The Key to Living in Victory - Part 1

Have you made New Year's resolutions that you haven't kept? Have you ever repented of something, and prayed in earnest, "God, I'll never do that again!", only to find yourself committing that sin again? You are not alone, and this is something every Christ-follower experiences.

Even the Apostle Paul experienced this. Read what Paul writes in his letter to the Romans:

"For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice...O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?"

We live in a body of death. A body controlled by the sin nature. We cannot control it, and we cannot stop in our own power from doing those things we know we shouldn't do. We are powerless. Have you ever felt powerless over sin? You are! Paul realized this, and cried out, "O wretched man that I am!"

Your first step to gain lasting victory over sin, to grow into righteousness and holiness, is to recognize that you in your own power are really powerless. If you rely on your own power you will fail again. That is why Paul said "to will is present with me", e.g., he had in himself the desire to do the right things, but he goes on to say, "how to perform what is good I do not find." He recognized that he did not have within himself the "how" part. The power to do the right thing was not inside of him.

Do you want to be a Christ-follower? Jesus told His disciples to "Be Holy, even as I am Holy." The first step towards living a holy life is to recognize what Paul did- that we are wretched and incapable of living holy lives in our own power.