October 11, 2021 - Romans 7:14-25
When I was in high school, my football coach wanted me to carry the football in my left hand. In order to accomplish this in the game, he had me carry it everywhere I went for about two weeks so I would learn how it felt and to be comfortable with the ball in the opposite hand I had normally carried it. It took time and dedication to change my thinking but it soon became natural to carry the football in my left hand.
We have been examining how as a believer we have died to the law and to the sinful activities that once ruled our lives. We see that by being born anew we are no longer slaves to the power and control of the sin nature with which we were born. Even with this new nature, we must be dedicated to practice new habits and a godly lifestyle.
Paul now recognizes that even though there is freedom, individuals must still make a choice. The routine and the lifestyle that we were once accustomed to before salvation will tempt to draw us back into that old pattern of living. That enticement stimulates us to begin to sin again, even though, we do not desire or seek that sin action in our lives.
Paul presents a principle which encourages believers to live a new life that is pleasing to the Lord and not continue in the activities of the unsaved life we had before salvation. This begins by changing our thoughts which direct out daily activities. If we do not change our thoughts, our actions will not be altered. Romans 12:2 states, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” When our thoughts are dominated by the words of Jesus, our actions will begin to correspond.
I believe that is why the psalmist continually petitions us to meditate day and night on the Lord’s Word and to memorize the truths so that our minds are in tune with our Heavenly Father’s mind. Psalm 119 is the longest psalm and the majority of the 176 verses emphasize studying and obeying His word so we can know and follow its teachings.
Paul recognized the struggle of sin and its power upon each believer to whom he was writing. His challenge in verse 25 is to set our minds upon the Word of God. May we dedicate time each day to read and meditate upon God’s word and allow Him to renew our mind daily to keep us from sin.