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Daily Devotionals

Voice of the Lord

Devotional for 21st of Shevat, 5780

The Torah is of the Spirit; but as for me, I am bound to the old nature, sold to sin as a slave (Romans 7:14).

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The ancient rabbis said that people were born with the yetzer hara (evil impulse), but that study of Torah could develop the yetzer hatov (good impulse).

Rabbi Sha'ul (Saul; i.e., Paul) describes such a struggle in Romans 7. But here the Law provides him no strength to fight the evil impulse! Romans 7, a chapter of spiritual defeat, uses the words "I," "me," or "my" many times. It pictures the best one can do to fulfill the Law through the flesh, by mere human strength (Romans 7:18), as opposed to what one can do by the Ruach, the Spirit (Romans 8:5-9).

Sha'ul declares that the Law can teach us right from wrong, but cannot transform our hearts unless it is written within us by grace (Romans 8:2). Righteousness is a gift from God, paid for by Yeshua; we cannot achieve righteousness by mere human merit; we must embrace it as God's gift and live accordingly.

The rabbis teach that when the Messiah comes, he will slay the evil impulse in front of all the nations. For Sha'ul and those of us who know that God's Messiah has come, the Torah of God has been inscribed upon our hearts and we can live a new life in the Ruach, dead to sin and alive to God (Romans 6:11).

...overcome temptation—not trusting in my ability to do so, but by trusting in God's gift of righteousness in Yeshua, and in his Ruach, which lives in me.


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The Voice of the Lord, Copyright © 1998 by the Lewis and Harriet Lederer Foundation, Inc. Published by Messianic Jewish Publishers, Distributed by Messianic Jewish Resources, All rights reserved. Used by permission. No part of this article may be reproduced in print or on the web, or transmitted in any form, without the written permission of the publisher.

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