Living the life in Christ
And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. 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. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. 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. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 7:18-25
If our Christian life will be up to us, we will do what we want to do. And oftentimes what we want to do is contrary to the desires of the Spirit of God. “The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires” (Galatians 5:17). The harsh reality is that every single person sins, including those that claim they are Christians. From our text, the apostle Paul expressed this struggle with sin. The struggle stems from the fact that that we still allow certain desires to supplant God’s desires. We do not do what we are supposed to be doing. Every time we pursue our own desires outside of His will, we find ourselves disobeying His will for our lives. Disobedience to God is sin. Our faith in God gave us new life, purpose and meaning, forgiveness and mercy, and His righteousness. Yet, just like what Paul said this new life in Christ did not eradicate all of our old sinful desires. There are times that we resurrect this old life when it is supposed to be buried and crucified at the cross of Christ. Just like Paul, you will struggle in this on-going battle when you do not allow the new life in Christ prevails. Paul declared that the only way he can overcome this struggle is when he allows his life to be dominated by Christ (v. 25). It begins by surrendering your whole life to Christ and letting His mind be your mind. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). John also advocates this same idea when he said, “But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous” (1 John 2:1). Have your mind focused in God. Let His word be the source of wisdom that will help you be guided in making decisions. Where is your thinking leading you right now? If you allow your mind get distracted from pursuing the life that you should have in Christ, it will leave you aimless. That kind of life will only lead you to commit sin. Focus in Christ, what He had accomplished on your behalf, and His word.
Noel De Guzman