You'll Never Grow As
Until You See Yourself As a Wretched Sinner
by David J. Stewart | September 2016
Romans 7:24, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
I am a wretched sinner! And so are you, but you probably don't think about it much, if at all. Most believers are good people, but not spiritual people. I highly recommend that you listen to the beautiful MP3 sermon by Pastor Jack Hyles, titled: “THE GOOD MAN VERSES THE SPIRITUAL MAN.” A good Christian mourns what they have done, acknowledge their past sins. But a spiritual Christian mourns what they are, realizing that they are a wretched sinner.
In my casual speech, I frequently make references to myself in humility that I am a sinner, and that I am undeserving, and that I am the biggest sinner I know. That is who I am. If you spend time around me, those are the type of things you would hear me say. Jesus said that a man speaks out of the abundance of his heart (Luke 6:45). I am a wretched sinner! The apostle Paul felt the same way, as evidenced by our text passage of Scripture. Paul said, “Oh wretched man that I am!”
At a local Baptist church I attended a couple years ago, a deacon heard me making such humbling statements. The deacon wrongly interpreted my spirituality to be a form of depression. He said to me, “It seems like you're down on yourself!” You see, he is a good man, but by God's grace I am a spiritual man. There's a big difference. I am not condemning the deacon. He is a good man, but he hasn't graduated yet to the place in the Christian life where he is downcast in his own eyes. He hasn't been taught how to properly think as a Christian, which you'll likely never learn in a neo-evangelical church. If you are right with God, then you consider yourself just as much a sinner as everyone else. This is humility. People who gossip are full of sinful pride. People who point the finger are full of pride. People who condemn other sinners are arrogant and proud! I am just as much a sinner as anyone else!
The mature Christian feels like they are a bad Christian, because they are continually aware that they are a woeful sinner. I always feel like I let the Lord down. It is true that oftentimes the best Christians feel like the worst Christians, and people who think they are good Christians are some of the worst. Just because a person goes to church faithfully doesn't mean they are mature in the Lord. The churches are filled with hypocrites, who judge others who have gone into sin, when they are just as sinful in God's sight. The spiritual Christian realizes that he or she is just as sinful as the worst sinner. To think anything else is sinful pride. I am no less sinful than you! Don't judge others because they sin differently than you do.
The Holy Bible tells us to humble our self in God's sight if we desire to draw close to Him...
James 4:8-10, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
Do you know what the word “pride” means in the Bible? It means to be elevated in one's own eyes. Philippians 2:3, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” I am the biggest sinner I know. The only difference between me and the vilest homosexual, adulterer and murderer is the precious blood of Jesus Christ that washed away all my sins. Hallelujah!
I am not worthy of anything good from God. Genesis 32:10, “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.” I rarely eat at a steakhouse, but when I do, I feel so unworthy. God knows that I never eat a meal without thanking Him for it. I am far from perfect. The only good thing about me, if there is anything good, is the presence of the dear Lord Jesus Christ, my Savior and my God!