“ For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” Romans 7:18-19.
The Apostle Paul’s will was to do good but how to perform that which is good, he found not. They’re many who will (self will) to live for God but don’t know how to live for God and therefore place laws on their will. These laws, no matter the good intentions, will not overcome the evil (sin) in our members that war against our self will. Man has placed many a law to defeat sin, many of them Scriptural practices which were given but not to defeat sin. They have misappropriated fasting, prayer and even the Lord’s Supper as a means to overcome sin. As I stated but want to make perfectly clear, all of these are Scriptural but were not given to overcome the evil which is present within us.
“ 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?” Romans 7:21-24.
It is the how that so many Believers have a problem with, the “how” to live for God. We know what we are suppose to do, our will is present, but the “how” to perform is not present. We all have to have this Romans Chapter 7 moment that the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul’s humility gave us; that moment when we realize our self will is present but we don’t know how to perform…we don’t know “how” to live the holy life the Lord Jesus calls us to live.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2.
The law of the Spirit (the law of the Holy Spirit) of life in Christ Jesus is HOW we are made free from the law of sin and death. “For by Grace are ye saved through faith;…” Ephesians 2:8. The Holy Spirit is only commissioned to free us from the law of sin and death when our faith is placed on Jesus, on Who He is and what He has done on Calvary’s Cross to free us from the law of sin and death. When we place a rule on our will, no matter the religious appearance, as a means of “how” to perform or “how” to live for God, we are living under law and not grace. We unknowingly and unwittingly place our faith in that law as a means to live for God. Just as the Jews had placed their faith in the Mosaic Law to save them when in fact it condemned them, we too place our faith in the taskmaster we have put in place as a means to overcome sin. The Mosaic Law was holy and the Lord Jesus Christ was the only One Who could fulfill the Mosaic Law. Even with good intentions, unless our faith is placed in Jesus and His finished work, we are living under law and not grace as a means to perform that which is good.
“But my faith is in Jesus!” I understand your faith is placed in Jesus and His finished Work for Salvation, praise the Lord and rightfully so. But where is your faith placed when it comes to how to perform that which is good today? What do you do when the law in your members war against the law of your mind? What do you do when you will to do that which is good but how to perform you know not? You do what the Holy Spirit showed us to do through the Apostle Paul, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2.
We don’t have to be swept to and fro with every wind of doctrine that places a new law on Believer’s in order to direct their faith to another means of victory over sin, that is the work of the devil. “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” Galatians 5:4. God’s grace come through faith in Jesus Christ and Him crucified, not by law.
-Donna Clark Warren