Romans 7:15-20; 24-25: I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Many scholars throughout the centuries have debated over what Paul is speaking about as he describes his struggles with his sinful nature. Is Paul speaking of the non – Christian life or is he speaking of the difficulties that a Christian faces with temptation and sin? Paul seems to be very honest about the subject of sin, and it seems to me that it is a personal struggle, one to which most of us can certainly relate to.
There are two things that we don’t like to discuss in church: Satan and sin. These two topics make us feel uncomfortable. We are fearful of digging deeper into our souls as we are then forced to examine who we truly are. We also would rather not be forced to come to terms with the reality of Satan in our lives and in the affairs of this world. Most Christians believe that Satan exists but they don’t want to think that he has any influence over their lives.
I believe that Paul is being very candid as he struggles with the control that sin can have on our lives, if we allow it. Paul writes in Romans 8:5-6: Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.
We are presented with a choice; we can allow the desires of this fallen world that we live in, to guide our actions and our daily living. Or we can make a more intentional effort to allow the Holy Spirit to guide our thoughts and our actions, as we live out our lives following the example of Christ. You can choose today which path you will take. Paul tells us to choose the path of life.
Psalm 1: 1-2 &6: Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.