What a Wretched Sinner am I!

I am the worst sinner that I know.

We each should hold the view that we are the worst sinner that we know for two reasons. First, it keeps us focused on the fact that we are not good, and never will be until the day we have been stripped of the flesh. When we begin to think that we are good people, the problem with our equation is that we are comparing ourselves to other people. Other people are not now, and never have been, the standard by which we are to measure. It is Holy–perfect, sinless, pure–God that is the standard. How absurd it would be to measure a sack of flour compared to another sack of flour rather than by the objectivity of the scale. Likewise it is absurd to measure ourselves subjectively by other people rather than objectively against the Creator of all existence, to whom we will never measure-up.

The other reason we should have such a lowly opinion of ourselves is that when we hold ourselves in disregard, we raise others in our regard for them. That is to say that we think more highly of them, and place their needs above our own. The two Great Commandments are to love God and to love others, not to love ourselves. In fact, in Ephesians 5:28-29, it is assumed that in the natural we love ourselves. The flesh has taught us to love ourselves more than any other, even above God. It is in this that we are a work to overcome.

Do not be confused as to whose work this is though, as it is not our own, but His who dwells within us, for we cannot defeat sin, only God can. He is the victor: His atoning sacrifice on the cross provided the path to salvation, and once we dedicate His temple (ourselves, see Romans 12:1-3) to Him, He begins to do the work within us. We don’t build the temple; we don’t clean the temple in preparation for its use; we merely dedicate it to Him.

The work we have to do is to stay in submission and humility. When we continually choose to do this work, then His work in us can be seen “…for he who is in [us] is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4, ESV).” For those struggling with a particular area of sin, my only advice is this: give-up, accept that you cannot defeat sin. Lay yourself at His feet; confess your sin openly; pray and ask for prayer by others. Do not be fooled into thinking though that temptation will be taken from before you, but be assured that by His strength you will be able to turn away from temptation.

What a Wretched Sinner am I!