The Apostle Paul, in perhaps the greatest expression of transparency seen in Scripture, states,
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. Romans 7:14-25 (NKJV)
Nothing that I have found in Scripture better describe the war that is taking place in the inside of us. It is almost a bipolar condition for every believer. Our innermost (Our spirit) desires to serve the law of God. Our minds, the center of our soul, also desires to follow God, but stands in need of restoration (Psalm 23:6).
We are called to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ (2 Peter 3:18), but what gets on the way of that growth? The answer is an unrestored soul and, in a deeper way, our flesh, which desires to serve the law of sin. Was Paul not delivered? Was Paul in need of deliverance? How can a man who was called an apostle, a man who was given divine authority to write more than half of the New Testament be struggling in such way? That is because, even the great Apostle Paul had a flesh, just like you and just like me.
The mistake of some in the Body of Christ is that they use this reality as an excuse to surrender to a lifestyle of sin. They preach and teach a Gospel with no responsibility and no accountability, a gospel that takes away consequences. What we need to understand is our condition and also God’s provision.
To be continued…