This is the heart of man’s problem. As an independent free agent, he has been made with the ability to discern right from wrong, and to be conscious of the consequences of both. But he only is capable of remaining in the one state of self condemnation and accusation, and is unable to rise above it to the further conclusion and apprehension of the righteous solution to the problem, because being completely self-centred, he sees himself AS the problem.
This is the consequence of being apart from God, and separated from him. It is the sin remnant after the event that provides the separation from God, and it is this consciousness of remnant sin that isolates us from the solution to it. While we continue to lay claim to the right to run our own lives, we remain in denial of God as the solution.
But for righteousness to be the solution, we have to have a way of ridding ourselves of this guilt problem that self autonomy consequently automatically brings.
So if we can see the problem analytically, can we solve it analytically, or does the solution have to contain elements of an external source (God) and HIS answer, or His way of dealing with it. Does the softer emotional or relational aspect have to be involved, in other words, does the nature of love have to be disclosed in order for the solution to be applied?
Knowing the problem we might cry out for the answer to it, in recognition that what is wrong is truly bad, and that what is right is truly good. But how do we manage to escape from the one state to the other?
If we were complete within ourselves, we would recognise the necessity and also the capability of righteousness [forgiveness] to be present in us in order to deal with the discrepancies of self condemnation sin guilt fear etc. But there is no relief from being under the accusation of one’s own mind, especially when that accusation is reinforced by other external ‘laws’ or recognition of the stale mate of the recognition of inner guilt.
Guilt without moral capability could remain simple statements of logic. But we are more than machines, we have feelings because we were made to do so, we were made after the pattern of God, and often we can recognise that the God we would create if we were in a position to do so, would be like our own best projection or guess of him, based on our own feelings about right and wrong, and the nature of love.
And in a way, this is what happens, as we allow to be brought about in us the “image of His Son” by the knowledge of His Spirit which He gives us. But what is to remove the stalemate of inherent sin?
Can we forgive ourselves? As long as we consider ourselves to be self-contained, self sufficient, we are in denial of the inherent problem of self failure. To admit to self failure we see as denial of self, of the disintegration of self, of the death of self. And this is what the law proclaims to us.
Is forgiveness the only way to go? There firstly has to be admission of the problem before the solution can be found. That by “flesh”, as we are, as we were born and lived, we have lived in failure of the ultimate way of living, we have failed righteousness, we have operated in unrighteousness.
Failure has to be accepted, confessed, brought to light, admitted to be the truth of the situation. Then the rest of the truth of the situation can be brought into play, that there has to be allowance made for error, in the pursuit of ultimate truth. That error has to be put aside and removed in order for truth and integrity to be established.
But the pain. We feel the pain. The truth of all things as connected with righteousness, demands the recognition of the pain suffered and the pain caused by the problem of imperfection. In order to connect with truth and righteousness, because of the way we have been made in awareness of right and wrong and our own experience of these things in worldly life, this demands recognition of the pain caused.
How to be free of the pain? The pain is focussed on and in ourselves so we are stuck with it. But if the focus shifts to another and that pain is seen in Him, and He is one of ultimate authority who declares that this pain has been taken for us on our behalf so we can be free of it, then as we accept this for what it is, a gift as a beneficial act for the purpose of our growth towards Him and in Him and His righteousness, then as we become recipients of the gift then our pain will turn into appreciation of the reality that has been purchased for us. It will turn to love.
God is the nature of love. Therefore the ‘analytical’ self is inadequate for the purpose of revealing God and His loving reality. God is FELT as love, brought about by the RECEPTION of the facts concerning this love, until those facts impinge upon our spirit and our heart to the point where rationalisation becomes indebtedness to righteousness and to love, and Christ becomes the focus of our lives. God is then apprehended as SPIRIT instead of KNOWLEDGE. The law of the Spirit of life. The Spirit of grace. The law of mercy. The law of righteousness. The law of love. The person of love. The Spirit of love.
Romans 7 displays the autonomous analytical self. With all its problems of inner self condemnation and outer accusation, fears and guilt. The answer is Jesus. Not to be, “of yourself”. To accept His forgiveness, to shift FROM the old life TO the new life. To become the person capable of receiving forgiveness, and so of the giving of forgiveness.
[We have an obligation that as long as we live, we be set apart from the world and live for him, for the Spirit of righteousness, and not for ourselves][As long as weakness exists, love has the opportunity and the imperative to heal it into strength][Rejoice in the truth].[The defeat of past defeats is the enabling of the future][When we accept His forgiveness and then have His forgiving Spirit, we then also have the solution to the problem of inner unforgiveness].