Prepare Ye The Way!

For the Love of the Spirit

The Good that I Want to Do

For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.  Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. (Romans 7:19-20 NIV)

For Christians, the good that we want to do, we don’t.  Why is it that no matter how much we desire to do the good we always end up doing the opposite?  Is it really “always?”  Paul in his letter to the Romans doesn’t say sometimes or even most times.  He says “I do not,” period.  He goes on to say that he does evil, that he does NOT want!  Period!  This seems extreme, and in fact it is.  We know that many times we do actually complete the act of goodness that we desire.  The closer we come to the will of God in loving our brothers and sisters the more the performance of his will becomes natural and without conscious thought.  Still we continue to do the “evil we do not want.”  But not always.  We resist temptations to do harm to others.

But this statement of Paul’s resonates deeply in the Christian.  Why?  If we know it is not nearly so extreme as Paul suggests, if we realize that the closer we get to the will of God, then we also know that, more or less, the balance between doing the good and doing the evil is kept in check.  The closer we get to the will of God, the more the scales tip in our favor.  Can the scales ever tip so far in our favor that the evil that we do is canceled out?

The reason that it resonates down to our very souls is that we know that the evil we do can never be canceled out — not while we are still walking around wearing human skin! Saint Paul tells us that there are two laws.  There is God’s law which we want to obey and don’t and the law of Sin in our flesh which we fight against yet end up obeying.  This is the dualism.  This is why we do not do the good we want but rather the evil which we despise.

Even in the world divorced from Christianity or any other spiritual faith, humanity is constantly at war.  Even when we feel, or fool, ourselves into believing that we are doing the good, there is a nagging concern that we are not doing good enough or that it is for the wrong motive.  The man or woman who works hard to be successful and succeeds at it may find themselves neglecting personal relationships in a devil’s trade.  The one who devotes themselves to family can and often does punish themselves mentally for not doing more to be successful in the world of commerce or the world at large.

There is only one reason for this spiritual agony.  It is the Sin inside.  Sin is not the individual omissions or commissions of acts against the law of God.  There are no “sins.”

There is only Sin — singular and universal.

That laundry list of offenses that we call “sins” are just crimes and violations of the law.  SIN is why we do it in the first place.  SIN is the very nature and condition of humanity.  That last sentence sounds vaguely important, allow me repeat it.

Sin is the very nature and condition of humanity.

For those who are, as Paul says, “deliver[ed] through Jesus” we are not part sin/part righteous.  We are 100% Sin and 100% righteous.  If we are born again by the Holy Spirit, then there is no paradox.  In our flesh, in our “Sinful parts” we are 100% human and doomed to die.  In our spirits we are 100% children of God and bound for Paradise.

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. (Romans 7:25)

What is God’s law?  It is the law of love.

It  is only by realizing from the beginning that there is no escaping this sinful nature that we can be saved from it.  Relieving the symptoms does nothing to stop the disease.  The breaking of the individual statutes of the law is merely the symptomatic behavior of a diseased individual.

The cure for the disease is Christ Jesus.

When, by the law of the Spirit living within us, we actively struggle against the law of death which is the sole province of the Flesh, we bring an end to the ultimate goal of the the law of sin, which is always death.  We foil the endgame of Satan.  It will come naturally to put an end to the symptoms of death as the Spirit works within us.  Our faith will become apparent by our works — not the other way around.  By ourselves we cannot put an end to death by doing good works and eliminating individual evil acts.  Only by faith in the love of God and reliance on the salvation from this very thing through the sacrifice of Jesus can this be accomplished.

We are duty bound to live in the flesh.  We are duty bound to live in the Sinful parts of ourselves, but we are not duty bound BY the flesh to do so.  We who are in the Spirit, are required by that Spirit to live according the law of the Spirit which is the law of love and life.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4)


December 19, 2011 - Posted by | Redemption, Sin | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] know, I spoke in depth on this in The Good that I Want to Do, so I will not dwell on it here.  Let’s just say it points out the difference between sin […]

    Pingback by High Crimes and Misdemeanors « loveofthespirit | December 19, 2011 | Reply

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