Often in the church progress is difficult because we focus on the symptoms of sin rather than the root of sin. We focus on the problems because they are easier to notice.
Often the issue when looking at sin is that the problems can come from many sources. We often underestimate the power of the gospel in transforming issues.
Often we fail to see growth in the church because we fail to see the gospel articulated in its most full power. The gospel is the basis for all law.
Our tendency is to skip over, so the speak, the majority of the first part of Romans and then to "get into the good part" after all the groundwork is laid. The reality is the second half rests entirely upon the first.
We cannot successfully move into the second part before grasping the first part the best that we can. And this is the issue often in the church is we move too quickly past grace.
We feel we have mastered the gospel and continue to law while we have still fully not understood the gospel and grace. We must always be remind of grace. Apart from grace the law is nothing, but a series of unfulfilled standard which are too high for us to keep.
It is only sin that makes us fail to understand the depths of our transgression. And only grace that enables us to begin to keep the law.