In Romans 7, is Paul talking hypothetically about himself before his conversion, or is he talking about himself at the time he was writing?
"14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth 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.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."
Thanks for this, and I do have a question.
I've come to a place several times when I have felt like I can't do it on my own nor do I want to, and cry out to God to take the reigns of my life. I believe those were sincere, but they haven't lasted before I find that yet again I have tried to take back the reigns.
I'm wondering if there's always one definitive crisis that we can point to and say "that's when I handed my whole self over to the Lord", or if for some it's a series of smaller "crisis" where we surrender more and more ground to Him over time.
A friend illustrated this point in this way: sometimes rocks are destroyed slowly by water erosion, and sometimes they're smashed all at once.
It is reasonable to think that God works on us over time and that would include this area as well, both in preparing us for the crisis and the life after the crisis. I believe that there is a period in time where the crisis hits a peak. You may have reached the peak or it is yet to come (I never try to tell some one where they are in the process. It is best for God to clarify that with the individual). The fact that you are wanting this is a good sign either way. The crisis experience is followed by a progressive experience. We could illustrate this part using your analogy as once the path way has been blasted open then the rest of our lives we go through the process of rock removal ... one stone at a time. The difference is before the crisis the person is trying their hardest to move the rock, while after the crisis God is empowering them in seeing these stones destroyed. One pictures a life living in our strength our way and the other living a life in His strength His way.
Our walk with the Lord is an active one. Dying to self calls for us to be active in warfare against the flesh by taking hold and putting to use the weapons of our warfare, which weapons of course are not carnal, but mighty in Christ.
We pray -
We surrender - we confess that we cannot give up or overcome _________ (fill in the blank) and that we need Him, our Lord to help us...
We hate the sin for we realize how it keeps us from loving God with all our mind, strength, heart... From bringing him the glory due him.
We surround ourselves with Godly EVERYTHING.
Primarily we abide in His word which is able to renew our mind and change our heart.
The flesh, the world and the devil are our enemies.
The struggle between the flesh and the Spirit is the struggle of the real power of sin in us who are saved.
The process of Sanctification involves WARFARE!!!
The power of the flesh is broken in us, but not totally gone, the war goes on and continues to go on until we die.
The flesh is our old nature, but we are not in the flesh, but the problem is that though we are in the Spirit we can still performed the works of the flesh.
let us submit to the Holy Spirit to put away the works of the flesh.
Hi David, Thanks for this.
Convicting and encouraging. I will continue to fight because I believe He has me.