Romans 8:1-2: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”

The evidence is stacked against us; it is unfair and will probably cause us to fail. Like an attorney in the courtroom, the apostle Paul went through the evidence piece by piece. Here is what he wrote (Romans 7:14-15):

“We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.  I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

A slave by definition cannot do what he or she wants to do; a slave has to do what he or she is told to do. Paul compares this situation with the human condition in general. Human beings, as much as they want to be free, find themselves stuck in their skin and their pathways; they obey the law of the flesh. They may have the best intentions of following the law of the Spirit, but the law of the flesh pulls them into the opposite direction every single time. They end up doing what they hate to do, not what they want to do, the classic situation of a slave.

Paul’s description of a human being is very humiliating, if you think about it. Like children, we don’t know what we are doing. That’s not very flattering, that’s actually very depressing. Apparently, we can’t help ourselves, we always end up getting into trouble. Even if we try so very hard to do what is right, we end up doing what is wrong. It is in this context that Paul wrote (Romans 7:24-25):

“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

I think the first step to redemption through Jesus Christ is to understand that we don’t understand. Meeting Jesus is consequential and trusting Him will profoundly change us. The first sign of change is evidenced in our perception. The astonishing results of Jesus’ life and death here on earth is our transformation into spiritual beings that can understand and follow the law of the Spirit.

The English translation of a German phrase “Ein Buch mit sieben Siegeln” would be “a book with seven seals”, which expresses that a thing or an action is a riddle for someone, that is, it is unclear and incomprehensible. While the saying comes from the Bible and refers to the revelation of John in the New Testament, I believe “a book with seven seals” is everything that God says. Basically, all human beings need the Spirit of God to be able to understand His Word.

God wrote mankind a sealed love letter. Its seal is broken the moment we receive His Spirit. God communicates to us through His Holy Spirit, and it is thanks to His Spirit that we can see the light.

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