“A Woeful Man?” ( Romans 7:24-8:2, WYC ) by Carley Evans


24 I am an unhappy man [I am a woeful man]; who shall deliver me from the body of this sin?

25 [Forsooth] The grace of God, by Jesus Christ our Lord. Therefore I myself by the soul serve to the law of God; but by the flesh to the law of sin.

8 Therefore now nothing of condemnation is to them that be in Christ Jesus, which wander not after the flesh.

2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath delivered me from the law of sin, and of death [hath delivered me from the law of sin, and death].

Paul is fully aware of Saul. He speaks of the “old man”, the “woeful man”, the man trapped in sin throughout the seventh chapter of his letter to the Christians in the city of Rome. He asks the question we all – eventually – ask, “What will rescue me from this?”

His answer is “the grace of God.”

Our rescue “from the law of sin and death” is from God, not from ourselves. And because it is not of ourselves, but of God, the good news is that there is no more condemnation.

Let this soak in – you and I who are under God’s grace – are no longer condemned. We are prisoners set free. Our freedom is not because we did or do something for God, but because He did and does something for us.

Through Jesus Christ, we are saved. As Paul says many times, “let us rejoice!”

Looking From the Outside ( by Carley Evans )


Looking From the Outside

Let’s think for a moment about Saul, a persecutor and murderer of Christians, a dyed in the wool enemy of Jesus Christ. Now, why do you suppose God picked Saul? What was particularly attractive about this man? His willingness to be extreme? Maybe. For the task God gives to Saul, I think his zealousness is a good trait. Saul is also smart and knowledgeable about God’s Law, His Word. That had to be attractive to God. Yes? Maybe. But what of Saul’s hatred of the Father’s Son? How could that be attractive to God the Father? Or to God the Holy Spirit? Saul’s hatred of the Son of God had to be offensive to the Godhead!

So, why does Jesus appear to Saul on the road to Damascus?

Doesn’t it indicate God knows Saul’s heart? God knows what anyone looking from the outside could not possibly see – that Saul is ready to become Paul, the great Apostle of Jesus Christ first for the Jews then for the Gentiles.

Next time you start to judge another, stop and think about how you would have judged Paul.

“Blessed Assurance” ( Romans 8: 31-33, MOUNCE ) by Carley Evans


The most straightforward and simple statement of Fanny J. Crosby’s “Blessed Assurance” is Paul’s statement to the church at Rome:

31 What (tis) then (oun) shall we say (legō) in response to (pros) these (houtos) things? If (ei ·ho) God (theos) is for (hyper) us (hēmeis,) who (tis) can be against (kata) us (hēmeis?) 32 He (pheidomai) who (hos) did (pheidomai) not (ou) spare (pheidomai·ho) his (idios) own Son (hyios,) but (alla) delivered (paradidōmi) him (autos) up (paradidōmi) for (hyper) us (hēmeis) all (pas,) how (pōs) will he (charizomai) not (ouchi) also (kai,) along with (syn) him (autos,) graciously give (charizomai) us (hēmeis ·ho) all (pas) things? 33 Who (tis) will bring a charge (enkaleō) against (kata) God’s (theos) elect (eklektos?) It is God (theos) who (ho) justifies (dikaioō).

And if there is any doubt, look at Paul’s delineation of “these things.” The things that he (and we) are responding to are:

1) The glorious freedom of the children of God

2) Our adoption into the family of God as His children

3) The Holy Spirit helping us in our weaknesses and interceding for us, knowing God’s will for us

4) God using all things together for our good, so that we are conformed to the image of our Creator

5) Finally our predestination, calling, justification and ultimate glorification

Therefore Paul says there is now no condemnation.

“It Is Jesus Christ” ( Romans 8: 31-34, WYC ) by Carley Evans


running_water_CEE

“If God be for us, who is against us?

32 Which also spared not his own Son, but betook him for us all, how also gave he not to us all things with him?

33 Who shall accuse against the chosen men of God? It is God that justifieth,

34 who is it that condemneth? It is Jesus Christ that was dead, yea, the which rose again, the which is on the right half of God, and the which prayeth for us [the which and rose again, the which is on the right half of God, the which prayeth for us].”

I admit I’ve never noticed this before – that Paul asks, “Who accuses those whom God has chosen? Who is it that condemns?” And then immediately answers, “It is Jesus Christ, the one who died and rose again and now sits at the right hand of God the Father, who prays for us.”

Jesus condemns us by His death. If there was no condemnation, then He would not have needed to die.

And He justifies us by His resurrection. His resurrection destroys the condemnation.

Therefore, “if God be for us ( the One who was against us ), who now is against us?”

No one.

No one.

No one.

If this doesn’t make your heart soar, nothing ever will.

“Heard At The Beginning” ( 1 John 3: 11, WYC ) by Carley Evans


What does Jesus say to those He calls? “Come, follow Me.” Right? In following Jesus, what do His disciples encounter? His love for sinners. Right?

For this is the telling, that ye heard at the beginning, that ye love each other.”

All Jesus’ disciples discover God’s love — His awesome willingness to forgive sins. That we do less is a great injustice. God reminds we’re allowed to throw stones at sinners if – and only if – we are without sin.

“The Richness Of His Grace” ( Ephesians 1: 7, HCSB ) by Carley Evans



“We have redemption in [Christ] through His blood.” Yes, our redemption is through Christ’s blood, and not through the Law, not through our good deeds, not through our own efforts. Rather, we are given “the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace that He lavishes on us with all wisdom and understanding.” (Ephesians 1:7-8) Christ’s grace is the cause of our redemption; this grace which He continues to “lavish on us.” Imagine the richness of the love a mother lavishes on her newborn baby — a pale reflection of the love and grace Christ lavishes on us “with all wisdom and understanding.”

And “the gift is not like the trespass.” “Where sin multiplies, grace multiplies even more so that, just as sin reigns in death, so also grace reigns through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.” (Romans 5:15, 20-21)

“What are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Romans 8:31) “Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the One who justifies.” (Romans 8:33) “Who can separate us from the love of Christ?” (Romans 8:35)

“He Himself Is The Remedy” ( 1 John 2: 2, NEB ) by Carley Evans


“My children, in writing thus to you my purpose is that you should not commit sin. But should anyone commit a sin, we have one to plead our cause with the Father, Jesus Christ, and He is just. He is Himself the remedy for the defilement of our sins, not only our sins only but for the sins of all the world.” (1 John 2: 1 – 2)

Yes, we sin. And, sin defiles us. But, a greater truth exists: Jesus is the remedy for our sin and defilement. Both are destroyed on the Cross.

“God’s act of grace is all out of proportion to Adam’s wrongdoing,” writes Paul. “For the judicial action, following upon the one offense, issues a verdict of condemnation, but the act of grace, following upon so many misdeeds, issues a verdict of acquittal.” (Romans 5: 15, 16)

Acquittal, a verdict of not-guilty, is the gift of Jesus Christ to those who believe.

“The conclusion of the matter is this: there is no condemnation for those who are united with Christ Jesus, for in Christ Jesus the life-giving law of the Spirit sets you free from the law of sin and death. What the law can never do, because our lower nature robs it of all potency, God does: by sending His own Son in a form like that of our own sinful nature, and as a sacrifice for sin, He passes judgment against sin within that very nature, so that the commandment of the law finds fulfillment in us, whose conduct, no longer under the control of our lower nature, is directed by the Spirit.” (Romans 8: 1 – 4)

God’s Spirit within us directs us. “Thanks be to God! In a word, then, I myself, subject to God’s law as a rational being, am yet, in my unspiritual nature, a slave to the law of sin.” (Romans 7: 25)

The only rescue, the final remedy is Jesus.

“If we claim to be sinless, we are self-deceived and strangers to the truth. If we confess our sins, He is just, and may be trusted to forgive our sins and cleanse us from every kind of wrong; but if we say we have committed no sin, we make Him out to be a liar, and then His Word has no place in us.” (1 John 1: 8 – 10)

“Neither Do I Condemn You” (1 Kings 17: 18, HCSB) by Carley Evans


The widow asks Elijah, “Have you come to remind me of my guilt?”

Elijah asks God, “My Lord God, have You also brought tragedy on the widow I am staying with by killing her son?” (1 Kings 17: 20)

Jesus says to the woman caught in adultery, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, Lord,” she answers. “Neither do I condemn you,” says Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.” (John 8: 10 – 12)

God does not send His Son, Jesus to earth to condemn us, but to save us. (John 3: 17) “Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the Name of the One and Only Son of God.” (John 3: 18)

In the land of Gennesaret, the people bring the sick on mats to Jesus when they recognize Him. “Whenever He goes into villages, towns, or the country, they lay the sick in the marketplaces and beg Him that they might touch just the tassel of His robe. And everyone who touches it is made well.” (Mark 6: 56)

Jesus does not come to remind us of our guilt, but to rescue us from it. Like Elijah, he does not come to kill our sons and daughters, but to heal them of their illnesses, raise them from the dead and bestow on them the gift of eternal life.

“That We Might Be Saved” (John 3: 17, HCSB) by Carley Evans


“For God does not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”

Jesus does not come to send people to Hell, but to rescue them from Hell. He says that He does not come to judge the world, but to save it. Jesus is not a taskmaster, but a friend — the ultimate friend who knows you inside and out, who knows your weaknesses and failures, even those you do not know yourself, those you hide from others, those you deny to Him.

Jesus tells you, “Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me.” (John 14: 1)
“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.” (John 14: 27)

“You do not choose Me, but I choose you.” (John 15: 16)

“Alive To God” (Romans 6: 23, ESV) by Carley Evans


Sin costs. The price of sin is death. God’s gift, on the other hand, is free — priceless. The gift is “eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Jesus pays the price for the free gift — He buys it with His blood so that we are able to accept God’s gift of eternal life as our own.

“The free gift is not like the trespass. For if many die through one man’s trespass, much more does the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abound for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brings condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification.” (Romans 5: 15 – 16)

The free gift is not only eternal life, but an “abundance of grace” and of righteousness. (Romans 5: 17)

So God’s grace leads to righteousness. “So you must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6: 11)