Archive for October 11th, 2013

Romans 7

Like many parts of Colossians and Galatians, Paul deals with the law and sin in Romans chapter 7. He first brings up the idea of dying to the law through Christ. After saying that we have died to both the law and sin in other passages, I’m sure many early Christians were wondering if Paul thought the law was in fact sin. He quickly dispels this suggestion in verse 7, but brings up an interesting relationship between the law and sin: “If it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin.” Which makes a lot of sense. If God hadn’t told us what was right and wrong, well, we wouldn’t know what we should or shouldn’t do. But at the same time, through its definition in the law, sin becomes more appealing in many ways. We’re all sort of like little kids. When our parents (or whoever) tell us not to take, say, cookies, it makes us want the cookies all the more, and sometimes we may give in and steal them. While our parents and their warning are good cannot be blamed for our action, the temptation to steal and is not.

There is one verse that I feel really accurately captures my feelings about sin and guilt after doing something I know was wrong. “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7: 15) I really really hate it when I mess up. I like to do my best in all that I do, and can be a bit of a perfectionist, and sin is no exception. But it is also one of those things that cannot be avoided entirely. Ever since the fall, sin has been an inherent part of human nature. It is important to remember that it’s only part of our life here on Earth though. Paul reminds us that sin “dwells in our flesh,” and finally in verses 24 and 25 brings it back to Christ: “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Regardless of how many mistakes we make here in our human form, Jesus has provided us a way out.

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Band Bible Study: Music Again

For tonight’s band Bible study meeting we talked about music again, this time using Psalm 150 as a conversation starter. After discussing the passage for a little bit, we went on several somewhat related tangents about music, worship and faith. One of my favorite came from a question L asked, which was something along the lines of “Are we praising God when we play something like ‘All the Single Ladies’ [part of our next halftime show] in marching band?” I wasn’t quite sure how to respond. There have been a few pieces that I’ve played that I’ve really connected with and felt that I was praising God while playing (including Eric Whitacre’s “October“), but I have never felt such a connection with marching band music. So why be in marching band?

In Colossians 3: 17, Paul tells us that “whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to [praising] God the Father through him.” I believe that God has put me, and all of the other believers in the band, there for a reason, but if it isn’t primarily to praise him, then why? As I was thinking, I thought of the lyrics to a song by Kristian Stanfill, “Not Ashamed” (and taken from Matthew 5: 14): “We’ll be that city on the hill/Burning brightly/We’ll be a light to the world/Shining your glory.” And I think that’s the main reason we should engage in any activity where we aren’t necessarily directly praising God. In a metaphor that I didn’t realize was that good, I answered that “we should be a light for our peers, but not by shining the light in their eyes.” We don’t need to constantly show off our faith, if that makes sense, but just by living according to our faith we may be able to help share Christ with non-believers. R, a first-year trumpet, finished the thought, saying that we can and should simply light the way, revealing the good news. So, may I be a city on a hill, burning brightly for God.

The Piano Guys – Don’t You Worry Child (feat. Shweta Subram)