Scripture: Proverbs 1-3, Romans 7
Romans 7:25 This, then, is my condition: on my own I can serve God’s law only with my mind, while my human nature serves the law of sin.
In Romans 7, Paul describes the war within. Part of me wants to do what God wants; and part of me doesn’t. My mind or inner being wants to serve God’s law; my human nature serves the law of sin. I find myself doing things I hate, and not doing the things I want to do.
Theologians differ as to whether Paul is describing life pre- or post-Christ. I’ve thought for a long time that it describes us before Jesus. It may be a moot point—for two reasons.
First, experience. I have followed Jesus most of my life, and I find that this still describes me. I sometimes think, say and do things that I hate. I sometimes fail to think, say and do things that I love. So the battle still rages—even after Jesus.
Second, Scripture. While theologians debate whether this is describing Christians, no one debates that Galatians 5 (the war between flesh and Spirit) is describing Christians. And there too it is clear that we face an internal conflict.
The good news is that with the Spirit’s help, we can win—both Romans 7-8 and Galatians 5 make this clear. I don’t win every time, but I’m winning more and more, and eventually, I’m winning more than I’m losing.
Romans 7:24-25 Who will rescue me from this body that is taking me to death? 25Thanks be to God, who does this through our Lord Jesus Christ!
Thanks be to God! I’m winning the war within.
Prayer: Thank you Lord that you have, are and will give me victory over my sinful self. I’m getting better—and I’m still battling. Both are true.