Romans 7:21-25 I have discovered this principle of life, that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.
24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
Don’t kid yourself, when it comes to living a good life that is pleasing to God, you don’t stand a chance! Even the “best” Christ follower, the one with all the attendance awards and the ones that can quote Bible verses in King James, has something working against them that causes them to either struggle with sin or just give into it.
Every great personality in the Bible failed to submit to God and they all struggled with sin. Abraham lied about his wife and he tried to solve the problem that she could not give him a son. Moses lost his temper and disobeyed God. Even though Aaron was the high priest he still gave in to the request to have a new god created. Even the twelve men that spent three years living with Jesus 24/7 had to struggle.
Take some time and read through the first three chapters of the Book of Romans. Paul has made it obvious that God is Holy and we are all falling short of His Holy requirements. None of us has the ability to live without the effects of sin and nobody gains 100% control over every old sinful habit. Even Paul didn’t put his confidence in his ability to keep God’s commands but rather he realized that it is only by God’s grace that he was anything at all.
In this lifetime, we will never be perfectly victorious over sin (1 John 1:8), but that should still be our goal. If we view sin as being as ugly as God sees it then we will become less comfortable with sinning. With God’s help, and by following the principles of His Word, we can progressively overcome sin and become more and more like Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:9-10 For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church. 10 But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.
Can you say as Paul did that “God has poured His special favor” on you? To realize that you will never be good enough is one thing but to realize that you don’t have to is even better. God choose to extend grace to me through His only Son Jesus so that I could have a relationship with Him.
As Easter approaches I need to remember that I have a friend that is true to me (Proverbs 18:24) and he will always treat me better than I could possibly treat him. I need to do everything that I can do to be pleasing to him by becoming more like Christ through God’s power and grace.