The Christian’s Struggle with Sin – Romans 7:14-25
“Honeymoon.” The early part of a couple's relationship where everything seems carefree and happy is often called the “honeymoon” period. It is difficult to determine how long that period will last. It can be marked with lots of laughs, intimacy, and fun times. Of course, the honeymoon phase is exactly that: a phase, which must develop into mature dealing with all aspects of personality and life in general. My grandparents got married on the fourth of July. It was their only day off, then back to work.  Always joyful, full of bliss? NO.  However, many wonderful blessings flowed from and through that relationship. They enjoyed a long and faithful marriage.

Moving from “Honeymoon” to “Halloween,” a lot of us are familiar with the classic novel written by Robert Louis Stevenson “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” Many movies have been made of it. The theme follows a struggle between right and wrong, joy and despair, and the battle of natural man versus the spiritual man. Mr. Stevenson was asked where he found the model for the characters of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?  He said, “I found it in my nature.”  He said he knew from his Christian experience that inside every child of God is a BEAST! He went on to say, “Every saved person has a New Nature and an Old Nature.  I find that there is always a war with the “beast that lives within me.” 

Romans 7 presents that struggle with the beast of sin and how it must be faced.  Some people prefer to ignore it and just go on to the next chapter.  Apparently, they’re scared of what is revealed, but you can’t overlook the reality there. Why? Because the man who comes to terms with the truth therein and fights the battle is the one who wins the victory explained in chapter eight.

If you have been a Christian for very long, you can identify with the Apostle Paul when he said, "I don't understand myself at all, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate."

In the Christian life, there is often a “honeymoon” period when everything seems to go perfectly.  There is grateful exuberance in salvation and wholehearted obedience to God. Then things can begin to get down to the nitty-gritty of specifics of obeying God, submitting to his will, and actually dealing with what was familiar, with previous wounds, habits, and consequences. After a while, old problems may surface.  Old habits might be tempting. Spiritual things longed for are NOT done. The things not wanted, ARE done. It’s possible there might be a feeling that there are two identities inside—one wanting to do good, one wanting to do bad. Like Jekyll and Hyde: part wants to live for Christ, and part doesn’t. How can we control the beast that lives within us and discover the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord?  Come Sunday and drink in the Word that will control the beast.

See you Sunday, Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde, both are always welcome.

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