Do you relate to Paul? I sure do. I’ve been a Christian long enough to know there are some things I should do, and some I shouldn’t. There are thoughts and actions that honor God, and some thoughts and actions that go against everything He stands for. I know this. So why do I find myself committing the same sin He’s already forgiven dozens of times before?
Paul says it’s a battle. I relate. As I’ve been thinking about this passage for a couple days I found myself wondering why it is Christians sin. I’m tempted to use the every popular excuse, “Because we’re human.” But it has occurred to me that with the Spirit of God living in me, I’m not just human.
I have a daily devotional book, “What Every Christian Ought To Know Day by Day” by Adrian Rogers (BH Publishing Group, Nashville, TN, 2008). I read today’s thought, (November 23, page342) before reading Romans and was once again blown away at how God reveals Himself. Because Adrian and Paul were singing the same song.
Dr. Rogers says our struggle with sin is a result of our understanding that God forgives. We pray that part of the Lord’s Prayer: “forgive us our sins.” But we don’t understand the “lead us not into temptation” part. Rogers says:
“The reason we have to come back to God so many times asking forgiveness is that we have not put on His protection that would keep us from falling so repeatedly.”
If we continue to read in Paul’s letter to the Romans, he will tell us often that the Spirit in us is more powerful than the temptation to sin. So why aren’t we putting on that protection?
Yes, God is faithful to forgive 70×7. So going to Him with a repentant heart will result in forgiveness every time. But be warned. Paul makes it pretty clear that our actions are a result of what is in our hearts. And if we continue in sin, we need to consider whether or not we’re really children of God.
I would encourage you to read all of the chapters today. But at least look at 8:5, 11, 13-17, and ask God to speak to you about what is there.
If you find yourself under conviction for committing a sin you’ve already asked Him to forgive, ask for forgiveness one more time. Then ask God to put that protection around you that will keep you from that temptation. Ask God to remove the temptation, or cause that temptation to have no effect. Ask God to give you strength and desire to resist that temptation. He’ll be happy to answer that prayer!
Yes, Paul admitted it was a struggle. But he never tells us to give in to the struggle. He never tells us to go ahead and sin because God will forgive it anyway. In fact, God through Paul tells us it’s very important that we not only ask for forgiveness, but that we turn from that sin, that we die to that sin, that we flee from the devil.
Don’t forget, if you know Jesus as your Savior you have the Holy Spirit. Take advantage of that. Don’t ever think you are helpless because you are “only human.” You are a human with the Spirit of God living in you!