We have been talking a lot about sin lately. I hope you don’t let this letter make you feel terrible about yourself. That isn’t the point here. Paul is seeking to help us understand what sin is, and how terrible it is. Once we have that understanding, we can fully understand what God did for us through Jesus Christ. They honestly did an amazing thing, but without the context, we really have no understanding why getting rid of sin is necessary.
Paul brings up an interesting point. “I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway” (7:18-19 NLT). Paul is speaking to the inner battle that exists for all people, not just Christians. However, as Christians, it is more obvious to us. Our minds and hearts are set on God, and what He wants from us. We all know these things, follow the Ten Commandments, live like Jesus, etc., but it is hard for us. Why? Because our bodies have a sinful nature, and are only interested it what it wants, not what God wants.
WARNING!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel that I have to warn you that this post is about to get really personal, so if you know me in person and don’t want to know something deeply personal and embarrassing, please skip down.
The best example I can think of with this came from my own life, and sadly the same way many men’s lives are. In my teen years, I discovered the power of pornography. It became a large problem for me, but I had no idea how big a problem it was until I found Christ. It was such a problem, I still struggle with it today. It is only with God’s help that I am able to overcome that temptation, but it is still a struggle everyday. I could blame it on the world, with it’s sex crazed advertisement style, or television/movies when there is excessive nudity, but in all honesty the problem is me and my body. My mind knows that my sexual needs are to be fulfilled from my wife and no one else, but my body eats away at my fortitude to get me to fall away from God’s direction in my life.
OKAY!!!!!!!! It’s safe to read again!
I suppose the point I’m trying to make is that sin is powerful. Our bodies long for it simply because it knows what it wants. It is impatient to wait for God, or simply doesn’t want to follow His way. So I encourage you to pray about what troubles your mind and body. Paul states, “there is a power within me that is at war with my mind. This power make me a slave to the sin that is still within me” (7:23 NLT). God can give you the strength to overcome the thoughts and actions that plague us, and can help us to become more pure and holy. There is a war happening within us, and we cannot win without God. It has taken me a lot of hard work and prayer to get where I am. I still struggle today, and I may never fully overcome myself, but I know God is there to help me. And He is willing to help you too. All you have to do is pray and ask for His help.