By Steven Davis
“I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it” (Romans 7:19-20).
This week and next, Dr. Randy is going through his teaching series entitled: Making Better Decisions. If you’ve had a difficult time making good decisions, or maybe an easy time making bad decisions, you’re going to find great help from this series.
But there’s one other complication of which you need to be aware: sin. You don’t live in a vacuum where you can objectively choose between right or wrong, good or evil, or even left or right. In fact we live in a time where the words right and wrong and good and evil have lost their meaning.
The problem is you and I have a sin nature, and it impacts every decision we’ll ever make (think, imagine, etc.). The good news is, if you are a Christ follower, you have the Holy Spirit living within you, and He has given you a new heart, new mind and a new nature. The bad news is you’re in the middle of the war—“For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please” (Galatians 5:17).
You can see how making a good or better decision becomes problematic if your sin nature is leading you around. What did Paul say above in Romans? “I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.” So when you make the kind of decision Paul is talking about, you (and those around you) may wonder, “Where did that come from?”
If you read through the entire chapter of Romans 7, you could despair like Paul at the end of the chapter: “Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?” (v. 24). Fortunately the answer comes immediately: “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord” (v. 25). Then comes chapter 8: “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death”(vs. 1-2).
He has given you power and freedom, because He has given you His Spirit. You truly are capable of making good and better decisions. So the next time you’re faced with a decision, say a prayer and thank Him that He has freed you and given you power to make a better decision. And if people wonder where that came from, you can tell them: the Holy Spirit.
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