Is the Bible a Problem?
Paul has been describing the effect which God's law had had on him. It had made him feel guilty for his sin and strangely inflamed his natural desire to do what displeases God. So is the Bible a problem? Would people be "more spiritual" without the black and white contrast of wickedness and righteousness?
Paul says, "No!" He knows that everything God says is good and right and true. The problem is entirely with him. Whenever God's Word reveals God's character, Paul admits that his sinful nature resists the truth, and even seems to stimulate a desire to do what is wrong. You would have thought that when faced with the truth, human beings being made in the image of God would want to agree with Him and do what He says: but no! The rebellion of sinfulness is so deeply ingrained that we will do anything to avoid obeying God.
Alas, so much that passes for spirituality is pretence: hypocrisy and self-deception share the same fingerprint as sin and evil. The truth is that the closer we get to God, the more we realise we are unworthy. If the Apostle Paul openly admits that all his theological training and knowledge of right and wrong could not change his heart ... then surely we must humbly admit the same. When we do, we find that only the grace of God can bring us close to the throne of heaven (www.crosscheck.org.uk). So let us be real with God and as James 5:16 says, "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed." Admitting our sin not only opens the door to God's mercy but also opens the door to true fellowship.
© Dr Paul Adams