Are you sensing your sin? Are you feeling a bit frustrated? Did you think you would be a bit farther down the “holiness road” than you presently are? Is your soul crushed? Well my friend, you are not odd, and you are not alone.
A great sinner and saint wrote:
For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 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. (Romans 7:19-33)
Paul knew he did not fear God properly, love God entirely, or worship God fully. He knew he did not rightly appreciate the vast wisdom of God, for there were moments when his Lord’s precepts were not valued as they should have been. Sadly, he knew he did not completely abhor sin and Satan’s ways. Too often he danced with the devil and did not flee. Tragically, sometimes, he even walked towards sin.
Oh, he knew something had changed in his heart and affections. He had been saved by Jesus and granted new desires by the Spirit. He really did want to walk righteously, and there truly was within him a delight for the law of God.
However, something was still wrong. He was bothered and troubled. He was perplexed and convicted. Listen to his cry of anguish:
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Romans 7:24)
However, listen to his quick and confident Gospel declaration:
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! … (Romans 7:25).
In the words of Dr. Harry Reeder, Paul knew Jesus who had saved him from the the penalty of sin; he knew who had saved him from the power of sin; and he knew who would save him from the presence of sin. Jesus Christ was his Lord. He was his new Master. Jesus would hold him fast. He would see him through.
Therefore, take heart troubled sinner in the Gospel of grace. Jesus paid it all for you. He has covered all your transgressions — past, present, and future. You are adequately covered.
And take heart troubled sinner in the fact that you are troubled. This internal “troubling” you are experiencing is a sign of your new, redeemed, born again heart. It is good that you are bothered.
And take heart troubled sinner. Better saints than you have sinned grievously and felt wretched. Your Bible is full of their stories and testimonies. Quit thinking so highly of yourself.
And take heart troubled sinner. Jesus is coming again, and he will finish that which he has begun. You will soon be delivered from your body of sin and death. Perfect sanctification is in the horizon. Your wretched days are numbered.
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