“So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. “ (Romans 7:22-23)
We all struggle with sin in our lives. We all wish we could be free of the nagging temptations we encounter in our culture, particularly the temptations that assault us through the media. The Apostle Paul felt the same way and outlined for us his own struggle with sin. He was a righteous and holy man who knew that he was free from sin, death, and law in Christ, but he still felt the pull of sin and the flesh. He knew that in his own strength he could not overcome sin. He was still corrupted by sinful flesh and its evil desires even though he knew better. He needed help for he was still living as a human being in the world. The only solution was to depend on the Lord Jesus Christ who declared him to be righteous and enabled him to actually walk in obedience.
All human beings feel the temptations of the flesh and succumb to them. Most people feel the need to try to balance sin out by doing good deeds or by obeying the Law, God’s Law or human ethical and moral laws as laid down by governments, society, culture, and family. Most know the struggle of trying to keep those laws in the face of temptations, desires, and social pressure to compromise. Many fail to keep those laws and rules and decide they cannot obey at all. Therefore they just disregard the whole system of values and laws in favor of obeying their own wills and their own appetites or creating their own rules based on their own corrupted and sinful minds. Following such rules can only lead to trouble for those who do what is right in their own eyes without considering God will suffer the consequences. And there are always consequences as we see in our society today. Countless physical illnesses result from overindulgence in sexual and fleshly appetites, even from overindulgence in adrenaline producing experiences. Emotional illnesses run rampant resulting in violence, hatred, bitterness, alienation of affection, divorce, murder, and suicide. The only solution is to come to faith in Christ Jesus. He has made us is righteous and holy, not by our works or our willful desires, but by His death on the cross on our behalf. How sad it is for our fellow human beings when the solution to all the world’s ills is so plain and obvious and yet they ignore it.