Sermon Illustrations

I will never forget in 1945, as a student in Baylor University, I took a course in “The Life and Writings of the Apostle Paul”. When the professor came to the Romans 7:14-25 passage, he paused and asked “How many of you, starting from the time you were saved, can live without ever sinning against God? We all had to admit that we could not do that, that we encountered the same struggle as did Paul.

He paused once and re-phrased his question. “If you tried really hard, could you live a year without sinning?” All of us thought for a moment and then decided that a year was a long time and that we could not make it through an entire year without sinning at one time or the other.

The professor continued this line of questioning asking if we could live sinless lives for a month; then a week; then a day. At the point of “a day” several hands were hesitantly lifted, but most hands were not.

Looking with a stern expression he asked “If you really worked at it could you live an hour with sinning?” At this point, all the class agreed that, if we really worked at it, we could live an hour without sinning.

Seeing our unanimous expression, he paused a moment to capture the attention of every one in the class, then said, “Then young men and young women, live your lives one hour at a time!”