Romans 7:18-20 (NLT)
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.
The apostle explains the corruptness that lives within all of us is called our �sinful nature� or as some Bible translations say, �the flesh�. The apostle believes there is nothing good which can come from us alone. He sees the struggle in that God has given him a desire to do what is right and he wants to do what is right - but he doesn�t. The opposite is also true, he wants to avoid what is evil, yet he finds himself doing the very thing he desired not to do. The apostle acknowledges that sin dwells within him and it is sin causing him to act against the desires of God.
When the Apostle Paul was writing the words above he was already a Christian. Paul knew he was a sinful man. Paul desired to walk away from sin, which showed his repentant nature. Paul had complete trust that Jesus died for his sin and that he would be reconciled with God to live an eternal life in heaven. We see that even though Paul was a Christian - Paul struggled with sin. Paul was not perfect and the truth is there are none of us who are.
For those who do not know Jesus Christ, I want you to know Jesus Christ loves you no matter what you have done, no matter who you are, no matter what sin you have committed. JESUS CHRIST LOVES YOU! Jesus desires to give you the same gift of eternal life as he gave Paul and every other Christian.
For those who have placed their complete trust and faith in Jesus Christ, I pray you have the same desire as Paul to do well and to turn away from evil. As a Christian, sin is always present in our lives, but sin does not control us unless we give it control. 1 Corinthians 15:57 tells us, �But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.� The Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, but we receive God�s promise of freedom by believing in Jesus Christ. We had a passion for sin, but that passion was nailed to the cross when Jesus died. Our flesh still wants to rise up against us. As Paul put it, �I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from being proud.� We have to fight the temptation that comes at us, but we need Jesus to do it.
Maybe you have slipped and fallen into sin. Jesus can help you recover. Maybe sin has a tight grasp on you. Pray for mercy and grace and ask Jesus to take control. Maybe you want to do what is right and good but you are struggling. Ask Jesus to lead the way.
May God bless you, keep you close and pour His mercy and grace freely upon you.