Friday, February 17, 2017

Dodd: Paul's meaning for freedom (III)

Friday, February 17, 2017
    Feast of Janani Luwum, Archbishop of Uganda, Martyr, 1977
    For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.
    —Romans 7:5-6 (ESV)
    [Continued from yesterday]
    He, then, whose action is governed by mere desire is not free to attain the satisfaction which alone gives meaning to that desire. There is no breaking through this law of our being. Every attempt to do so proves itself in experience to be futile. Hence we are in a more hopeless state of bondage than that which materialistic determinism holds; for the tyrant is established within our own consciousness. One way, and one way only, out of this bondage remains. If we can discover how to make our own immediate desire, and the act of will springing out of it, accord with the supreme law of our being, then to “do as we like” will no longer be to run our heads against the stone wall of necessity which shuts us out from the heaven of satisfaction. For we shall only “like” doing what we “ought.” This introduces a new sense of the word “freedom.” It does not now mean freedom from restrains to follow our desires, but freedom from the tyranny of futile desires to follow what is really good. [Continued tomorrow]
    ... C. Harold Dodd (1884-1973), The Meaning of Paul for Today, London: Swarthmore, 1920, reprint, Fount Paperbacks, 1978, p. 135-136 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 7:5-6; Isa. 48:16-17; Rom. 8:13-14; Gal. 5:16,22-25; Eph. 5:8-9
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I praise You for my deliverance.
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