Pastor Bob taught on Romans 7:18. As this statement was true for the apostle Paul, it is true for every believer. It is one thing to take it as a theological truth, as a reminder that we cannot be trusting ourselves. But if we take it and stand there a while, we find that we are walled up into a very dark place, even a desperate place. Everything that the believer is about, that he is doing, is unacceptable in God’s sight. In one’s own mind everything the believer tries to do or feel appears to be totally not good, not only tainted with sin but black with sin. The apostle Paul got here on the way to salvation and then on into sanctification. Why did Paul spend time here? Why does the believer need to spend time here? Because we need to make progress.
Psalm 62:1,2 There is a difference being built up between these two passages that we need to see. What is our path as believers? If everything that we do and see in ourselves is only sin, how do we proceed day-by-day, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute? The believer needs to have the Lord Jesus be his salvation minute-by-minute. The believer’s actions are not worthwhile but Christ’s actions are all valuable. The believer is not to live in his salvation from 30 years ago. He must live in a minute-by-minute salvation. If the believer is all sin minute-by-minute, where is hope? Only in the Lord Jesus minute-by-minute.
Galatians 2:20 It is not the believer who lives. It is Christ who is the believer’s life. What the believer does is being done in some literal fashion in Christ. There is an offering of the believer’s actions to Christ. There is the Spirit of life in Christ, Romans 8:15. The believer’s life is totally dependent on Christ that brings glory to Christ.
I Peter 1:17 Christ’s coming has made the believer see what he is and there is both fear and joy in that sight. There is an awesome nature to all of life now that the Lord Jesus has come. As He walks forward as light in front of the believer, there is a trembling rejoicing in following Him. Psalm 2:11.
If the believer is full of darkness, how can we pray? We can’t in ourselves, but in Jesus we can. The glory of prayer is not that we now have some right as believers to pray but it is all in His name, John 16:23-27. He is all our righteousness and entrance to God. Prayer ought to be precious to us because instead of being shut out from God’s presence by our sinfulness, we come in with thankfulness and rejoicing thru Jesus. There is a boldness in Him for prayer.