I once loved “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum. The tune is catchy and the words are inspiring. At least until he gets to the line:
Never been a sinner. I never sinned.
I believe the Apostle Paul would have argued with him against that line as well.
For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. — Romans 7:19 (NRSV)
Great comedy also makes use of this human propensity to think that we can do what is right, only to do what is wrong. When a character does something obviously wrong audiences will roar with laughter, relieved that someone else makes a foolish mistake as they may have once made.
The good news of Jesus Christ is that we need not remain stuck in our past failures, but may dare to go out into the world striving to do our best, confident that Christ has rescued us.
I will have more to say about Romans 7:14-25 on Sunday, July 9th at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church.
Robert Shaw, Pastor