“18 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
This flesh of which we dwell, and I’m speaking of/to Believers, is bent toward law. It has been espoused to law since we were born (Romans 7:1-4). Give it a method or rule unto which to abide and it is quickened.
“For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.” Romans 7:5
This rule of which we place is often good. It is with good intent that we declare our allegiance to this rule or method to gain that which we are seeking but it will bring forth fruit unto death…not God.
“Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.” Romans 7:13
The dead fruit brought forth by that which seemed good, that good intention, became exceedingly sinful. Why?
“20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.
21 I do not frustrate the Grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Galatians 2:20-21
The flesh which lusts after and is bent toward laws to do that which is good, is not denied but embraced for it’s good intention. Our self will and will power is deemed sufficient to overcome the flesh. Our faith is not placed in the Cross of Christ for the victory, but in our own abilities and our own abilities do not, cannot and will not produce fruit unto God. THAT is the ministry of the Holy Spirit. We, in our carnal minds, take the position of the Holy Spirit…we usurp His ministry and take it upon ourselves to create in us a new creature.
To be sure, this commandeering of the Holy Spirit’s ministry, does not “create” anything. We are not co-creators. As we attempt in vain to take the place of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and lives, we are attempting in vain to rehabilitate that which is old. God doesn’t rehabilitate, He RECREATES. The ministry of the Holy Spirit removes that which is old; they pass away and all things become new.
Our flesh is quickened by law. Our emotions are often used by the devil to draw us to law…to that which produces exceedingly sinful ways and fruit unto death.
Our spirit is quickened by hearing the Word of God as the Holy Spirit bears witness to Truth. Proudly declaring our allegiance to the latest method coming down the pike for victory over sin is not humbling ourselves before the Lord; submitting unto Him.
Denying ourselves and choosing to follow Jesus is a daily fight. Our flesh wants to lead us into faith in laws being taught as Biblical commandments.
To pick up the cross Jesus has afforded whosoever will believe, we must first deny ourselves. We must allow Him to be Lord of our lives even when the laws seem ‘good’ and ‘right’. If it is not of faith, it is not pleasing to God.
Choose this day to live by faith of the Son of God, Jesus Christ and Him crucified…be determined to know nothing else among you.
-Donna Clark Warren