In Romans 7 Paul laments that he keeps doing what he knows he shouldn’t and doesn’t really want to do and doesn’t get around to doing what he knows he should and really wants to but the sin in him keeps bossing him around. Can you relate to this condition? We have a polite term for this in psychiatry, “Cognitive dissonance”. Sounds almost genteel right? Paul calls it “Oh wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I was all set for the answer, but all I get in the passage is Romans 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
I was raised in a holiness church where people claimed to have had a second work of Grace that rendered them unable to sin or at least capable of never sinning. They didn’t seem all that holy to me. I think they were just tire of pursuing holiness in their own strength and declared themselves perfect.
I think that freedom from “cognitive dissonance” or the struggle with old programming is a state that we will all find ourselves in until we are free from the presence of sin, as my dad is for the last 3 weeks since he went to heaven. I am tempted to say ” lucky him” and when that day comes it will be wonderful. But, right now I say “lucky me” The Lord is teaching me not to resent the struggle with old programming or temptation, it is evidence that I am in the middle of the battle, it teaches me to hate sin and hunger for righteousness, to stay in the word and near to fellow believers, to be constant in prayer etc. The Lord promises power to not give in to temptation not deliverance from the struggle.