Was Paul a Sex Addict??? ~ blog
Yesterday, I raised the question of was the Apostle Paul a sex addict? In Romans 7 he writes;
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
“For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—
this I keep on doing.”
Sounds to me like those words could have been coming out of my own mouth when I was trapped in my own sexual addiction for 8+ years. I wanted to stop. As a Senior Pastor, I needed to stop. I was certainly going to lose my job and my 26-year career in ministry … perhaps even my marriage and family. So, I should have been highly motivated and actually I was. But I was addicted and as long as I kept it a secret, I would not have found freedom.
Now let’s look at what Paul says at the very end of the chapter and the beginning of the next because if we do not do that we are violating the rules of good Bible interpretation. Here is what Paul says after telling us about his struggle with every kind of coveting.
“What a wretched man I am!
Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death???
We can hear in Paul’s words a sense of desperation, self-loathing, and disgust. The Greek word wretched is full of meaning. Here is the definition of this word;
“…afflicted, miserable, in a distressed condition, beaten down from continued strain and leaving a person literally full of callouses … in deep misery.”
I have felt that way and I believe perhaps you have too. After confessing everything to my wife I was in the most wretched place of my whole life. My wife and 4 adult kids deeply wounded and utterly disgusted at their husband, father, and pastor. I could not go lower. I had hit rock bottom and shattered into a million pieces.
Listen, my friends … this is where I needed to be. I needed to see my own wretchedness. I needed my loved ones to see how wretched I had become. With the mask ripped from my face and my entire cesspool of sin exposed I was forced to lay there and any of them could have walked by, spat on me and moved on. My words meant nothing other than for me to ask for forgiveness which I certainly did not deserve. Everything depended on my future actions.
Paul immediately follows this statement about his own wretchedness, turning to where he was in his own battle with lust to what God was now doing in his life in the present.
Look carefully at those words because if the wretched man words apply to us … and they do … so must these next words. These can be ours as well …
Thanks be to God,
who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Deliverance is a great word. Unfortunately, it is not there in the original Greek. Literally, Paul’s words are; “I am thanking God through Jesus the anointed Master of us all.”
Deliverance is implied by Paul’s words because Jesus is the only answer to his battle with lust. He has just described to us his internal battle with lust and how powerful lust was in his life just as we know it is powerful in our lives. Yet, Paul finds that when this battle within rages … Jesus is able to rescue him. How??? Well, we do not read that until we move on the Romans 8 where he writes;
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.”
A new law has set us free from the old law. The new law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set us free from the old law of sin and death. This has already happened in our lives. All this crap that kept us bound to sin has been replaced with the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. And this new law has set us free.
Now we know that we are not set free from the presence of sin in our world and in our flesh. The presence of sin has become so omnipresent that we can turn to it in a moment … any time and almost anywhere. And we still have the presence of sin in our flesh or sinful nature.
Yet the power of sin over us and even in us has been broken. Before Christ, we were dead in our sins and separated from God. Now we are new creations in Christ. Our old man was crucified with Christ and we are now new creations in Christ … we have been born again into a spiritual life with God as our Father, Jesus as our Savior and Lord, and the Spirit as our Comforter and Counselor.
And most importantly for us … WE NOW HAVE A CHOICE OF WHETHER WE CONTINUE IN SIN WHICH LEADS TO DEATH OR WE OFFER OUR BODIES TO GOD AS LIVING SACRIFICES, BE FILLED WITH AND WALKING IN THE SPIRIT, AND LIVING THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IN COMMUNITY WITH OTHERS WHO ARE HELPING US AND TO WHOM WE CAN BE GIVING HELP!!!
Christ, by the presence and power of the Spirit was delivering Paul from his own sinful flesh and He can and will do the same for you when you begin to start doing what the Bible tells us all to be doing daily.
More tomorrow …