Romans 7:24: O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Lamentations 3:22: It is of the LORD*S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
When I first received Jesus I did not know that I was a poor excuse for a Christian and I did not know very much about the mercy of God. Knowing that I was a poor excuse for a Christian without remembering God*s mercy made me miserable and useless to Him. Knowing about His mercy and forgetting that I was a poor excuse for a Christian made me presume I could get away with sin and I again became useless to Him. I believe that we all go back and forth between remembering our sinfulness without remembering his mercy and remembering his mercy without remembering our sinfulness.
The more I grow as a Christian the more I understand three things. One. I know that I am often a poor excuse for a Christian. I sin. Two. God*s mercies are new every morning. Three. The oftener I remember those first two things, the more I fight to avoid sin, the more I depend upon His constant mercy and forgiveness, the more useful I am to Him and the more I am blessed. Like the Apostle Paul, we need all three of those things.
Romans 7:14: For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
1 Corinthians 9:27: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
1 Timothy 1:15: This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
1 Corinthians 15:9: For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God was with me.
I have another thing in common with Paul. Before I was saved I also persecuted the church of God. I wonder if you did too? It is ironic that some of the same things that I did to Christians before I was saved are done to me now.
Matthew 5:11: Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.