Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Wrestling With Sin

Romans 7:19

For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.

profileI have a sermon series developing within my head – about wrestling with sin.  I told my congregation I was working on it and might come dressed as Hulk Hogan when I preach it.  After trying to apologize for the image that might have brought to some – I mentioned that I was serious about the sermon series.

In our Tuesday morning co-ed Bible class and in our Tuesday evening Men’s Bible class – I have been talking about wrestling with sin.  It is my premise that many Christians today do little wrestling with sin.  This is not because we are so sanctified – but because we have allowed the culture to creep into our lives and churches and sin has lost its place in our lives or understanding.  Some church and pastors I know speak very little about sin or confession and repentance.  Some have even given up on a belief in hell and damnation – believing instead in some form of universalism – where we all go to heaven.

Over the next few weeks – as I develop this sermon series for a yet to be determined future time – I will wrestle with this idea in print on my blog page.  I believe that the church – yes – even the bride of Christ – has allowed the culture we live in to determine right from wrong – obedience from sin.  Too many of the things the culture has found to be acceptable – things that according to the Scriptures and the orthodox belief of the church for centuries has always been wrong and sinful.  What this has led to in my humble opinion is a muddying of the water so to speak around the definition of sin.  When we define sin as anything outside of the will of God and yet we allow the will of God to be a moving target – even as the culture determines – we can easily see the issue at hand.

Here is today’s passage in partial context.  Romans 7:15-25 – 15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 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. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 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.

My premise is not that we should be sinless – there was only One who accomplished sinlessness.  No – my premise is that we should – like Paul in this passage – wrestle with sin rather than giving into it as many do.  We should not allow ANY sin to live in us without a wrestling match to get rid of it.  If we love God – we will strive to have no sinful thing in our life.

Stay tuned!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.


January 17, 2014 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal | , , , , , ,

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