“14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”
This passage has showed up several times during the past couple of months. And basically the conclusion is, Paul is conflicted with sinning but then hating it when he does BUT he still has this desire to do “good”.
As a Christian who is trying to continually pursue a deeper relationship with Christ, I have these days where I feel like even know though my desire is to do good, I fail. I fall short. I begin to feel as though no matter how hard I try, sin is right there. BUT then I remember that I am not holy, I cannot and will never be holy on my own. I remember I am a “wretched man” that only Jesus Christ can deliver me from.
In a song my bible study co leader shows me called Wretched Man by Marcus Mumford, the guy in the song struggles with the same thoughts I am having. The guy says..
“The things I don’t want to do
I just keep doing
The things I want to do
I can’t do
What a wretched man I am becoming
What a wretched man I have become”
And continues to say “The holy life just wasn’t for me”
BUT THEN at the very end of the songs it says “You say the holy life still waits for me.”
That is what Christ tells us. He tells us that…
“I am a special messenger from Christ Jesus to you Gentiles. I bring you the Good News so that I might present you as an acceptable offering to God, made holy by the Holy Spirit.”
2 Timothy 1:9
“For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.”
“So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood.”
So when you get discouraged, just remember these verses. Use them as encouragement to yourself and to encourage others! Use them in your prayers when you are struggling and you don’t understand why. Most importantly, remember that you are made holy through Christ and that it is the most wonderful gift.