The Battle That We Are Involved In – Part 2
Categories: Pastor's Blog
“The law is good, then, and the trouble is not there but with me, because I am sold into slavery with Sin as my owner.” Romans 7:14 (The Living Bible)
Last week we started looking at Paul’s honesty and he shares his frustrations with the believers in the Church of Rome. They may even be some of the same frustrations you and I face daily. Where do these frustrations come from? They come when we attempt to please God in our own power and in our own plan.
The Biblical phrase for that is “living under the law.” In our minds we know the law and we think that if I can just keep forcing myself to do the right thing then everything will be alright. There are high physical and emotional costs that result from living under the law.
I covered three of them last week, and today I’ll show you the final three that Paul shares with us in Romans 7:15-23.
- Self-guilt. Self-guilt is the point when you begin to feel bad and judge yourself, because you continually give in to your temper, bad habits or whatever you struggle with. As the Apostle Paul said, “I know I’m rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned” (Romans 7:18 LB).
- Frustration. “No matter which way I turn I can’t make myself do right. I want to but I can’t! When I want to do good, I don’t; and when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. I find myself still enslaved to sin” (Romans 7:18-20 LB). Paul’s frustration is referred to as the law of sin. I believe that we know this but need to be reminded, that the law of sin is like the law of gravity – it always pulls you down. You may struggle against the law of sin but it will continue to pull you down, no matter how hard you try to break your bad habits simply by willpower.
- Loss of Hope. Paul says, “In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin” (Romans 7:23 LB). Paul understood that there was a battle going on inside his mind and heart. If you continue to fight this battle in your own power you will find that is leads to a loss hope and you may find yourself discouraged.
“So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in” (Romans 7:24 LB). In the original language the word for “predicament” means “totally exhausted.” So let me ask you a question: Are you exhausted, like Paul was, from the battle? Hold on because Jesus brings us hope!
The great news is that Paul doesn’t leave us in Romans 7 with our discouragement. Next week we will look in to Romans 8 and find freedom “from the vicious circle of sin and death.” Romans 8:2 (TLB)
I am looking forward to seeing you this weekend.
P.S. Remember that on May 29, 2016 we begin our Summer schedule with worship at 9:30 and Sunday School at 11:00.