Daily Devotion Friday, 21 June 2019
The good that I will to do
In his letter to the Romans, Paul referred to ‘the good that I will to do’. Rom 7:19. He noted that he was unable to do the self‑defined good that he willed to do and, instead, practised the very evil that he did not want to do. Consequently, he was a prisoner of the law of sin and death that was in his body. Rom 7:19,23.
When Paul spoke of his ‘will’, he was referring to the initiative of his own spirit, or identity, to achieve the righteousness that was defined by the Law, or word, of God. In the exercise of his will, Paul set his mind on doing the works of righteousness. Although his will and his mind were set on good, he always failed to achieve what was expected of him according to the Law. Rom 7:14‑15.
Paul explained that his problem was ‘another law’ within his spirit that was warring with the law of his mind. Paul did not mean that the focus of the other law and the focus of his mind were contrary. Rather, he meant that the impact of the other law upon his will, which was part of his mind, was that it motivated him to achieve life through the faculties of his flesh. Thus, he always failed to achieve life, because the mind set on the flesh is death, and is hostile to God. Rom 8:6‑7.
The way of the flesh is inherently and fundamentally contrary to the way that God lives. The more that Paul desired to have life through the motivation of the other law, and took initiatives to obtain life this way, the more he failed and came under the condemnation of the very law he had set his mind on keeping. Paul acknowledged that this was a wretched state, declaring, ‘O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?’ Rom 7:24.
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