However, for this wonderful news to be experienced, we must reach out and accept it to be true. We must confess our sins (and sinfulness) to God and ask his forgiveness. We must ask Jesus to become the LORD of our lives, the one to whom we give our lives in obedience. But we won’t reach out to God unless we see a need to do so. We can’t open ourselves to the life of Jesus unless we face openly the reality of sin to which our addiction points. We will not ask for the resurrection power Jesus offers unless we “own” our problem.
And yet we tend to deny our problem. This is true even of Christians who, of all people, ought to be able to confess their sin to God. And yet, at times, it seems that it is hardest for Christians to admit they have an addiction problem. Part of the problem is a defective theology of sin. Some Christians feel that having once admitted to God that they were lost and sinful (and that they had been following their own ways and not God’s ways), that this takes care of the problem. Thereafter they live decent and honest lives. They may not be perfect, but they are good. Therefore, to admit that they are in the grip of addictive or compulsive behavior seems a betrayal of their Christian commitment. To be a Christian and a sexaholic, for example, seems a contradiction in terms. So it becomes very hard for them to admit their problem. “Christians aren’t supposed to live that way. What will my friends think?” As a consequence, they pretend that all is well. Their religious commitment encourages this denial.
But this is bad theology. The Bible clearly teaches that all people are always sinners. The Christian is different only in that he or she has recognized the problem of sin and is seeking to live a new way by the grace of God. But to live that new way requires that we stay honest about our behavior and that we continue to offer our sins to God for forgiveness.
In the passage we are going to study from Romans, Paul reflects on the agony of simultaneously finding great delight in the law of God, while being drawn to the evil which he does not want to do. Paul knew from his experience what it was like to be controlled by forces over which he seemed powerless .