In Romans chapter seven the apostle Paul is still a sinner, no matter how much out of character that may be. However, Paul does reveal to us in this chapter his own experiences when he does sin. This is agonizing for the apostle. “For I do not do what I want–instead, I do what I hate” (v. 15 NET). He does not want to sin. In deed, the desire is there to resist temptation, but he failed. He dos not want to sin, but he is weak in the flesh (v. 16). When Paul thinks about the sin he ponders, “nothing good lives in me” (v. 18). And he reasons, “For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh, for I want to do the good, but I cannot do it” (v. 18 NET). It is very clear in this paragraph the apostle does not deny his personal responsibility, for he knows he is the one who sinned. It is not a figment of his deluded imagination. “For I do not do the good I want, but I do the very evil I do not want!” (v. 19 NET).

What is the problem Paul? Sin. It is sin living in me (v. 20). The principle of sin is at work. I sin in spite of the fact that I have been spiritually regenerated. “Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer me doing it but sin that lives in me” (v. 20 NET). The old nature leads him to sin even when he does not want to. There is within the apostle Paul a power of evil that is too strong for him for he is enslaved to sin, and a prisoner. He is led captive by the law of sin. Sin was not eradicated when Paul was born again.

These facts did not give Paul license to sin, however, and neither do they give us freedom to sin it up. It is not characteristic of his life, but the exception. Normally, he lives in victory. The emphasis Paul is making is that, yes, the believer does sin, and when he does his conscience is alive to the horror of it. It does not matter to Paul that it is occasional; it is of concern to him that it happened at all.

How tragic when Christians do not see the seriousness of their sins and live in ease. No one is so blind as the person who will not see and repent of his own sins.

One Response to “A WRETCH AM I?”

  1. Reblogged this on meanlittleboy2 and commented:


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