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.
When Paul speaks about the law that he finds at work within him (v.21), the law he is referring to is not the Ten Commandments or the Old Covenant (as mentioned in yesterday’s devo). Instead, the word ‘law’ in verse 21 in Greek means ‘principle’. By employing this understanding of principle, he is saying because of our regeneration, a believer (including himself) has a new nature or capacity for loving spiritual truths. Yet, recognizing the facts and reality of his experience, he sees this principle at work within him. Paul then states this principle is continually doing two things: 1) waging war against the law of the believer’s mind and 2) making him a prisoner of the law of sin at work within his members. Furthermore, despite Paul’s identification with Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection and his efforts to have Christ-honoring attitudes and actions, he cannot in his own power resist his indwelling sin nature. In and of himself he repeatedly experiences defeat and frustration.
What a great conclusion Paul drew from his own experiences. Paul cannot in and of himself resist sin. He can only win victory through the help of Jesus Christ as we read in verse 25.
No matter how hard we try or will ourselves to resist sin, we will never be able to do it on our own. Which sin do you need to surrender to God to receive a complete victory over it, so that you can look a little more like Jesus today?
Thoughts for the day
- What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
- What does this passage tell you about humanity?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
- Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.
Pray for unity across the churches in your area and invite the Holy Spirit to be at work.