Summary: This is the most dramatic testimony of Paul’s struggle with sin. I like this text because of the transparency. Paul identifies sin that is always lurking around trying to take a hold of every beleiver.
TITLE: IT AIN’T ME
SCRIPTURE: ROMANS 7:17
As much as I place focus and attention on proper English, I found it fitting this morning to stray somewhat. I could not find a better or stronger word to use than “AIN’T” to help support my thought as we labor in the Word for a few minutes. Last week we examined probably the most familiar passage of scripture in all the Holy Bible. We considered Psalm 23:3 – this morning we will examine another very familiar passage, matter of fact, I would suggest to us that it is one of the most exciting passage of scripture in the Holy Writ.
In our text, Paul is describing his own personal struggle with sin. This is the most dramatic testimony of Paul’s struggle with sin. I like this text because of the TRANSPARENCY. We like to Preach that “YA’LL HAVE SINNED” instead of ALL HAVE SINNED AND COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD.
• We know that Peter Sinned
• He would pull a Sword in a Minute
• Even denied Jesus not once or twice but three times when the road was rough
• We know Thomas Sinned
• He would be the Poster Child for the State of Missouri – The Show Me State
• We know that Moses Sinned
• Killed a Man and hid his body in the Sand
• We can travel to yesterday, last week, to know that we too have Sinned
• Some can travel back to your ride to Church this morning and know yes we too have sinned
For some reason the average believer thinks that Paul somehow seems above it all. This is a misconception, as our theology should remind us, and as Paul’s words instruct us.
• Paul’s struggle is a deeply personal struggle
• It is a struggle with sin and with his own flesh
• He refers to it as a war within
• It is a war which results from his conversion
The fact of the matter is, it has not changed. SIN IS A WAR WHICH DID NOT EXIST UNTIL WE WERE SAVED. We did not care about Sin when we were out there doing our own thing on our way to Hell. We had no struggle, thought we were living the good life, Feeding the Flesh. Oh, but one day, when we had our Damascus Road Experience – Scales fell from our Eyes - everything changed in our life. We began to Fight and Battle with this thing called Sin. We had to learn how to put our Flesh in Subjection to the Will of Our God.
Paul would go on to Write a little more than half of what has been Canonized in the New Testament. The record shows it was still a battle for him. I can respect this text. I don’t know about you, but I get tired of hearing from these holier than thou preachers that spend all their time beating up the congregations for their behavior and missing the mark. I needed to hear from Paul, because he lets me know that what I am going through is okay – THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH ME OR WITH YOU. We have seen a lot of Preachers fall from their Pulpits because of the issue of not facing the reality of sin. We reach a certain level and begin to feel like we have arrived – fall right into the trap of the adversary.
This is why I and so many others find this text to be so Exciting and Helpful. We listen to our Politicians today and the new buzz word seems to be “TRANSPARENCY.”
• Transparency in Government
• Transparency in Leadership
• Transparency in Finances and Control
• This is nothing new
• We find Transparency all throughout the Bible
• We find the flaws of many of God’s great Biblical Leaders
• And they are not ashamed about it
This passage is the preparation for one of the most moving passages in the New Testament. For here Paul begins to give us his own spiritual pilgrimage, laying bare his Heart and Soul in auto-biographical form. Starting with VS. 7 and continuing through this chapter:
• The Apostle Paul turned to the First Person Singular
• Indicating that he is presenting his personal experience
• Up to this point he had used the third person - the second person - and even the first person plural
• But now he described his own experience
• Allowing the Holy Spirit to apply the truth to his readers
If you are ever confused as to what Testimony Service ought to look like. Many times what we have in our churches is not a Testimony Service. Review this powerful chapter and you will understand that Paul begins to bear his Soul and his Struggles. He understands that He can do nothing without the Power of the Holy Spirit. Understanding the conflict in personal sanctification involves seeing the relationship between a believer and his indwelling sin nature.