“Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye” *
“For to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good, I find not.” -Romans 7:18
Now, if Paul said this, what hope do we have? Let me be specific. Paul said, “I cannot perform the things I try to do with my will.” He had the will to, but he lacked the how to. That’s me. That is most probably you as well. It is all of us. For an entire chapter in Romans, Paul fought with himself over his struggle. He was very open and honest about it. He did not reflect any self righteousness. He pretty much just gave us the nittygritty truth that sin was a problem in his flesh, no matter how much he willed with his mind for the victory.
Now, you have the backdrop for a passage of Scripture that needs to become the daily cornerstone of all who have been involved in “deep” sin. Like Paul, we are fighting the same battle, and if we are not careful, we will condemn ourselves for the weaknesses of our flesh. Once we have condemned ourselves then we will most certainly run from God in despair. That is exactly why many Christians who have fallen into sin quit, give up and disappear. They have imposed condemnation on themselves for the very same struggle Paul had.
Before I present Paul’s solution, let me assure you that Paul had a sin problem; he said so. I don’t know what it was, but you, no doubt, know what yours are. Am I right? It’s aggravating isn’t it? You have tried and tried and tried…but you still struggle with that sin. Even when you win the victory over the actual sin, the thoughts keep reoccurring. Just when you think you won, BAM, it happens again. Finally, in despair you give up, because you feel like a hypocrite, plus, you are tired of fighting it. You basically assign condemnation to yourself. How could God even want me. I can give you an oversimplified answer to that, but it is the best one I have. Because, He does. Yep, he still wants you.
You see, there are really two battles we face after we are saved. The battle of the flesh sin, and the battle over the mind, condemnation. I have news for you, and I am sorry to tell you this, but you won’t win the first one until you leave this body of flesh. However, you can win the second one. In fact, you must. So, Paul sets the backdrop for the way you can win that mental battle of condemnation. You must not read Romans chapter seven without reading the first verse of chapter eight.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” -Romans 8:1
Here is the solution; you cannot stop sinning, but you can stop condemning YOURSELF. There are four possible sources of condemnation. Lets look at each one for a moment.
1. Satan. He is the accuser and God is not listening to him, so why should you? He cannot condemn you, BUT he can make you think you are condemned, if you let him. You must decide to believe God, not Satan.
2. Others. Well guess what? That is like one skunk telling another skunk they stink. Ignore them. Don’t let them do Satan’s bidding and get inside your head. No one’s condemnation of you speaks for God. Many, who have committed sexual sins, are castigated by other Christians, and they feel like those people are speaking for God. Well, they are not.
3. God. Well we have our answer to that in Romans 8:1. The one who has the right to condemn you, has justified you, so that He would not have to condemn you. God who is the just judge, has justified you to remove all condemnation from you. So, that leaves…
4. YOU! Come on. If Satan can’t, man can’t and God won’t, WHY ARE YOU? I will tell you why. It is because with your mind you are not accepting the truth. That is what Paul was trying to say. OK, we sin. We shouldn’t. We should do everything in our power not to, but our flesh will fail. BUT, when we sin we must not lose the mental battle of condemnation, because that will be what drives us from God.
Stop it already. Get real and like Paul, fight the unwinnable battle against sin, but by all means don’t concede defeat in a battle that Christ has already won. That’s dumb. Condemnation had already been disqualified, beaten, knocked out cold for the the ten count, run out of town on a rail, vamoosed, been annihilated. Are you getting the idea? There is sin in your flesh, but there is no more condemnation. Claim it, Proclaim it, Celebrate it. Flaunt it if you want to, but by all means get it into that thick skull of yours and believe it. NO CONDEMNATION. “Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye”* condemnation.
- Phrase from a song written and recorded by Paul Leka
, Gary DeCarlo and Dale Frashuer in 1969