We know that the law is spiritual, but I am not. I am so human. Sin rules me as if I were its slave.
I don’t understand why I act the way I do. I don’t do the good I want to do, and I do the evil I hate. And if I don’t want to do what I do, that means I agree that the law is good. But I am not really the one doing the evil. It is sin living in me that does it.
Yes, I know that nothing good lives in me—I mean nothing good lives in the part of me that is not spiritual. I want to do what is good, but I don’t do it. I don’t do the good that I want to do. I do the evil that I don’t want to do.
So if I do what I don’t want to do, then I am not really the one doing it. It is the sin living in me that does it. (Romans 7:14-20 ERV)
The truth about sin is hard to navigate. As said last week, it is often associated with bad behavior, but it is an internal, spiritual power. It is our own selfish nature, also called the flesh in many Bible versions.
Here we're reminded how powerful it can be, like a slave master. This can produce a lot of confusion. As said so clearly here, what we want to do, we don't. But the things we don't want to do, we keep on doing. This underscores the goodness of God's law and our weakness to keep it.
The point is that no one—no one—has enough will power to overcome our own selfish nature and do good all the time. Some people may do it better than others, but no one is good and obedient to God's righteous law all the time.
We need to recognize our own powerlessness to overcome sin on our own. This is a good thing. We need to understand that the sinful, selfish nature has a power that only God can subdue. But don't lose heart! Next week we'll look at how this problem is resolved.
For now, realize the power of selfishness and your own powerlessness to overcome it on your own. ©Word-Strong_2016