There are some verses in the book of Romans that I have always struggled with. For as long as I can remember, any time I heard a sermon that addressed them my mind just turned off. I knew that I wouldn’t understand because they had never made sense to me. I had tried to understand, really, I had. A few mornings ago, however, I had an Aha! moment. I had prayed for God to show me something through my reading as I always do. I came across these verses on my own, and guess what? They made sense! I was so excited that I went to find Ian to tell him.
14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
18 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.19 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. 20 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.
21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 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. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
Get ready for the explanation. Hear me out. I know its hard to understand. 🙂 So, we are all sinners, right? Right. Sin lives inside of us. So when we sin, knowing full well that we don’t want to sin, it is not really us doing it. It is the sin inside us doing it. These are two completely different things. I am one and sin is the other. However, there is no way to separate us from the sin that is permanently inside us. It continues to live inside us and causes us to sin.
Let me offer an analogy. Pretend you are the water in a glass. Pretend that sugar is our sinful nature. When you add the sugar to the water it is permanently joined and cannot be separated. They are one. There is no way to separate the sugar from the water. We have sin inside us for good. That is why even though we want to do good, we end up doing bad. It is the sinful nature that does it. We can’t help it.
This is where Jesus comes in. God sent Jesus as a sacrifice for our sin. This sacrifice has freed us from the power of sin, that would have led to death. God declared an end to sin’s control over our lives. By accepting Christ, we receive the Spirit of God. We are now controlled by the Spirit of God that is living in us, and makes us right with God. Read it for yourself. And tell me if I’m not understanding correctly. I want to learn!
1.So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.