for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
I love how humble Paul was, and his transparency is revealed for all the world to see in Romans chapter 7. He admits that what he wants to do is not always what he does do, and what he hates do is the very thing he ends up doing (Rom. 7:15). Is that like you? It is very much like me. I know what the right thing to do is, but, like Paul, I end up not doing it and instead end up doing what I know to be wrong (Rom. 7:19). The good news about this is that we are at least in the battle. To be battling our own sinful nature shows that the Spirit of God is convicting us of sin because if there is no battle, there must not be the Spirit of God working in us. The reason we don’t always do the right thing is because there is the old man still fighting the new creature in Christ (Rom. 7:20). Yes, we are a new creation in Christ (1 Cor. 5:17), but the old nature doesn’t die very easily (Rom. 7:23). So what do we do? The same thing that Paul did knowing his sinful state (Rom. 7:24): He cried out for deliverance. That comes from the Deliverer, and that is why he gives thanks to God in Jesus Christ (Rom. 7:25a).
The Witness of Our Inadequacy
When I witness to people about Christ, I bluntly tell them that, as Martin Luther said, we are both sinner and saint at the same time. We will never fully escape the pulls of the flesh in this life. That complete freedom from the sinful nature will have to wait until Jesus’ return when we have new bodies and completely new natures. Until then, I admit to those who are not yet saved that I still have a sinful nature in being a slave to sin but have now become a slave to God in striving for obedience to God’s holy law (Rom. 7:25b). To admit that we are still weak and battle sin every day is to give others hope that they don’t have to be perfect before coming to Christ because none of us can. The good news is that when we trust in Christ, we have Jesus’ own righteousness imputed to us, and then God sees us as He sees His own Son, having His own righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21).
No Works Are Enough
It actually takes a heavy weight off our shoulders when we admit that we can’t ever do enough works to be saved. If it took works, I would be hopelessly lost, but there is true joy knowing that it doesn’t take works to save us but only the free gift of grace (Eph. 2:8-9). The very best of my very best works would be so repulsive to God that He would seem them as filthy rags that are untouchable (Isaiah 64:6). That’s because there isn’t any person today, nor has there ever been, who’s ever been good–not even one (Rom. 3:10). That’s why Jesus’ sinless life and perfect sacrifice were necessary, because we couldn’t ever save ourselves. Our new birth in Christ is fully a work of God; therefore, God receives all the glory. I hope you won’t ever be afraid to admit your inadequacies to save yourself and admit to everyone, the lost included, where your life falls short of what Scriptures teach, just like me!
A Closing Prayer
Righteous, Heavenly Father, You and Your Son alone are perfect, along with the Holy Spirit. Thank You for saving me because I couldn’t ever save myself. Help me to live a transparent life before others, admitting my own shortcomings and being honest with myself and others, and in Jesus’ name I pray.
Republished by Blog Post Promoter