BUFF SCOTT, JR.
Our Struggles With Sin
“Everyone of us has a chapter in our lives we would prefer not to read aloud.”—Selected.
In truth, most of us have more than one chapter. When I first read that statement, I was vividly reminded of my own struggles with sin. Even the apostle Paul battled with sin. Not only Paul, but all of God’s great leaders of past generations clashed with sin. Humanity bequeathed sin from Adam and Eve. All of us are plagued with it.
Paul’s description of his struggle with sin is strikingly interesting—and uplifting. His written testimony is recorded in Romans 7:13-25. He contrasts the old Law with Life in the Spirit.
Sin was so rampant in Paul’s life, even though he was a rigid Pharisee who obeyed the old Law as he understood it, he was driven to proclaim, “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”
Strange a psychological fact that it is, it is nevertheless true that to the carnal nature what is forbidden seems especially desirable. Paul seems to be saying that when he wanted to do good, sin was knocking at his door. Or as Paul himself explained it, “For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.”
The apostle explains that if he does what he does not want to do, “it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.”
His inner being or spirit wanted to do what was right, but sin often reigned.
Consequently, the renowned apostle cried out, “Oh wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death”
[sin]? He answered his own question. “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”
Our Lord Jesus was Paul’s rescuer! By himself, he was powerless. But when Jesus entered his life, he discovered that Grace was far greater than his fleshly weaknesses. And so it is with us. We are weak in the flesh, for we are part of Adam’s Fall. But when our Lord made His entrance into our lives, we discovered a Grace so mighty that our carnal susceptibilities lost their potential to conquer us.
Let it be understood that our fleshly weaknesses have not been eradicated. You have yours, I have mine. But as redeemed sinners, we can say with Paul, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set us free.”