When Rebekah found two nations struggling in her womb, she asked the Lord what every believer asks – “Why am I thus?” This is exactly what Paul experienced (Rom. 7:18-21).
“I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing...The evil which I would not, that I do...When I would do good, evil is present with me.” Why? Why am I in this condition? Why is sin so prominent in my nature? Why is evil always present with me? Why is there a constant warfare in my soul? These are questions that I am frequently asked by concerned souls who honestly acknowledge their sin. And these are questions I frequently ask myself.
The Word of God alone supplies us with the answer to them. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). It is as simple and as profound as that. All true believers are people with two natures - “Flesh” and “Spirit.” Those two natures are constantly at war with one another. The spirit will never surrender to the flesh and the flesh will never bow to the spirit. We do not walk in the flesh. We walk in the Spirit. And those who walk in the Spirit do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Yet, we never escape those lusts. We will never be free from “the body of this death” until we have dropped this body in death. Painful as this condition is, it is best for us, while we live in this world, that we live in this condition for three reasons:
1. We must never forget that the only thing that distinguishes us from other people is the distinguishing grace of God (1 Cor. 4:7).
2. We must never forget that our only ground of acceptance with God is the blood and righteousness of Christ (1 Cor. 1:30).
3. We must never become content with our existence in this world (2 Cor. 5:1-9).