. . . if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. Romans 7:17-20 (The Message)
Being saved is not a one-time inoculation that prevents our old nature from trying to make a comeback. What’s more—we infect others with our fallen sinful natures because we are communal and corporate beings—we are surrounded by each other and interact continuously. And when our sinful fallen nature takes over, it not only infects us, but everyone around us.
One person’s bitter roots can spread throughout a group leaving a specific flavor. We’ve all experienced this. With one person you feel blessed; with another you feel stupid. With Susie you feel strong; with Xavier you feel incompetent. When Fred enters the room, everyone scrambles to do whatever he wants them to do. And so on. When you encounter the spirit of another person, interchange takes place—and it can be damaging. Some people describe this reaction as being sullied, dishonored, or defiled.
But sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. Romans 5:20–21 (The Message)
We are aggressively forgiven. Praise the Lord!