“Wretched Man That I Am!” by Steve Patton
People no longer think sin is a big deal - unless it is a biggie like murder or child abuse. Otherwise, it is just “a bad choice” - which everyone makes. And who are we to judge anyway?
We Christians may allow our mindset to be influenced by such thinking. As our culture lowers its moral standards we slowly lower our own. It is not hard to rationalize sins when all the world is practicing them.
Paul certainly did not think that way. He spends three chapters in Romans explaining all are sinners (3:9,10,23). He makes clear the consequences: “…for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury” (2:8). No one will “escape the judgment of God” (2:8).
However, Paul understood the struggle with sin. He knew what it was to be “sold under sin.” He knew Satan’s temptations could lead him to do what he knew was wrong. He struggled with it mightily. “For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (7:15). In fact he wrote, “So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand” (7:21).
But one thing is clear. Paul understand how terrible sin is for anyone. He saw himself as “captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.” He knew sin damned any soul to a devil’s hell for eternity, including his own.
Sin was serious business to Paul. He never took any sin lightly. That is why he cried out, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” He saw no way out - except one. “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (7:25)