For the next two days we will look at “spiritual sobriety,” which is rooted in Romans 12:3, which was penned by the apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Spirit of God. In order to understand this condition, we must see who Paul was before his conversion. He was staggering blindly in the condition known as spiritual Intoxication; after conversion the power of the Gospel supernaturally creates spiritual sobriety in the lives of all God’s saints.
By the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
Who Paul was before conversion: “Spiritual Intoxication”
His name was Saul, and he ferociously sought to put an end to the early Christian church.
Saul was there, giving approval to [Stephen’s] death. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison. (Acts 8:1-3)
So focused was Saul in his fanatical pursuit of Christians, he would stop at nothing short of the total destruction of the church. Saul demonstrated spiritual intoxication rather than spiritual sobriety. You see, spiritual intoxication is rooted in the self. The “I” in intoxication is the same “I” in the center of both PRIDE and SIN. Saul was consumed with Saul! It was Saul who looked after the coats of those who were stoning Stephen, the first Christian martyr (Acts 7:58).
Before his conversion, Saul was a one-man wrecking crew, drunk with his distorted determination to eliminate those who proclaimed Jesus as Lord and Savior. Saul thought too highly of himself! He was trapped in spiritual intoxication, but that was all about to change . . . and I will share that with you on Friday.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!