"In Me Dwelleth No Good Thing!"     

Romans 7:18


     Opening my heart's door, as best I can, entering into its most secret chambers, I see the most foul, abominable and frightful things imaginable. In my sinful heart of flesh I see every evil thing that man has ever done, or imagined against God and his fellow man. I make no exceptions (Matt. 15:19). I see evil thoughts, murderous imaginations, vile adulteries, fornications and perversions, deceit, thefts, lying and blasphemies. Let other men talk of progressively getting more sanctified, holy and righteous, and less sinful if they dare speak so proudly. As for me, "I know", by the testimony of Holy Scripture and by painful experience, "that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing!" "I am carnal, sold under sin!"

     Before God saved me I thought things would be different, if ever God was pleased to save me. I knew my sins would not be eradicated. But I did think they would at least be fewer, weaker and less troublesome. But things are not as I dreamed! I was shocked to wake up one day and realize that I am still just as sinful as ever by nature. My flesh is still flesh. And it always will be. Until this body of flesh dies, my sin will never die, or even diminish! The outward deeds are not so bad as they once were. But the inward corruptions are worse, far worse.

     I am trying to be honest with you, because I want you to be honest with yourself and with God. Before God saved you, did you ever imagine that a saved person could be so vile as you are?I never thought a saved man could love Christ so little as I do and love the world so much,trust God so little and fret so much, have such a cold heart of indifference to the things of God and such a lively spirit to the things of the world, have such a hard time praying and reading God's word, and be so impatient, murmuring and resentful of God's provi- dence. In myself I honestly see nothing good,righteous, or holy. I pray. But my prayers are full of selfish desires. I read God's word. But my mind runs to every evil thing.I love Christ. But my love for him is shame- ful.I trust my God.But my faith is mixed with unbelief.

     This is my confession: I am a sinner,nothing else. My only hope is God's free grace in Christ. My only grounds of acceptance with God is the righteousness and shed blood of Christ, the sinner's Substitute.


Don Fortner