Romans 7 and 8
In his talk, Fr. Greg Shaffer focused on Romans Chapters 7 and 8.
- CHAPTER 7 — The law states what is bad and evil, but it does not have the power to help lift us from our sinfulness. The law can even put temptations in our heat. Why is it that I do what I do not want to do and sin is within me? Fr. Shaffer says Baptism washed away our original sin and Confession washes away our personal sin, but Concupiscence is still with us and causes us to sin. We want to do what is right, but we sin. We want to serve God, but we still sin. Life in the flesh is hostile to God, it cannot please him and it leads to death as it severs us from Christ and therefore cuts us off from His grace. How then can we fight against our will since life in the flesh leads to death. Our Reason can help fight against our will. However, when our desire joins up with our will, they work together to fight against reason and they can win out over reason But, when we can get our Will to go on the side of reason, then we can win the battle. Informed reason can control our desires and change our will and thus control concupiscence.
- CHAPTER 8 — Jesus gave His life so that we could have life in the spirit. The concern of the spirit is life and peace. To jump back into the hole is choosing death, mortal sin, and hell. We must choose to live in the spirit. The one who raised Christ from death can raise us. He offered techniques to tap into reason by calling out evil for what it is and then our will can be more conformed to God’s will. Name the sin, Claim it, and the Spirit will tame it! We can also ponder attractive reasons to win over our desires. The Spirit leads us to be sons and daughters of God and we can call him Abba. When we do these things, we can go from slavery to freedom, sadness to joy, and win over concupiscence. As long as I live in the spirit, nothing will take me back into the hole.
- Books — He recommended two books: 1) The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle — a book for troubled marriages geared for women readers and 2) If Only He Knew by Dr. Gary Smalley — a book for men based on 40 years of research on how to treat your wife.