Bad News – Good News
Read Romans Chapter 7
Ro 7:21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
“What a wretched man I am!!” Who among us have not thought and/or uttered those words? Recently someone posted a quote from C. S. Lewis – “No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good.” That is so very true, and is clearly verified in the scriptures. If I may be so bold, I would like to add one other statement. “A man also learns how bad he is if he diligently and persistently studies the scriptures. Either one leads us to truly know how wretched we are.
As an SSA struggler, I imagine that you have suffered through thoughts of the depravity that resides within your soul. Good! That really is a good thing. If you are aware of your wretchedness, then the Holy Spirit has been and continues to be at work in your life. The only people who are not aware of their personal depravity are those who have not encountered God. Ironic, isn’t it! We who have been saved are the ones most aware of the bad which exists within us. The unsaved falsely believe they have the ability to be ‘good enough.’
The Apostle Paul was perhaps the greatest example of Christianity in the New Testament, other than Christ. Yet, he was acutely aware of his shortcomings. Therefore, when we come to recognize our own sinfulness, we must not despair. You see, our enemy eagerly wants to take advantage of our situation when we are wrestling with our wretchedness. He tries to take us far beyond the purpose of our knowledge. He wants us to despair and wallow in hopelessness. We cannot allow that to happen.
Paul gives us the recipe to find the correct response to our wretchedness awareness. He says, “Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!” There is only one purpose and reason why the Holy Spirit allows us to see the total depth of our sinfulness – that is so that we will know that we have hope. That knowledge is not given us so that we can despair. Only those touched by Christ have hope. Only those who are aware of their own lack of righteousness can receive the righteousness of Christ.
So today, I would advise you to rejoice that you can say, “What a wretched man (or woman) I am!” You are extremely blessed because you possess that knowledge. Turn that knowledge over to God and say, “Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Prayer: There are no words to express how grateful we are! Thank You for giving us the bad news, so that we can have the ability to receive the good news.