I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Romans 7:15
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. Romans 7:19
You need to read this whole section in Romans 7 to get the full context and to feel the tension that the author, Paul is describing here. Among theologians there is a debate as to whether Paul is describing the non-believer or the Christian. We won’t get into that debate today, but even for the Christian, from experience we know what this feels like. We know what it is like to keep tripping up over the same sin. We are torn because on the one hand we long to do what is right, but over and over again, we continue to do what we know is wrong. Sometimes we wonder if God ever gets tired of hearing us say we are sorry… about the same issue. Can I get an amen?
Regardless of whether the person described here is a Christian or not, the solution to this problem is one and the same. We read in verse 25: Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! When we are struggling with sin, we need to make sure we don’t run to the wrong place; it’s normally easier to beat oneself up over failure and to try and put in place ways to try harder and to do better. It’s always easier to run to the Law. Easier than what? Tragically, easier than to run to God who has the solution.
Sometimes we need to re-programme our minds to understand that the default setting should always be to run to God. He is the One who delivers us through Christ our Lord! He has the solution to our problem. In 1 John 1:10, Paul is definitely writing to Christians when he says: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. That’s a promise and it is true no matter how many times we find ourselves falling in a particular area.
So, here’s the solution. Run to God. Ask him for forgiveness and thank him for his promise to purify you from unrighteousness. Then ask him to show you what you need to do. Receive the help of the Holy Spirit so that you can “go and sin no more”. You won’t get it right on your own, but with God’s liberating forgiveness and empowering Spirit, you will get there!