The War Raging On Inside

Posted: February 1, 2014 in The Christian Standard
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We know that the law is spiritual, but I am not spiritual since sin rules me as if I were its slave.  I do not understand the things I do.  I do not do what I want to do, and I do the things I hate.  And if I do not want to do the hated things I do, that means I agree that the law is good.  But I am not really the one who is doing these hated things; it is sin living in me that does them.  Yes, I know that nothing good lives in me–I mean nothing good lives in the part of me that is earthly and sinful.  I want to do the things that are good, but I do not do them.  I do not do the good things I want to do, but I do the bad things I do not want to do.  So if I do things I do not want to do, then I am not the one doing them.  It is sin living in me that does those things.  So I have learned this rule:  When I want to do good, evil is there with me.  In my mind, I am happy with God’s law.  But I see another law working in my body, which makes war against the law that my mind accepts.  That other law working in my body is the law of sin, and it makes me its prisoner.  What a miserable man I am!  Who will save me from this body that brings me death?  I thank God for saving me through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So in my mind I am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful self I am a slave to the law of sin.”  (Romans 7:20-25)

“Christ died, and we have been joined with him by dying too.  So we will also be joined with him by rising from the dead as he did.  We know that our old life died with Christ on the cross so that our sinful selves would have no power over us and we would not be slaves to sin.  Anyone who has died is made free from sin’s control.  If we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him.  Christ was raised from the dead, and we know that he cannot die again.  Death has no power over him now.  Yes, when Christ died, he died to defeat the power of sin one time–enough for all time.  He now has a new life, and his new life is with God.  In the same way, you should see yourselves as being dead to the power of sin and alive with God through Christ Jesus.  So, do not let sin control your life here on earth so that you do what your sinful self wants to do.  Do not offer the parts of your body to serve sin, as things to be used in doing evil.  Instead, offer yourselves to God as people who have died and now live.  Offer the parts of your body to God to be used in doing good.  Sin will not be your master, because you are not under law but under God’s grace.”  (Romans 6:5-14)

We are all born into this world as slaves.  From birth, even the most affluent and genetically strongest among us have the chips of life stacked against us because of sin, which ends in death for every single one of us.  No human except Christ has ever lived without the shackles of sin constantly tearing at us, making us do things that violate our conscience and stopping us from doing the things that would lift our spirits up and give us hope.  What a truly miserable and hopeless existence.

Those who do not have Christ are spiritually dead.  Their willpower is no match for Satan and his kingdom of sin and darkness.  Their lives are a miserable cycle of doing the bad things they don’t want to do and not doing the good things they do want to do.  With hardened hearts, they accept their lot in life, doing whatever they feel they need to do in order to survive. They don’t realize that no one survives sin.

As Paul exclaims, though, thank God for Christ Jesus who gives us freedom!  Our dead spirits are born again into the life of Christ, which is free from the chains of sin and death.  Christ lives in us and because of His authority, we do not battle sin with mere human willpower, but with the perfect will of Christ.

The battle is a lifelong battle because we’re living in a fallen, war-torn world for now.  But we’re just passing through.  This world is not our home.  We belong to the Kingdom of Heaven and our Master is the Most High God, Who gives us freedom and calls us His children.  He gives us all we need to resist Satan and sin.  He fights for us when we call out to Him.  He places us out of reach of evil when we call upon His mighty name.  He is never far from us and He always provides us a way to escape the trap of temptation and sin. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Indeed, in Christ, we are no longer slaves and prisoners.  We are heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven.  What a contrast!

Satan will do everything he can to steal God’s promises from us, so the war rages on inside.  As God’s children, we have the power to stand, to resist and to overcome.  We are FREE in Christ.  Our lives must reflect our freedom.  Our lives must be the evidence that the One who conquered sin and death is our Lord.

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