Summary: This sermon I trust will help us through our struggles in life. "ME" (in Christ) Vs. "me" in the world.
In life we have many struggles. There is the struggle of important decisions, making ends meet at the end of the month, struggles within the work place, etc. Then we have the struggle within our walk with God. Known as the “Christian Struggle.”
Wow! What a remarkable man Paul was. But he was no different than we are when it come to living the TRUE Christian life. As we live for Christ there will be times when we are on top of the mountain. We shout for joy when we know we did something to please God.
What a great feeling it is to have a peace of mind following a prayer, knowing God heard you. What a joy it is to feel the presents of our Lord. Then we encounter the struggle that Paul talks about in this passage of scripture.
I have found the closer you get to God the more upset the devil gets and the more upset he gets the more temptations seem to come our way. You can be in the presents of God, feel His love, His comfort, then when that time seems to fade, we drift back into our carnal minds and before you know it, we find ourselves doing the things that are not at all pleasing to God.
Notice verse 9 “For I was once alive without the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.” Now Paul is saying in his opinion he was very secure and confident of the goodness of his state of mind at a time in his life.
When he in times past was a Pharisee. It was common of that generation of men to have a very good outlook of themselves. And Paul was then without the law. Namely the ten commandments.
Although he was brought up under the teachings of Gamaliel, who was a doctor of the law, Paul was a strict observer of the law, but he did not know the spiritual meaning of it. There are many who are spiritually dead in sin, and yet are alive in their own opinion of themselves. But when the commandment cam sin revived.
It’s like opening the window shades on a sunny morning and if you notice closely you will see dust begin to rise. When Paul got a spiritual understanding of “Thou shalt not covet” he then understood how sin really works in the heart.
Let it be known, the ten commandments still apply today. And when sin revived Paul said: he died. In other words, he lost his good opinion of himself. The commandment convinced him that he was in a state of sin, and in a state of death because of sin.
Now in verses 14b through 20, notice the struggles Paul has. Here is a good description of the conflict between grace and corruption in the heart, between the law of God and the law of sin. And you can apply this in two ways.
1. To the struggles that are in a convinced soul, but yet unregenerate in the person of whom it is supposed by some, that Paul speaks of.
And 2. To the struggles that are in a renewed sanctified soul, but yet in a state of imperfection.
So, in a round-about way I am saying “ME” meaning me in Christ Vs. “me” meaning me in the world, is considered great competition between the two. It is much easier to live like the world than to live for Christ like He really commands us to. But thanks be to God, when we do sin we have a heavenly Father that forgives us if we confess our sins to Him.