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.”
Paul’s definition of the human condition is slavery. A slave by definition has to do what he or she is told to do. 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. Even though with the best of intentions, the law of the flesh dictates every step of the way and makes it impossible to follow the law of the Spirit. People end up doing what they hate to do, not what they want to do, the classic situation of a slave. This portrayal of the human condition is pretty humiliating. Like children, we don’t know what we are doing. That’s not very flattering, that’s actually quite depressing to realize. Even if we try so very hard to do what is right, we end up doing the opposite. 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 our lives. The first sign of change is evidenced in our perception of things. The astonishing results of Jesus’s 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” expressing that something is incomprehensible or unclear. While the saying refers to a quote in the book of Revelation in the New Testament, I believe the entire Bible is “a book with seven seals”. In other words, we need the Spirit of God to understand the Scriptures. The Bible is basically a sealed love letter from God. Its seal will be broken the moment we receive His Spirit.