No matter how hard we try, we often make poor choices and do not live the way we want. That snarky comment slips out. We drive past the beggar at the freeway exit and feel guilty. We shade the truth so we appear more like the hero.
Some branches of Christianity believe it is possible to overcome sin and grow into being our better selves. These people are called “holiness” because the belief is we can become more and more holy – more like Christ daily by the decisions we make. Luther would be more of the opinion that the struggles describe us but do not change us into being better people. We will always be simultaneously “saint” and “sinner”. The credit for when we are able to live as our better selves goes to God and the shame when we make poor decisions must be owned by us.
The Resurrection assures us that we will eventually be “Saints” living as our better selves, as we were created to be, in eternity. Easter gives hope, not that somehow we must change but there is victory because Jesus is risen and active in our lives now!
Paul describes the battle this way in Romans 7: 24-25
“24 Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin.” Romans 7:24-25
As we set aside a couple minutes to ground our minds in “the law of God” let us ask him for the grace to live as our better selves and make wise decisions today.