The Pull of Sin

I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn, I can’t make myself do right. I want to, but I can’t. When I want to do good, I don’t. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. . . . Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin?
Romans 7:18-19, 24
A foundation principle about sin is its power. Sin is a strong, dominant force working against our good intentions. Sometimes the driving urge for sex, gambling, drugs, or other rebellion pulls on us like a powerful riptide sucking us out to sea. We struggle in our minds and wrestle with the urges, but we are pulled under by the sheer force of sin (our natural desires).
Afterward, in shame and despair, we cry out to God, saying what the apostle Paul said in the verses above, feeling helpless and in despair over his sin.
Paul understood the power of sin. He was a well-educated man, yet his education did not free him from sin. Paul discovered that trying to battle sin with his own strength did not work. Knowledge alone about God and his ways do not keep us from sin.
That lesson speaks to us today. If we attempt to overcome sin through willpower and biblical knowledge alone, we will fail. If we try not to sin by believing we can do what is right in our own power, we will fail. Only the Spiritual power of the risen Christ in us, the Holy Spirit, has the power to declare victory over sin (see Ephesians 2:4-5). The hymn writer Charles Wesley summarized it well in his hymn “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing”:
He breaks the power of canceled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.
If Christ alone holds power over sin, then it is only by relying on His power in us that we may exercise power over sin. Christ alone avails over the power of sin. Acknowledge this truth today, surrender to His leading, and trust in His power– that you may have power over the sin that pull against your life! God bless you and empower you in your fight today!
In His Service,
Eric Barnes