7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”
8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead.
9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died.
10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.
11For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.
12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.
13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.
14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.
17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.
18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.
20 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.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.
22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law;
23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.
24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?
25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
I needed some encouragement during my early Christian walk. I couldn’t understand why I was not the “conqueror” that many preachers and televangelists spoke about so proudly. I began to doubt my “Christianity.” I thought, perhaps I simply wasn’t good enough. God provided the opportunity for me to read this passage and I became not only encouraged but emboldened. I have not looked back since that wonderful day. I imagine I’m like many of you because I still need to be encouraged. Let us encourage one another. I pray you realize that the struggles you face are not stronger than the God you serve.
Let me know how you are doing. Perhaps, your words will encourage someone. Remember, as Christians (regardless of which stream), we are many mouths with one voice. That voice must be the Word of God. That voice, that message must go to the people who are mired in sins that are now socially acceptable. These people may not get to know Christ and the only pathway to heaven without you.
Go and make disciples so they can enjoy the love of God like you do.