I have a problem. I can’t stop sinning. I really can’t. I’m not just saying that to make the rest of you heathens feel better. This is something real that I’m going through. If you are perfect, I guess you can’t relate. This is for my fellow trashy people.
I don’t want to live in destruction. Does anyone? I hope not. I will be doing great for a few weeks, honoring God and whanot. And then all of a sudden, “hello, temptation, old friend.” I don’t think twice (barely think once) before falling to whatever the temptation may be. Sometimes it’s something “small,” and sometimes it’s something so drastic that I am ashamed to even tell anyone. I guess I get kind of confused. I feel like I should be better at fighting the temptations off by now, and I’m just not.
I know I’m not alone! Even if none of you people will admit to being a disgusting sinner like me, Paul will.
In Romans 7, Paul becomes even more relatable than he already was. We already know that Paul had one of the most miraculous 180° conversions in Scripture. But now, he’s admitting that he’s still a sinner. He puts into words the feelings I have been having for the past few weeks. I’ll just let him say it:
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate…For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing…For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 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. [7:15-23]
Okay, if Paul can’t escape sinfulness, who can? I mean, this is Paul we are talking about. He is the only one that could have probably squeezed himself into the Trinity somehow, and he’s sitting here talking about how sinful he is. He is letting me know that I am not alone with these feelings. I am not alone when I fall to sin and hate myself for it later. But what to do with all of these feelings…
Romans 7 is all about da law and what it means for us as believers. Because of Jesus, we are no longer bound by the law of the Old Testament. So what the heck is the point of it?
Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin [Romans 7:7]
Way to go Paul, blame the law for our sinfulness. I can dig that. What he actually means (and explains in the next few verses) is that if the commandments had not told us what sin was, we would have no idea that we were even sinning. If the law had not said “do not covet,” we would not even know what it means to covet something. We cannot be blissfully ignorant because of these commandments. Shout out to Jesus for fulfilling these commandments because we couldn’t.
So now I know that I am freed from the law…but I am still sinning. I am still falling short. I still, even as a surrendered child, need someone to stand between the CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE…and me. I think that is what Paul is trying to tell us in Romans 7. Just because I am a Christian doesn’t mean that I will never fall again. Just because I am a believer doesn’t mean that temptation won’t sneak up on me and cause me to stumble.
Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. [Romans 8:34]
Right now, right this second, Jesus is interceding for me. He is standing next to God and pleading for me. He’s saying, “God, listen, look at me instead. Look at me in her. I took your wrath. I died for Katherine. Love her instead.”
There’s no trick to quit sinning. There are no DIY’s on Pinterest…I’ve already checked. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to learn to truly accept grace. If Jesus is willing to stand next to God right now and vouch for me, I should let that happen.
He knows my heart. He knows I want to honor and glorify Him. And He knows my earthly body will fight that desire and sin anyway even if I don’t want to…which is why His grace is never-ending, kind of like my sin streak.
Thank God He sent Jesus.