Romans 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after 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 shall deliver me from the body of this 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.
Many people make new years resolutions. Some people may be quite sincere in wanting to make changes to their lives and they assume that somehow if they make a promise at the start of a new year it “might” just help them to keep it.
The problem is that the promises that are made, are impossible to keep. The flesh does not have the ability to make lasting good changes.
The apostle Paul reminds us that there is a law. This law that Paul is referring to is not a man-made law. It is God’s law. It is the way things work. This law is ”when I would do good, evil is present in me.” There may be some new years resolutions that appear to be good. The person who makes them may have good intentions. Yet they discover they cannot keep them. Over time a person might become discouraged and just forget about making any resolution. That is actually a good choice to make.
We cannot make meaningful changes in our lives without trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ. God directed Paul to state that his inward man delighted in the law of God. However, there was another law in his members that was warring against the law of his mind.
The fact is that we should not be making new years resolutions to begin with. We do not have the ability to keep those promises. We need to be saved and live moment by moment according to God’s will.
Paul reminds us that this law that is in my members is a very powerful law. It brings the true child of God into captivity to the law of sin. Paul was told to remind the recipients of this letter that this law is in his members. The true child of God can overcome and win this war, but not in the flesh.
The Bible warns us of the danger of pride. Many people insist on defying God and think they can make their own way.
We hear of people who are classified as bi-polar or manic depressant or schizophrenic or whatever. All the world can do is label people with different things and then prescribe drugs. They have no answer. This war that is inside the person is worse than the wars we see in Europe or in the Middle East. There are casualties in those wars and much destruction. When we witness the wars that people are waging inside themselves, we see casualties and much destruction as well.
The apostle Paul shows us that born again Christians need to deal with this war. Lost people have their own war, but it is a war against the truth.
Interestingly, there are reports of people who are turning away from alcohol these days. What they do not tell us is how many of those people are turning to marijuana or harder drugs. The war that is inside the lost person is not won by will-power. I have talked with enough people who claim they know what the Bible says and they know what they need to do to turn things around in their lives, but they are incapable of doing so. They keep digging their hole deeper. The reason is because this war is a spiritual war that cannot be won with mind control.
In verse 24 Paul described himself as a “wretched man.” That speaks of being miserable. It is the resolve that many people have that they cannot beat their problem, so they will just hunker down and do the best they can to fight it. As they do that they just get worse and worse.
God directed Paul to ask the question: “who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Is there any hope? People can become quite desperate. They grow so tired of the constant struggle. Our government has decided to become more involved in the self-murder of people with a program they call MAID. This sounds so nice. It is just a different way of talking about suicide. They want to increase the use of medical assistance in dying. That is not the answer.
In verse 25 Paul stated where the help is found. The apostle Paul thanked God through Jesus Christ our Lord. That is THE answer. Too many people are so twisted in their view of God. They talk of a god, but they are too stubborn to listen to the truth.
The apostle Paul stated that with the mind he would serve the law of God. Paul could choose to serve God and he could know God’s blessing. Paul also knew that with his flesh he would be serving the law of sin. We cannot go by feelings. The Christian life is not governed by feelings. True Christianity is grounded in truth. The true child of God grows and develops new and good habits. The true child of God is still a human being. He or she still has the flesh. As we see in Romans 12, the solution for the child of God is to choose to be renewed in the mind. The true child of God needs to feed on truth. The Bible talks of reading God’s Word daily and of meditating on God’s Word daily. This is again why the true child of God needs to be in a good church. We need the encouragement of one another once we are saved.
If a person is honest, he or she will admit that they like to be at peace inside. However, man cannot find a way to be at peace within himself on his own. The world has developed many diversionary tactics, but they have no solutions. God created man. God knows man. God alone has provided the way to be at peace with Him and thus within themselves.
The apostle Paul was directed by God to show us how we can know His blessing and peace in the midst of a fallen world. Choose God’s way and know His peace and blessing today! Forget about making empty resolutions. Trust in the true God and walk humbly with Him as His child.