Following on my masonry analogy related to the law as a plumb and level from yesterday’s lesson, I thought I would stay with building projects today.
In every building project there is some scrap. There are raw goods and materials that get thrown away. A board is cut down and the remainder is unusable. Concrete is mixed in excess of what needs to be poured. Nails are bent, metal is bent and cut, glass is cut to size or broken.
One of the roles of a builder is to minimize excess waste. It is not to eliminate it all together, because that would simply create wastes in other areas, but scrap thrown away has a cost and efficiency is good stewardship.
The gift we are given of being alive can and is also divided into building blocks which we call moments of time. We all will have a fixed amount of time between birth and death. It will be different for each of us, but we can’t purchase more at the end of our days.
My answer to the question of what do you do that you don’t want to do is that I waste time. I’m not talking about the time spent sleeping or doing things that enhance or strengthen my body. Some of that time may be considered scrap to my mission in living, but it is scrap that was built in to the budget, calculations and expectations. Instead, I’m talking about the time spent sinning.
My revelation in this study is that time spent sinning is time that is dead in God’s eyes. As one who is saved by Jesus Christ, it is not held against me as if I was still being measured against the law trying to earn righteousness. However, it is also not counted for me, either. One way of thinking of it is that out of the 60 or 80 or 100 years of my life, only 40 or 20 or 10 may show up in materials that actually end up in the building project I have been given, the rest is in the scrap pile hauled off to be burned away.
What building project am I working on? It is the same mission we are all given as Christians, to reflect the light of Christ into the world, to make disciples and to share the good news, to serve and support and to be salt and light. The reward for a completed project is a bigger project and the desired words from our foreman, “well done, good and faithful servant”.
Sin is a noun and represents the infection that permeates our physical selves. I am, by nature, sinful and unclean because I have inherited this status from the sin that is in the world and inherited to all mankind.
The law is from God. It is a foreshadowing of holiness and was only fulfilled by one man, Jesus Christ.
Paul is pointing out the obvious… although saved and born again, we still live in human bodies born of sin
Welcome to the club. This is the defining, self evident, fact that works will not bring holiness. Being more and more devout does not reduce our temptation to sin, in fact it may magnify it because we move the bar to a higher standard by understanding more what it means to be fully dedicated to God.
I waste time. I participate in idle thoughts and actions that do not refresh me in body or spirit and do not produce anything of value for anyone. I do not give enough or with enough joy to strangers. I do not see all people through the eyes of God. I’m greedy and covet things.