Summary: What is my problem? Why do I always make mistakes? Here’s the problem, the outlook, and the solution.
SOMETHING’S WRONG WITH MY SOUL!” Romans 7:15-25
Have you ever thought to yourself – something is wrong – what should I do? Maybe you fall on your hand, and after a couple days, your hand still doesn’t work right. Something is wrong. You really don’t want to go to the doctor, but you might have to. Maybe you get a sore throat – it hurts to swallow, and it won’t go away. After awhile, you might have to do something.
Have you ever thought to yourself – there’s something wrong with my soul. For example – I know that God wants me to be really involved in the Word. That means God wants me to be in church on a regular basis. He wants me to do personal devotional reading on my own. I know what God wants me to do, and I want to do it. But I don’t. What is my problem? There must be something wrong with my soul.
I know that God wants me to pray. And not just pray for fifteen seconds a day. God wants me to be a man of prayer, like Jesus was. To actually spend time away from work, away from family, away from everything, and really pray. That’s what God wants me to do. But I don’t. What is my problem? There must be something wrong with my soul.
I know that God wants me to love other people. I’m supposed to forgive other people, and be patient with other people, and be generous toward other people and make sacrifices for other people. I’m supposed to be the nicest guy on the block, all the time. But I’m not that way. Sometimes I force myself, but really, I’d prefer to be selfish, to hold grudges, to not make sacrifices. I don’t do what God wants me to do. What is my problem? What is wrong with my soul?
Today, we’re going to visit a spiritual doctor, the Apostle Paul, and he is going to help us better understand what is wrong with our souls - what are the symptoms, and what is the cure.
There are two basic symptoms that all of us struggle with. Symptom number one, is that we don’t do what we want. Verse 15: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do.” Same thing in verse 18: “For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” Deep down inside, there are certain things we want to do. We want to hear God’s Word and pray and show kindness toward others. We have that desire, but we cannot carry it out.
Imagine if you were driving your car, and suddenly your foot fell asleep. No matter how hard you try, you can’t use your foot to push on the gas or the brake. You want to stop, but you can’t. You’re heading toward that red light, and you try to push on the brake, but your foot is asleep - it’s not working. You want to stop the car, but you can’t.
That’s how it is for us spiritually - there’s something wrong with our souls – we want to do good, but we can’t. We are spiritually handicapped – our spiritual arms and legs aren’t working the way we would like them to work. That’s symptom number one.
And then there’s symptom number two – we do the bad things that we don’t want to do. Verse 15: “What I hate, I do.” The Apostle Paul hated to sin, but that’s what he did. Verse 19: “For what I do is not the good I want to do. No, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing.” I keep doing evil, even though I don’t want to. Sounds like a drug addict, doesn’t it? The drug addict knows that drugs are bad. He knows that drugs are evil - that’s the reason he can’t keep a job. Drugs are the reason he’s broke, the reason his family has left him. He knows that drugs are evil, but he keeps doing them – he’s addicted, he can’t stop.