The war within myself is a conflict that I have had to deal with for a number of years. As time passed I often wondered when this battle would end so I could live in peace and free from guilt.
The Apostle Paul, an eloquent communicator of matters pertaining to the Christian life, gives insight to his own struggle that provides understanding and hope. You can refer to the book of Romans, chapters 7 and 8, for additional insight.
In his letter to the church in Rome Paul writes,
"So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God...
But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code...
And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me...
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. 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...
For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin."
Many of us struggle to live according to the requirements of God's law. We realize that what the law requires of us is indeed good and will benefit us. However, more often than not we end up on the losing side of the war within us. In the end we are left to deal with the aftermath... condemnation.
Paul explains that we, too, are doing exactly the thing we are trying NOT to do, i.e., get drunk, smoke, cuss, lie, cheat, etc.
We acknowledge that the law is good and therefore agree with it. In agreeing with the law we are also revealing that it is not our "inner man", our mind and soul doing the wrong, violating the law, but this thing called sin that lives in us. Sin, the nature which we inherited from Adam.
If we are doing the very thing that we don't actually want to do then we, the inner man, are no longer the one doing it but sin, which dwells in out outer man. So the battle we face daily is one between our flesh, in which Paul explains nothing good dwells, and the inner man which agrees with the law. We begin to feel like a prisoner trapped within our own body. This same body which is a slave to the sin nature.
In our minds, our inner man, we are agreeing with the law and desire to serve the law rather than our sinful nature. But this flesh of ours continues to drive us towards sin.
But thanks be to Jesus Christ and the finished work of the cross. There is now no condemnation for those who are living in Christ. The law of the Spirit of Life in Christ has now set us free from the law of sin and death which dwelt in our flesh.
In other words, Jesus did for us what we could not do. He took upon himself our sin nature and then paid the price for that sin; past, present and future. By doing this he fulfilled the requirements of the law. Something we could not do.
A supernatural exchange also took place at the cross of Calvary; His righteousness was imparted to us, our sinful nature was placed upon Him while he was on the cross. He was innocent yet he paid the penalty as if he were guilty.
This tremendous price was paid because He loved us. This enormous sacrifice was made by the Father because He loved us and wanted to be reunited to us.
Here's the revelation I want you to get from this:
There is a reason that God, in the form of Jesus Christ, came to dwell among men. Be assured my friend that this Jesus can relate to everything that is distinctly human. He overcame the war within that you and I deal with every day so that we would not have to struggle without hope. His spirit and strength has been imparted to us so we can live in victory.
God's grace, His unmerited favor, assures us that the war within us can be won because he assured the victory for us 2000 years ago. You just have to believe His word and take it as a guarantee that God will uphold what he promised us in His word.
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