Packer gently leaned over the table, looked me in the eye, and said, “Young man, Paul wasn’t struggling with sin because he was such a sinner. Paul was struggling because he was such a saint. Sin makes you numb. People who sin over and over again become desensitized to sin. The reason Paul’s “struggle” was so intense was not because he was caught in a web of sin, or because he thought of himself as hopelessly doomed to giving into the temptations that he faced. Rather, it was because Paul lived a life so sensitive to the Holy Spirit and passionate about the glory of God that he intensely felt his sins whenever he became aware that he had committed a sin (since he was not, of course, sinlessly perfect).”One of the analogies Mr. Berding gave in his article was actually used for the title of this post.
I greatly enjoyed his story and Dr. Packer's insight into understanding what a Christian of Paul's stature could mean by writing Romans 7 right smack dab between Romans 6 and 8. Excellent!
Just a few notes of my own:
Romans 6 - Paul as a new creation; having been crucified with Christ.
Romans 7 - Paul's newfound sensitivity toward conviction of remaining sin he still experiences in this life.
Romans 8 - Paul is empowered by the post-resurrection given Holy Spirit to do battle against remaining indwelling sin, so he does not still live as a slave to sin, but rather as a son of God.
We walk in Paul's footsteps -- no condemnation in our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus!
All Praise and Thanks be to God!