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November 27 – A twofold life

“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” – Romans 7:15–19

Scripture reading: Romans 7

Notice the two “I’s” in these verses: one “I” is my renewed self and the other is my old self. The one “I” hates the other. The Christian hates his sinful life because it is evil. What is the greatest evil? Death, which is where all sin leads. What is the greatest evil ever? The death of Christ, which is where our sin led Jesus.

Here is why we hate evil: it is not only our enemy, we are its servants. We are the culprits that killed our Savior. Our sin led Christ to the cross which now saves us. Delivered, we no longer want to trample under our foot this grace of God. We hate that we try to keep Christ on the cross. We hate evil because it killed our Savior. We hate evil because we love Christ more, Who died for our sins. Here we see the difference between unbelief and believers hatred of evil. Unbelievers hate evil deeds because it upsets their best life now. We hate evil because we have the best promise now – Christ became sin for us so that we might be the righteousness of God. Once you truly accept that by faith, you will learn more and more to hate sin.

Suggestions for prayer

Augustine said, “our hearts are restless until they rest in God.” Pray that you would rest in God’s grace and from there seek to live for Him more and more. Pray that you would put to death your old self.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Jared Beairdis the church planter and pastor of Covenant Reformed Church (URCNA) in Missoula, Montana, USA.

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