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What in the world is wrong with me?

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                                        What in the world is wrong with Me?             7/6/08 p.m.

                                                    Every Christians’ battle

 

If I am an acceptable Christian; Why do I do some of the things I do?

If I am an acceptable Christian;  Why do I not do some things that I should do?

If I am an acceptable Christian;  Why do bad thoughts enter my mind?

If I am an acceptable Christian;  Why do some things I have given-up still tempt me?

If I am an acceptable Christian;  Why do I dream unacceptable dreams?

If I am an acceptable Christian;  Why do I have to guard myself against sinful things?

We see and speak of Paul as;

A blessed man,

An ambassador of Christ,

A favorite of heaven,

A spiritual father of thousands

Paul, like all believers, had been delivered from the guilt and penalty of sin.

Yet he finds a continuing struggle against the onslaught of sin, even as he grows in Christlikeness.

Ro 7:14-25   14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal,  sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand.  For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that  in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I  delight in the law of God according to  the inward man. 23 But  I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me  from this body of death? 25  I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

Paul speaks of himself as an acceptable Christian growing in sanctification, while in the process becoming more and more aware of the depth and gravity of indwelling sin.

The more a Christian seeks to live in grace and under the cross, the more sensitive he becomes to the reality that even one’s best actions are in some sense tainted by sin.

This is a paradox common to believers who are growing in grace.

On the one hand we struggle with the anguish of sin,

and yet on the other we have the hope of God’s deliverance in Christ Jesus,

Paul was describing his present conflict as a Christian with indwelling sin and its continuing efforts to control his daily life.

To help us better understand this, lets look at the word.

14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal,  sold under sin

 

What does it mean that the Law is “spiritual”? It means that the Law deals with the inner man, the spiritual part of man, as well as with the outer actions.

This spiritual emphasis is stated clearly in

Deuteronomy 10:12–13. 12 “And now, Israel,  what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to  love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today  for your good?

The Law is “spiritual” in that The Law reveals how sinful that old nature is.

I am carnal,  sold under sin

We were sold by Adam when he sinned and fell-sold,

Like a slave that does his master’s will against his own will-sold under sin,

Because we were conceived in iniquity and born in sin.

15 For what I am doing, I do not understand.  For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do

For what I am doing, I do not understand

These are the struggles between grace and corruption.

These are the struggles between the spirit and the flesh

These are the struggles between the old nature and the new nature

These are the struggles between the old man and the new man

 

I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.

 

Gal. 5:17 The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other, so that you cannot do the things that you would.

These are the remainders of indwelling corruption, even in the saved

This corruption is daily breaking forth in sins of infirmity

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves,

 

1 Jn. 1:8, 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

 

For I  delight in the law of God according to  the inward man

God and His word are very pleasing and satisfying to my soul

But  I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind

When I would do good, evil is present with me.

True grace strives against sin and corruption, hates them, mourns over them, groans under them as a burden, and quickens us to, and encourages us in, our conflicts with sin and corruptions.

The struggle here is like that between Jacob and Esau in the womb, between the Canaanites and Israelites in the land, between the house of Saul and the house of David[1]

 

for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.

The true nature of sanctification does not attain to a sinless perfection in this life;

The strength of corruptions is so strong that we can not attain that perfection in holiness which we desire.

While we press forward towards perfection, we have to acknowledge that we have not already attained perfection, neither are we already perfect.

 

Phil. 3:12. 12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.

O wretched man that I am

A man that had learned in every state to be content yet complains thus of his corrupt nature.

But in his own account he was a wretched man, because of the corruption of nature, because he was not so good as he wanted to be, had not yet attained, neither was already perfect.

 

[1.] I consent unto the law that it is good, v. 16

[2.] I delight in the law of God after the inward man, v. 22.

[3.] With the mind I myself serve the law of God, v. 25.

           

wretched (The Greek word indicates a person who is exhausted after a battle.)[2]

Who will deliver me  from this body of death?

The body of flesh, which troubles us with corruption

The body of sin, the old man, the corrupt nature, the ruin of the soul.

A dead body, the touch of which was by the ceremonial law defiling

It was as troublesome to Paul as if he had had a dead body tied to him, which he must have carried about with him.

Thus miserably does he complain. Who shall deliver me?

He speaks like one that was sick of it, that would give any thing to be rid of it,

The remainders of indwelling sin are a very grievous burden to a gracious soul.

 

Jesus Christ our Lord!

His great comfort lay in Jesus Christ for being Free from Indwelling Sin

 

Ro 8:11         11 But if the Spirit of  Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,  He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.



1 Co 6:14  14 And  God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up  by His power.

V25 So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

 

Ro 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,  who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

 


----

[1]Henry, M. (1996, c1991). Matthew Henry's commentary on the whole Bible : Complete and unabridged in one volume (Ro 7:14). Peabody: Hendrickson.

[2]Wiersbe, W. W. (1996, c1989). The Bible exposition commentary. "An exposition of the New Testament comprising the entire 'BE' series"--Jkt. (Ro 7:14). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

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