Romans 7:14-20, “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.”
In the seventh chapter of the Romans, the Apostle Paul gives us much information concerning his experience. He tells us of a time that he was “alive without the law: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died” (7:9). Paul tells us of a time when he was alive in this world without the law of God being written on his heart, but when the commandment of life came, by the voice of Jesus Christ (the direct work of the Holy Spirit, John 5:25), Paul began to see himself as a sinner. Paul understood that God is holy and therefore His law is also holy, but he felt himself to be corrupt. The grace of God was a bright and shining light in him. The grace of God did not make Paul a sinner, but taught Paul that he was a sinner.
Several years ago, my cousin and I met together at one of my daddy’s old barns to go fishing. We planned the trip and the boat was hitched to the truck with our fishing gear loaded. I stepped back into the barn to do some last minute preparations to go and was struggling to see. Kevin asked, “Hey Ronnie, you need a flashlight?” I said, “Yes,” and he tossed it to me. When I caught the flashlight I quickly turned it on and saw a huge blacksnake at my feet. I had been stepping all over it. I didn’t even know it was there until I turned the light on. My point? We are sinners at conception. Psalm 51:5, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” The wicked are compared to the serpent in the Bible, Psalm 58:4, “Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear;…” In nature (before the new birth) there is no difference in the wicked and the elect. By nature we are a bunch of snakes. Have you ever heard someone say of a person, “They are as mean as a snake”? But no one knows they are a snake until God turns the light on (born again). The reason Paul felt the way he felt about himself was because he was a born again elect child of grace. If you, dear reader, feel to be a sinner in the sight of God; if you feel guilty about your wrong doings; this is evidence that are a born again child of grace. What does that mean? You’re going to heaven. The Lord loved you before the world began, sent His Son to die for you on the Cross and by His grace, you are now born again. Praise God! There’s hope for a sinner like me in Jesus. Amen!