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Page 130


 

And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.

For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.

Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

- Romans 7:10-13

For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

- Romans 7:19

For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

0 wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

- Romans 7:22-25a

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

And if children, then heirs: heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

- Romans 8:14-17

 

As this person painfully realizes his many actual sins, the Holy Spirit deepens his awareness of his original sin - that his heart, motives, and desires are all sinful. The Spirit also reveals something of God's holiness, righteousness, and longsuffering goodness to him.

This two-fold revelation - who God is and who he is - causes the convicted person to diligently strive to improve his life. The more he tries to better himself, however, the more he experiences his failures, sins, and totally depraved heart. He sees God as a righteous Judge that cannot but justly condemn such a great sinner as he is.

When all hope of salvation through his own efforts to fulfill God's law is cut off, and his just condemnation is all that he can rightly expect; the Holy Spirit reveals a way of escape, a way of salvation through another - through a perfect substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ. How this convicted person, whose heart yearns for the God he has offended, longs for, needs, and pleads with the Savior! Jesus has such a richness, fullness, and righteousness for his poorness, emptiness, and sinfulness! As the Holy Spirit reveals more of Christ to him, his heart is won over in love and thankfulness to God for saving such a great sinner through such a great salvation! In this way, sinners are restored into God's favor and fellowship.

Through the saving work of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit leads the saved sinner back to God the Father, not seeing Him now as a punishing Judge, but as a reconciled and loving God - a Father whose love for His children knows no bounds.

Experiencing such an eternal and infinite love, his heart will desire to know, love, and serve God more and more. His deepest desire will be to obey and honor God in all things. To do this he will increasingly learn that he needs the continual, gracious, indwelling workings of the Holy Spirit, for in his old nature he remains a poor sinner.

This is the experiential knowledge of the saving work of the Triune God for which we should strive. The more we may experience of God, the more we will be able to love and rejoice in God the Father who thought, God the Son who bought, and God the Holy Spirit who wrought, a complete salvation for totally lost sinners as we are.

Do you know something experientially of yourself, and your sinfulness? Do you know something experientially of God: of Father, Son and Holy Spirit?

The following examples help to illustrate the experiential knowledge of self and God through a way of misery, deliverance, and thankfulness:


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