Power and Paul

The apostle Paul says an amazing thing in the seventh chapter of Romans, “for I know that in me dwelleth no good thing”. (v.18) One translation explains it this way,  “for I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it. I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out”. The apostle Paul, who met Jesus on the road to Damascus, whose letters form a foundation for the Christian Church, who cast out demons and healed sicknesses, said he had no power? How much more can each one of us reflect upon our own spiritual walk and say the same? Too often we concentrate on our inabilities, our fears and failures and let them overwhelm us. But Paul writes just eight verses later,  “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit”. (Rom. 8:1) We don’t have to beat ourselves up over our failures. We have a God who knows our frailty and will not condemn us no matter how we think he should. But, did you see the condition? There is no condemnation if we walk after the spirit. That means putting away or avoiding those things that make us stumble and seeking after Christ and His righteousness. Sometimes there is a tendency to think, “I am forgiven, so it doesn’t really matter what I do”. Not so. If something is sinful, it needs to be dealt with and not dwelt with. “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid”. (Rom.6:1) We need that power to live above those sins that easily beset us”. (Heb. 12:1) That power, the power Paul found, was Jesus. “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me  (Gal. 2:20) The power to live above ourselves is there,                 waiting for all who need strength and have a desire to change. That power is Jesus.

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