As far back as we can remember, we have learned how to solve problems: eat with a spoon, walk, tie shoes, and even to read. The older we’ve gotten, the more complicated the problems.
Paul, led by the Holy Spirit, wants us to understand the problem and solution of sin in us. So far, in the first six and half chapters of Romans we have addressed these issues:
- The righteous lives by faith
- God’s wrath is on the unrighteous
- God is our righteous Judge
- Abraham was justified by faith
- The promise is a realized through faith
- Peace comes through faith,
- There is death in Adam and life in Christ.
- We are released from the Law, dead to sin and alive to Christ.
The Holy Spirit has spent a tremendous amount of time teaching us about the newness of life. The truth is, we still have not addressed the problem, and the problem is the struggle of sin in us. Paul is so concerned about this problem that he uses himself as an example so we can’t so he is exempt because he’s an Apostle.
The Problem-Solving Process
We are wired to fix things ourselves. When my daughter was in her teens, she would come home every day after school moody and frustrated.
I didn’t know what to do.
I prayed and then used the tried-and-true problem-solving process I learned as a leader in the military. I had her write the problem down in words on a sheet of paper, define the problem, and consider potential solutions. We evaluated the pros and cons and then implement solutions until the issue resolved.
This worked to help her externalize an internal problem. The Holy Spirit is using Paul in the same way, but it is spiritual.
Define the Problem
Before we can define the problem, we need to understand each separate working parts: us, sin, and the law.
Human beings have human form and attributes – prone to error and weakness, set to satisfy our desires and even trust our emotions. We are complex creatures with behavioral patterns, attitudes, and passions.
Additionally, we are spirit, soul, and body.
Our spirit is immaterial, intelligent, and sentient. Our personality is the essence of our soul. The body houses the spirit and soul. The body is our physical substance—the main and principal part of living, communicating with those around us, learning, and experience perception and meaning through our senses: hear, see, smell, touch, and taste. We can respond, understand, and make decisions.
A rule of conduct or action prescribed by custom or practice of a community. The law is made up precepts or rules of behavior commonly. We accept them as a valid guide.
Yet, as spiritual beings, the Law of God is His revealed will set forth in Sacred Scripture. The Law consists of God’s precepts, statutes, ordinances, commands, and principles set to govern our life for our good and the good of others.
Sin is an offense against religious/moral laws, an action felt to be, by others, as highly reprehensible. Sin often comes with a serious shortcoming or fault.
Technically, sin brings us creatures into a vitiated or corrupt state in which the “self” estranged from God.
Sin is a biting word. We refuse to use it to describe ourselves because we want to do what we want to do even if it causes great harm.
For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold as a slave to sin. For I do not understand what I am doing because I do not practice what I want to do, but do what I hate… What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
(Romans 7:14-15 & 24)
Now that we have defined the problem, we are free to focus on the solution. We could review the process and even diagram how it works—who does what and how does that impact on all involved. We could even evaluate alternate solutions.
As it is, we could brainstorm significant goals to get out of sin, specify resolutions, and even come up with some splendid ideas. Maybe we need to get someone to help us.
Yes, we need help. The problem is that sin corrupts; it degrades us to where not one of the solutions are workable. Our human, unspiritual plans will fail, our target will be off, and our implementation flawed.
We cannot rescue ourselves from ourselves!
One and Only Resolution
Humanly speaking, there is only one way out and that is through Christ Jesus. It doesn’t make sense but it works. We must stop resisting the Lord! This is not a “let go and let God” type of solution. It’s taking God’s gentle hand to guide you down right paths, set our feet on avenues of right ways, and establish our minds on the byways of right-thinking.
The solution is faith, and reconciliation–gaining a right standing with God. It is walking in the Spirit.
Does this mean we will never sin again?
Regretfully, the answer to that question is no. But because we are born again we will handle the sin problem differently. We will not make it a habit to sin repeatedly.
discovered,The ugly truth is sin separates us from God and it hurts to walk away from such a treasured intimate relationship with Him. It hurts down into the recesses of the heart when we are unreconciled with Him. As soon as the sin is discovered we run (not walk) to Him seeking His forgiveness.
The with-God life is a gift, and Christ Himself makes it possible. The law of sin and death is no longer destroying us. We belong to the Lord, to newness of life by faith and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord! So then with my mind I myself am serving the law of God, but with my flesh, the law of sin. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you from the law of sin and death. What the law could not do since it was weakened by the flesh. God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering. In order that the law’s requirement would be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
(Romans 7:25 and Romans 8:1-4)
Now, as sister disciples, we understand the problem with sin in us so it’s safe to enter Chapter 8. Lets take a few minutes to remember the theme of Romans once again:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith (
Call to Action
Meditate on what you’ve learned today. Sister disciple, do you understand how weak and limiting we are as human beings? Do you see how important it is to live a with-God life?
Take a clear look at these sacred verses to grasp just how God made a way where there was no other way. Allow the Holy Spirit of truth to pierce your heart, refresh your mind, and set your soul rejoicing.
Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hinderance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us., keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you, from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world but was revealed in the last times for your sake.
And He died for all that those who live should live no longer for themselves but for Him, who died for them and was raised again.
(II Corinthians 5:15)
If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
Christine Malkemes, https://christinemalkemes.com/. Founder of Words Whispered. Used with permission.