Have you ever bitten off more than you can chew?
I am not only guilty of that, but I'm a repeat offender!
I have chosen to backtrack this upcoming Sunday to try to do a better job of tending to the very dense passage at the heart of what we talked about too generally last week. Before I leave most of this discussion to the commentary on next week's sermon, let me address a couple of structural issues in this passage.
Verses 19-20 were our "bridge" between the previous week's passage and the passage at hand. Paul's focus was on the condemnation of sin, but shifts in verse 21 to the provision for sin. Perhaps my favorite insight here is found in verse 19. The whole world is subject to the law, and every mouth will be shut. The picture comes from the practice in Paul's day of putting one's hand over one's mouth when you were finished testifying. A witness would be struck on the mouth for speaking an untruth, or being unable to deny the charges. The point is simple: no one can defend themselves from the righteous judgment of God. There is a provision for that, but we'll talk about that more next week.
We closed with verses 27-31, and I'm still mentally debating how to address them. I'll be sure to share, but interestingly, the issue of propositions came up in reference to verse 30. Is the difference stylistic (Paul just varied what he wrote to suit his taste in wording the sentence) or intentional (the difference indicates meaning)? My current answer is that the difference is intentional. More on that week after next.
What about verses 21-26? That's on the table this Sunday.
Just a reminder: you can access the podcasts of my sermons, and view some of my most recent sermons through our website, abbclife.org. Don't feel like you have to listen, but if you so desire, they are there for your use.
Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend!