Romans 7:15-20 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 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. 20 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.
Can I get an English teacher to edit this passage please? I counted 23 uses of the word “do” or a form of it. That’s ridiculous! I’m not even sure what Paul is even saying here because I tripped over the word “do” so many times. Amusingly enough, this section actually reads like a rap. What if Paul was hangin out with his homeboys freestylin’ some dope rhymes and this is what he came up with? Then someone wrote it down and he included it in this letter. I’d like to think this is how this passage came about, because Paul actually thinking it through and writing it is much less believable. Right?
I sense that you think I’m nuts and to some degree you may be on to something. Paul was on to something too in this passage. If I can get past his redundant word usage, I can see he was trying really hard (too hard maybe) to make a point. You see this whole section is a setup for chapter seven. He is about to hit them with some serious truth that is all about the LIFE in the Spirit. But they need to understand how messed up they are first. They need to understand how dead they are and Paul includes himself in that category.
Sin is a monster really. Here Paul describes what that monster looks life in the life of a human. There is a desire to do right and yet sin goes and messes everything up. There is an understanding of how Christ wants me to live and sin takes a cheap shot at me and I blow it. Why can’t I just do the right thing? Why can’t I just stop sinning? Paul would say it is because sin is allowed to live. We all have that sin nature and if we are to live victorious Christian lives, we need to put it to death. It needs to go away. But it won’t just happen by trying really hard. Paul tried hard and still failed. It takes more than effort. It takes life in the Spirit of Christ. And I would tell you more about that, but it’s in chapter seven, so I’ll wait until tomorrow. Until then, understand that the conflict of interest going on in you is a struggle between your flesh and your spirit. Which side wins the struggle is entirely up to you – who will you give the authority to lead you?