14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15 I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can't. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don't. I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don't want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.22 I love God's law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
I don' know about anyone else but I am coming to really hate the sins i commit. I know that I will not be perfect until I go to be with Christ and realise that means I will continue to sin. But I really hate it. I don't want to sin anymore. I don't think I have quite reached the level Paul has in these verses:
22 I love God's law with all my heart.
But I am more and more coming to think that I want to follow God and his laws. I do not want to be a slave to sin anymore in my life. I do realise that it is not in my power to just stop sinning. But I really want to follow God and to do things his way.
The more pure and holy the heart is, it will have the more quick feeling as to the sin that remains in it. The believer sees more of the beauty of holiness and the excellence of the law. His earnest desires to obey, increase as he grows in grace. But the whole good on which his will is fully bent, he does not do; sin ever springing up in him, through remaining corruption, he often does evil, though against the fixed determination of his will. The motions of sin within grieved the apostle.
Forgive me if I seem a bit thick here but I want to ask a question. Looking at what Mathew Henry says and what Paul says here does this mean that what I am feeling is a good thing? I am genuinely bothered about my sin and I would say I am developing a desire to obey God. I have written before about the fact that we should be at war with sin as John Piper has so eloquently said. Is my hatred of sin a clue that I am going in the right direction. Is the fact that I care about sin a very good thing and a sign of progress in my life. I care that I am going wrong when so often before I did not. My sin never used to bother me now it grieves me just like the Apostle Paul (although I would bet not to the same extent). As I understand it I will not be able to stop sinning although that should not stop me trying. But if I understand it right I am on the right track. If I continue on this path then I will grow to love God more and his law. Far from being depressed that I cannot quit sinning I should take heart from the fact that my heart is moving in the right way.
Depend on God — and Do More
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