False Teaching About What a Wretched Man I Am!

Posted on October 8, 2011


Paul did not struggle with sin after Jesus saved him the way he did before Jesus saved him.

Paul in no way remained doing the sins that earned him the self-given title of Worst of Sinners. He said that about himself because BEFORE Jesus saved him, he was a violent man; he gave approval of Stephens’s death, guarded over the clothes that belonged to the men who killed Stephen. Saul put many of the saints in prison, and when they were put to death, he cast his vote against them. Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison. Acts 22:20, Acts 26:10, Acts 8:3.

That is why Paul said he was the worst of sinners. Not because he kept sinning after he was saved! Pastors in many if not all denominations teach that falseness, that Paul, after Jesus saved him, struggled with sin so much and was the worst of sinners.

So many Christians say that in Romans 7, Paul was speaking of his life after Jesus saved him, that he could not stop sinning, that he could not do good, that he was a wretched man. I can hardly believe that people actually believe Apostle Paul was speaking of himself as a sinner AFTER Jesus saved him. That is utterly absurd.

Paul is explaining in a much-exaggerated way what it is like for one under the law and without faith. Paul is not speaking of the way he is after Jesus saved him.

 Romans 7

Released From the Law, Bound to Christ 1 Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? Here Paul is speaking of the Old Testament law.  The law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives.  2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him.  3 So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress.  But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man. Paul is explaining how those who are under the Old Testament law are not sinning by now obeying Jesus, because through Jesus they die to the flesh.  4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.  5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death.  6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

The law telling us not to do this and not to do that…it aroused passions in us, and we sinned. 

The Law and Sin 7 What shall we say, then?  Is the law sinful?  Certainly not!  Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law.  For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”  8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting.  For apart from the law, sin was dead.  9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died.  10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.  11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.  12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. 13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me?  By no means!  Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful. 14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.  15 I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.  16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.  17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.

Here Paul is speaking about the law! He is speaking of being under the law before living by the Spirit. Paul was not sold as a slave to sin after Jesus saved him! Paul says plainly, “I am unspiritual.” How do Christians get that Paul is speaking of himself AFTER Jesus saved him? After Jesus saved him Paul was spiritual, and he lived according to the Spirit. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. Paul is still speaking of himself before Jesus saved him.  Surely, when Jesus saved Paul, good now dwells in him!  Paul would not say after Jesus saved him and gave him the Holy Spirit that good does not dwell in him.  Do you really believe that saved Paul says he has the desire to do what is good, but he cannot carry it out?  Do you really believe that after Jesus saved Paul, that Paul could not carry out any good?  I hope you consider more in what you believe.

19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.  20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. Do you really believe that after Jesus saved Paul, that he did not do good but rather he did evil?  Do you really believe that Paul is speaking of his life AFTER Jesus saved him?  Do you really believe that Paul, having died to sin, still has sin living in him?  That is nonsense!  You have allowed yourself this benefit of blindness to this passage.  21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law;

Paul is speaking of being under the Old Testament law, before Jesus saved him!

23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.

Paul is still explaining the effects of having the law without the faith!  The law was not based on faith.  Galatians 3:12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”

There were Israelites who obeyed the law and had faith in God; there were Israelites who obeyed the law but did not have faith in God.

24 What a wretched man I am!  Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?  25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Do you really believe Paul is calling himself a wretched man after Jesus saved him?  No way had Paul spoke of himself in such a way after Jesus saved him.  Paul asks, “Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?”  Jesus saved Paul from his body of death!  Through life through the Spirit, we are no longer slaves to sin!  Read Romans chapter 8.  In Romans chapter 8, you will learn about life for Paul and all true believers.  Calvinists claim that humans cannot believe in God and do not try to obey Him.  However, we can see that Calvinism is not true when we read how Paul, before Jesus saved him, wanted to do good and obey God’s laws, but instead kept sinning.  See also Isaiah 64:5, here we also learn that there are those who gladly do right and who remember God’s ways, but they continued to sin against them.  These scriptures show us there are those who do want to do right but cannot stop sinning, we need a Savior, and that is what God did, He sent us the Savior Jesus Christ.  We who believe and obey receive the Holy Spirit.  We live by the Spirit and can stop sinning.