I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Romans 7:15
Sometimes children, because of language problems, recite their own versions of Bible passages. In a confirmation instruction class a boy said, “There is one God and one equator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” – his version of 1 Timothy 2:5. (He substituted “equator” for “Mediator.”) A little girl quoted Romans 8:31 as follows: “If God isn’t for us, we are up against it.” A third gave Martin Luther’s explanation of the sixth Commandment: “lead a chaste and decent life” as “chase a decent life.” In all three instances, truth was told, although with garbled texts.
As for the third instance, it cannot be stressed enough that real effort has to be put forth to lead a pure sexual life inside and outside of marriage. It has to be pursued and “chased.” The psalmist urges, “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14).
Even so dedicated a Christian as Saint Paul had all he could do to “chase a decent life,” saying: “What I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15). This came about because an evil force, aided and abetted by the Law, was at work in him. It opposed the “new self” engendered in him by the new birth in Christ. In another passage (Philippians 3:12) he confesses, “Not that I have already obtained all this [the total renewal in the likeness of Christ], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”
So you can see that the children were correct: If God is not for you, helping you through His Word and Spirit, you are up against it. And also the boy was right: There is an “equator” between God and sinners, one who equates and mediates for you before God – Jesus Christ. His redeeming merit saves you when you fail to “chase a decent life.” The children told the truth despite improperly rendered texts. God speaks to us also through children.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, the Author and finisher of my faith, give me strength to lead a God-pleasing life and forgive me when I fail. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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