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I Desire to Do Good, But…

I make hundreds of little decisions a day, and many times I get them wrong. These are the things I don’t want exposed – things I prefer never to admit. But I must be open about how I have failed, because only then can God forgive me, cleanse me and use me.

The words in Romans  7 sum up the Christian’s utter inability to live righteously, in his own strength.

I can anticipate the response that is coming: “I know that all God’s commands are spiritual, but I’m not. Isn’t this also your experience?” Yes. I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison.

What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary.
But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it.

I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different. (Romans 7:14-25 The Message)

Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Since the foundation of the world, God’s purpose has been to bring all things into harmony with Him, giving us an exhilarating and inspirational relief from the fearful and depressing heaviness of sin.

God, who is perfect and holy, has always desired such a personal relationship with man, but human sinfulness made that seem impossible.For one thing, we all have rebelled against God’s authority and deserve the death penalty (Romans 3:23; 6:23). But more than that, we were born with a corrupt nature inherited from Adam (Psalm 51:5), and neither good works nor moral values can overcome it.

Only when I abide in the Lord and in the power of His might, then I become strong. (Eph. 6:10)..

God alone could remedy the situation. His solution is to change our nature so we can be in His family. Nonetheless, divine justice must still be satisfied, and only a perfect sacrifice can pay for our sins (Deuteronomy 17:1).

Christ’s sacrifice gives us the opportunity to choose to live in Adam, under condemnation, or in Christ, justified. Christ accepts those who are unacceptable and receives those who are rejected. I am filled with gratitude that He accepts me.

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When we allow the Holy Spirit to teach us the depth of our sin and the dear price paid for those sins we will not be able to help but resist pride, recognize His mercy and love Him with all our being.

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Robin Sampson


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