HOW CAN WE RESOLVE THE STRUGGLE WITHIN OURSELVES?
(ROM. 7:18-25) SAYS- " I KNOW THAT NOTHING GOOD LIVES IN ME, THAT IS, IN MY SIMPLE NATURE. FOR I HAVE THE DESIRE TO DO WHAT IS GOOD, BUT I CANNOT CARRY IT OUT. FOR WHAT I DO IS NOT THE GOOD I WANT TO DO; NO , THE EVIL I DO NOT WANT TO DO - THIS I KEEP ON DOING. NOW IF I DO WHAT I DO NOT WANT TO DO, IT IS NO LONGER I WHO DO IT, BUT IT IS SIN LIVING IN ME THAT DOES IT. SO I FIND THIS LAW AT WORK: WHEN I WANT TO DO GOOD, EVIL IS RIGHT THERE WITH ME---------".
Paul learned two things in this struggle, and they are something that many of us believer's need to learn.
(1) THE OLD NATURE (VERSE 18) PAUL SAYS- " NOTHING GOOD LIVES IN ME " ( THIS IS THE OLD NATURE). This is true in every person ever live and there is no exception. There is nothing good lives in every believer's old nature.
(2) THE NEW NATURE- wants to serve God, but it has no power to do it. PAUL SAID IN VERSE 19 -" FOR WHAT I DO IS NOT THE GOOD I WANT TO DO;NO, THE EVIL I DO NOT WANT TO DO- THIS I KEEP ON DOING".
HAVE WE EXPERIENCED THIS?
I truly believe that every believer experienced this.
"NOW IF I DO WHAT I DO NOT WANT TO DO, IT IS NO LONGER I WHO DO IT, BUT IT IS SIN LIVING IN ME THAT DOES IT" (VERSE 20). It is that OLD NATURE that is causing us trouble.
"SO I FIND THIS LAW AT WORK : WHEN I WANT TO DO GOOD , EVIL IS RIGHT THERE WITH ME "(VERSE 21) . When we are attempting to serve God in the Spirit, have we discovered that the old nature is right there to bring evil? Perhaps an evil thought will come into our mind. EVERY CHILD OF GOD REGARLESS OF HIS STATE, MUST ADMIT THAT IN EVERY ACT AND IN EVERY MOMENT EVIL IS PRESENT WITH HIM. FAILURE TO RECOGNIZE THIS WILL EVENTUALLY LEAD TO SHIPWRECK IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE.
" FOR IN MY INNER BEING I DELIGHT IN GOD'S LAW" (VERSE 22). THE INNER BEING IS THE NEW NATURE.
" BUT I SEE ANOTHER LAW AT WORK IN THE MEMBERS OF MY BODY , WAGING WAR AGAINST
THE LAW OF MY MIND AND MAKING ME A PRISONER OF
THE LAW OF SIN AT WORK WITHIN MY MEMBERS " (VERSE 23).
WE DO NOT GET RID OF THE OLD NATURE WHEN WE ARE SAVED. AND YET THERE IS NO POWER IN OUR NEW NATURE. "I SEE ANOTHER LAW "- is the enmity of the old nature against God. It causes the child of God who is honest to cry, as Paul cried:" WHAT A WRECH MAN I AM ! WHO WILL RESCUE ME FROM THIS BODY OF DEATH"? (VERSE 24). this is not an unsaved man who is crying, " WHAT A WRECH MAN I AM" ; this is a save man . A man who is in deep trouble, miserable and exhausted because of the struggle. " WHO WILL RECUE ME". he is helpless. His shoulders are pinned to the floor- he has been wrestled down. He is calling for help from the outside. BUT, "THANKS BE TO GOD- THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD ! SO THEN, I MYSELF IN MY MIND AM A SLAVE TO GOD'S LAW, BUT INTHE SIMPLE NAUTRE A SLAVE TO THE LAW OF SIN" (VERSE 25 ) ". THANKS BE TO GOD ( WHO GIVE DELIVERANCE ) THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD ". This is the answer to Paul's SOS. God has provided deliverance through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Nobody is able to deliver himself from sin through his own power. Christ said in (John 15:4-5) " REMAIN IN ME , AND I WILL REMAIN IN YOU. NO BRANCH CAN BEAR FRUIT BY ITSELF; IT MUST REMAIN IN THE VINE. NEITHER CAN YOU BEAR FRUIT UNLESS YOU REMAIN IN ME. I AM THE VINE ; YOU ARE THE BRANCHES. IF A MAN REMAINS IN ME AND I IN HIM, HE WILL BEAR MUCH FRUIT, APART FROM ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING ".
Remain (or abide ) in me. John explains what this means when he uses the same word in ( 1John 3:24) that says- " THOSE WHO OBEY HIS COMMANDS LIVE IN HIM, AND HE IN THEM. AND THIS IS HOW WE KNOW THAT HE LIVES IN US. WE KNOW IT BY THE SPIRIT HE GAVE US"..
Abiding depends on keeping Christ commandments. (John 15:10) SAYS- IF YOU OBEY MY COMMANDS YOU WILL REMAIN IN MY LOVE, JUST AS I HAVE OBEYED MY FATHER'S COMMANDS AND REMAIN IN HIS LOVE.
Therefore, the solution to resolve the struggle within ourselves is to REMAIN IN CHRSIT BY KEEPING HIS COMMANDMENTS. THERE ARE 22 COMMANDMENTS FOR BELIEVERS - NOT JUST 10 OF THEM BUT 22 OF THEM ! Up to the time we are saved, God has us shut up to a cross. That is God is not asking anything of us except this question: What will you do with my son who dies for you? After we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, then God talks to us about our lives. The child of God is not under the 10 commandments as the way of life- He is way above it. He is to live on a much higher plane, as we can see by the 22 commandments in (1Thes. 5:11-27). I am asking you to read them and understand them .
Somebody may ask, how can someone may keep the 22 commandments given by Jesus Christ that are way above the 10 commandments, and the believer is commanded to live on a much higher plane, when it had been proven that no one was able to keep the 10 commandments? it is impossible? If nobody was able to keep the 10 commandments, surely, none is able to keep the 22 commandments that are way above the 10 commandments. Nobody is able to keep the 22 commandments by his own power. But if he remains in Christ he can surely keep the 22 commandments through the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells him.
The Lord Jesus Christ talked about the fruit of the Holy Spirit in (John 15:5) that says- " APART FROM ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING ". Fruit is what Jesus wants in our lives . He wants fruit, more fruit, and much fruits. In His parable of the sower, He spoke of seeds bringing forth thirtyfold, sixtyfold, and an hundredfold. (See Matt. 13). He wants us to bear much fruit. Now the fruit is produced by the Lord Jesus using the Spirit of God in our lives. HE WANTS TO LIVE HIS LIFE THROUGH US. WE ARE NEVER ASKED TO LIVE THE CHRISTAN LIFE. WE ARE ASKED TO LET HIM (JESUS) LIVE THROUGH US. NO BELEIVER CAN LIVE THE CHRSTIAN LIFE HIMSELF . THE OLD NATURE CANNOT PRODUCE THE FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
NOW, HOW CAN WE KNOW WHEN JESUS IS LIVING IN US. THERE ARE ONLY TWO THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN JESUS IS LIVING IN US.
(1) WHEN WE ARE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT. ( GAL. 5: 22) SAYS- " BUT THE FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, AND SELF- CONTROL". EVERYTIME WE ARE FLLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT JESUS WILL PRODUCE THE FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT BY USING THE SPIRIT OF GOD IN OUR LIVES.
(2) WHEN WE ARE WALKING ACCORDING TO GOD'SWILL AND NOT ACCORDING TO OUR OWN WLL, THEN WE REMAIN IN CHRIST. THERE ARE THREE SPECIFIC CMMANDMENTS THAT ARE THE WILL OF GOD FOR EVERY BELIEVER. THEY ARE FOUND IN (1THESS. 5:16-18) .
(A) "BE JOYFUL ALWAYS" (1 THESS. 5:16)
(B) " PRAY CONTINUALLY " (1 THESS.5:17)
(C) "GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, FOR THIS IS GOD'S WILL FOR YOU IN CHRIST JESUS. (1 THESS. 5:18)
I know that it is very difficult to resolve the struggle within ourselves, but it doesn't mean that we lose our salvation when , from time to time, we cannot resolve the struggle within ourselves. If so, then nobody will be saved . But thanks be to God, He is always willing to forgive us every time we sinned. John said in (1 John 1:9)-" IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS HE iS FAITHFUL AND JUST AND WILL FORGIVE US OUR SINS AND PURIFY US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. We never lose our salvation once we are saved. But Christ commanded us TO REMAIN IN HIM AND HE WILL REMAIN IN US, BECAUSE HE KNOWS AWAY FROM HIM, WE CAN DO NOTHING. THIS IS HOW WE RESOLVE THE STRUGGLE WITHIN OURSELVES. REMAIN IN CHRIST AND HE WILL REMAIN IN US, BECAUSE HE LOVES US AND HE WANTS US TO BEAR MUCH FRUIT IN OUR LIVES.
Written by Osmundo S. Sabado
Edited by Orman L. Sabado