Christians Are Sinners Too!

Picture From:  New Reformation Press

Romans 7:14-15, 
"We know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.  I do not understand my own actions.  For I do not what I want, but I do the very thing I hate."
Aren't believers afflicted with their depravity as long as they live?  Remember the Psalms of David, the tears of Peter, and Paul's "thorn in the flesh."

Where, then is the source of doctrine claiming that a dedicated Christian shall be able to do what is good, what he wills to do, and never be troubled about his sins or his weaknesses?  This teaching has its origin in man's weakened reasoning, pronouncing error in spiritual matters.  It is blind and misleading.

Our Lord said, "From within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, etc..." (Mark 7:21-22)  

Paul's experience of struggle, doing "the very thing I hate," is an example of human struggle.  He is clearly speaking of himself in the present-the believing apostle.  This is offensive to those who do not understand that there are two opposing natures in the regenerate believer.  All the words and deeds of believers are not perfect and without sin.

Though the apostle had experienced bountiful grace, and though he had known much suffering, he found that he "did not what he wanted, but did the very thing he hated."  But let us note that in the midst of his lamentation he speaks also of holy zeal and desire for the law of God according to the inner man and inner needs.

The real cause of our failure is not the law; it is that we are sinful.  Only believers can know this, even in our weakened state as we struggle against the more visible sins.  We come to know more and more the persistence of our sinful desires.  We experience this first when we have tasted God's love and the law has become inscribed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.  Then we sense that the law is spiritual, for it has come forth from God's Holy Spirit.

But all believers have, in addition to the Spirit, the old nature of Adam full of the poison of sin.  This is an experiential matter.  Christians receive a new nature in the new birth, and their 'old man' is crucified.  But they are no liberated so that they are able to do the good they would like to do.

Freedom from the law through freedom in Christ does not make one free from sin.  Jesus taught the disciples to pray, "Forgive us our sins."  And when he instituted the Last Supper he said that it was "given... for you, for the remission of sins."

Excerpt taken from:  Romans, A Devotional Commentary by R.O. Rosenius.