21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
Evil Lies Close at Hand
Evil. The word conjures up various images from horrors in B movies to fascist dictators who see their own citizens as expendable. However, the Bible takes evil from the history books and countries far away and brings evil right to our door. We are evil without Christ and without hope. When we find Jesus ‘evil lies close at hand.’ What kind of evil is this?
Evil is that which stands opposed to good. ‘Good’, as far as the Bible is concerned, is anything that stands in the way of God’s goodness. Before Christmas Juni Felix of Karl and June on Moody Radio warned us against the white noise of Christmas. From a biblical standpoint the white noise is a sign of evil. We can get busy and tired pursuing activities that don’t matter while the Son of God is left unattended. A sign of that in our household was that we never actually got around to reading the Christmas story together as a family like we usually do. Something else always seemed more important. Upon reflection, evil might have had its way.
Evil is seldom a grand gesture of immense cruelty. It is often just a wrong focus or a thoughtless remark. These things have a way of infecting the whole person and subtly removing us from our calling. We end up washed up and we wonder how we got there.
So who can save us from this infectious evil? Paul gives us the answer that it is Jesus who does so. He brings a constant vigilance toward evil because of drawing us to himself. We can constantly assess whether we are Christ centered and then Christ can bring us back to center. In this way we are saved from the destructive nature of the banality of evil.