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Getting this Condition Under Control

My daughter Lydia, a freshman at Liberty University, usually calls home once a week to check in. During a conversation over Spring Break, Lydia shared how excited she is about one of her classes. Global Studies sounds like one of those easy A’s students take to boost their GPA. However, the name is based upon the Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20. Lydia’s latest project focuses on how to share the gospel , the good news about Jesus Christ, with someone from another country or religion.

For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled, bewildered]. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe [[b]which my moral instinct condemns]. 16 Now if I do [habitually] what is contrary to my desire, [that means that] I acknowledge and agree that the Law is good (morally excellent) and that I take sides with it. 17 However, it is no longer I who do the deed, but the sin [principle] which is at home in me and has possession of me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it. [I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out,] Romans 7:15-18.

While I never took a Global Studies class, I did attend a student leadership conference as an adult chaperone when I taught high school Bible at Red Lion Christian Academy. The guest speaker was Dr. Jeff Meyers who spoke on a series of topics that built upon one another. During one session, Jeff shared that atheist, agnostics, and other world religious know what sin is, but they refer to it in various terms. If you want to follow in the footsteps of C.S. Lewis to using apologetics to reach a broad audience, speak in terms of addiction and bad habits.

For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and [d]pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and [e]seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit. Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that [f]comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever]. [That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot. So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him, Romans 8:5-8.

While listening to one of my old Christian mixed CD’s on my long commute to work, I was reminded of a theme within one of DC Talk’s classic songs. In the Light contains the line “getting this condition under control.” Since everyone understands addictions, bad habits or unwholesome cravings, there is always something human beings need to reign in or work on. The apostle Paul explains this internal struggle in the passage above. While you will experience the agony of defeat, if you learn to keep in step with the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25, getting your sinful nature under control is possible with God’s help, 2 Corinthians 12:7-12.

by Jay Mankus

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