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Romans 7:14-24, The Inner Conflict

Paul nails it, doesn’t he? I wanna do good, but I do evil instead. It’s a tough pill to swallow. We all want to think we’re good people. But we know we’ve done things we’re not proud of. Does that make us bad people? If so, what does that mean for my future? My eternity?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there are no good people and no bad people. There are just people. We all do things to make this world a better place. We all do things that are reprehensible in God’s eyes (in my own eyes, too, if I’m honest). One way to live peacefully upon this earth is to accept that there are things I do that I wish I wouldn’t. I can learn from them. I can make internal shifts so that I refrain from doing those same bad things over and over again. Then there will be other bad things I didn’t even recognize that pop up when I least expect it. And I learn all over again. It’s like a life-long game of “Whac-a-Mole”! I pound one down and another pops up.

So what does this mean for my future? My eternity? Thankfully, the death and resurrection of Christ has made separation from God impossible. Yep, I’ll do icky things. Then I’ll regret it. Ask for forgiveness. Learn. Stay away from that icky thing. And then I’ll do a different icky thing. That’s humanity. To live in the light of Christ means to continue to move through the ick toward the light. To repent for wrongs. To rejoice in rights. And never to let it defeat me.

Romans 7:14-24

For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?