“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
“I know how to correct my own problems.” This is the statement I heard from an individual who was living in sin. They felt that they could fix themselves, and yet they still continued to do the same things over and over again. The fact that they thought they could fix themselves is what revealed to me that they were not ready to conquer their sin.
Romans 7 is a picture of the believer battling sin. Paul shows how every person wants to do right, but they end up doing wrong. He shows how many don’t want to do wrong, but they end up doing the very thing they didn’t want to do. In the verses above, the believer comes to the point of despondency and they finally come to themselves and realize that Christ is their only hope to overcoming sin. This chapter reveals why you can’t help yourself and how to find victory.
First, you can’t help yourself when you think you can help yourself. Thirty-three times, the pronoun “I” is used. One of the reasons that you get yourself into sin is because you can’t get past yourself. People go into sin because they want to please themselves. Focusing on “I” is a result of pride. You will never fix the sin problems in your life until you swallow your pride and realize that “I” is the reason you are in the mess that you are in. You must get past yourself before you can start down the road of conquering sin. Before you ever conquer any sin in your life, you must realize that you can’t help yourself.
Second, you will never overcome sin until sin becomes “exceeding sinful.” Verse 13 shows that the purpose of the law was not to show how good you are, but it is to show how you are “exceeding sinful.” You will continue to live in sin as long as your sins are not disgusting to you. As long as a person doesn’t see their sin as disgusting or “exceeding sinful,” sin will continue to have the draw to pull them back to it. One reason people can’t overcome sin is because they still enjoy their sin instead of seeing their sin as “exceeding sinful.” All I have to do to find out if you really want to conquer your sin is to listen to you talk about your sin. You will never overcome any sin in your life until you feel so dirty inside and out because of what you have done.
Third, you will never overcome sin until you realize that you can’t help yourself. When Paul came to the end of himself is when he found the victory was in Christ. Likewise, you will never realize victory over sin until you realize that you can’t overcome sin by yourself. What got you into trouble with your sin is that you wanted to be in control of your own life. Being in control of one’s own life is what gets everyone into trouble. You need help, and you must see that you need help before you can ever start the journey of overcoming sin. You will continue to struggle with sin as long as you “have the answers” for your problems. When you come to yourself as the prodigal son did and realize that you need help is when you will find the answer to overcome sin is help from Christ.
Let me ask you; does your sin make you feel filthy, or do you just feel guilty about it? Being guilty is not enough to overcome sin. You must feel so dirty that you realize you need help from someone else to help you clean up your life. It is when you realize that you can’t help yourself is when you will find the answers to overcoming your sin.