I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand.For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin. (Romans 7:15-25, NRSV)
Do you feel the tension?
This passage always reminds me of the song War Inside by Todd Agnew (you can hear it below).
Paul here tells the Romans that once God comes in we are new creations and the power in our flesh that wants us to do the things we don’t want to do is sin, and the grace of God is more powerful, but there is a war between grace and sin inside of us every day.
But through the power of God, we can succeed. Not on our own, but through His power, we can do what He needs us to do.