“I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. 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. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 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.” Romans 7:21-25
This scripture describes a man that is trying to be good and holy by their own efforts. Every time they lose the battle because they do not have any power over sin. Paul knows this well; he had tried for years to be good according to the law, but he always failed. Then on the road to Damascus a wonderful thing happened to Paul, Jesus Christ came into his life. He found where the power would come from for the victory over sin and death. “He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. and the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:4-6) Paul answered the call to follow Jesus and his life changed after that moment.
The legalist says, “Obey the law and you will do good and live a good life.” But the law only reveals and arouses sin, showing how sinful we are. It is impossible for us to obey the law because we have a sinful nature that rebels against the law. Even if I think I have done good, I know that evil is present. The law is good, but by nature, I am bad. The law cannot enable us to do good. The great news is, Jesus won! Now we can have the power through Jesus Christ to live the life that God planned for us.