As we continue our study in Romans 7, I am more deeply grasping how this chapter speaks to the doctrine of Assurance of Salvation.
First, it speaks in this way: As a believer you discover you are still a sinner. You still sin. Are you saved knowing that your thoughts are not perfect? Are you saved knowing that sin still remains?
Romans Seven is very clear - FOR THE BELIEVER THERE IS REMAINING SIN. There is comfort for the wounded in this chapter knowing that even Paul writes, "Oh wretched Man that I am....." we also have this remaining sin as a harasser and ever present foe. So we must always have the weapons of our warfare at the ready.
BUT - THERE IS ANOTHER and second thing coming out of Romans Seven dealing with the doctrine of Assurance of Salvation - and it is this. Yes sin remains even for the believer - but is there a warring against it? Rom 7:23 Don't find Assurance on to slight of Grounds.
Hear Romans Seven speaking of this war: "warring against the law of my mind." Rom 7:23
When it comes to sin can you say: WHAT I HATE THAT I DO? Do you truly hate it? Rom 7:15 Or are you really readily yielding to sin, allowing it, giving willingly way to sin?
Can you say: "It is not I that do it but Sin that dwelleth in me. " Rom 7:17 I am a new creature in Christ, I detest sin, I myself as renewed in the inward man DO IT NOT -- it is SIN that still dwells in me. ????
Or again, Rom 7:19, the evil that I WOULD NOT that I do. I don't want to do it. I hate it. I abhor it - yet there it is - I am new in Christ but not altogether as new as I will be. So now what I do not will to do I find myself yet doing. ????
Consider now A.W. Pink on this topic from the October 1932, Studies In The Scripture. click here
All pretensions unto the present enjoyment of the assurance of faith by those whose daily lives are unbecoming the Gospel, are groundless. They who are confident of entering that Eternal Happiness which consists very much in a perfect freedom from all sin,
but who now allow themselves in the practice of sin (persuading themselves that Christ has fully atoned for the same), are deceived. None truly desire to be free from sin in the future, who do not sincerely long to forsake it in the present. He who does not pant after
holiness here, is dreadfully mistaken if he imagines he desires holiness hereafter. Glory is but grace consummated; the heavenly life is but the full development of the regenerated life on earth. Neither death nor the second coming of Christ will effect any radical change in the Christian: it will only perfect what he already has and is. Any, then, who pretend unto the assurance of salvation, boast of their pardon and present possession of eternal life, but who have not an experience of deep sorrow for sin, real indignation against it, and hatred of themselves because of transgressions, know nothing at all of what holy assurance is.
So there is a heavy emphasis on the renewed inward man in Romans 7, who though finding sin yet within, sins not willingly but to his sorrow and lament.
MAY THIS LAMENT BE FOUND IN ME. God fill me with such a holy hatred of SIN.