Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2016
Who Is The Man Of Romans 7?
Text: Romans 7
November 25, 2017
Reading, Pennsylvania artist Brian Delozier unveiled “Dot Nation” on Monday, November 20. His latest pointillism art piece stands 3-feet tall and spans 18-feet wide. “Every dot symbolizes a moment of kindness, and together it creates a much larger vision,” said Delozier, an award-winning artist. Dot Nation contains 7.3 million dots that Delozier painted in 1,600 hours, working on it for more than a year. It’s one of the largest pointillism paintings in the world.
After a serious accident in 2002 left Delozier paralyzed, he overcame the thousand-to-one odds by regaining mobility, and today walks with crutches. During his recovery, he discovered new perspectives on life that find expression in pointillism. He now shows his work in exhibits across the country. “Dot Nation is an ode to the unique and unexpected chain of events that shape our lives. No words can describe how challenging, yet rewarding a process it was to create,’” said Delozier. “My hope is that bringing Dot Nation to Reading and sharing my story can inspire others to overcome adversity–against sometimes overwhelming odds–in their lives. Each piece I complete symbolizes the perseverance to achieve the seemingly impossible. I want to send the message that when someone says ‘you can’t do that,’ you can.”
Community leader Eric Savage says, “This piece seems fitting for the city of Reading,” still recovering from the recent economic recession, and whose citizens need symbols of perseverance. Brian’s story and his inspirational art represents beating the odds in overwhelming circumstances. It’s a message of achieving what seems impossible. “The dots create a metaphor of discovering the simple moments in life,” says Savage. “Brian found his pathway to home through dots. It is the discovery of a beautiful journey.”1
Romans 7, as expressed in this week’s lesson, presents some challenges to Bible students. Is the man that Paul refers to in Romans 7:14-25 himself before his conversion experience, or after? On the other hand, does it even matter? When Paul says, “What I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do,” he’s facing an overwhelmingly impossible challenge no matter which side of his conversion experience he finds himself. The sad reality that we all face is that, even after conversion, our old sinful nature is always there even when we want to do good (vs. 21). It’s impossible to do good in our own strength, whether before or after conversion.
The good news is that when we feel wretched because our sinful nature still rears its ugly head at times, we can achieve the seemingly impossible through Jesus Christ our Lord. In fact, the condemning nature of God’s law can seem even more devastating after conversion, because we pay more attention to its guidelines. When we discover that we can rely on Jesus for victory over our sinful nature, He becomes our own beautiful pathway home.