Free From Failure
Read Romans 8:1-2 (NIV)
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
Have you ever felt like a failure? How does this verse encourage you?
Why do I keep blowing it? Why do I keep on doing things I don’t want to do and fail to do the things that I know I should? If that resonates with you, you are in good company. The apostle Paul said, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do the very thing I hate... For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out” (Romans 7:15,18b, ESV).
The apostle Paul himself was frustrated at his own repeated failures to conquer his flesh. He said that he agrees with God’s laws and desperately wants to follow them. But his sinful nature is a slave to the law of sin (Romans 7:25b).
So what hope is there for us? Paul proclaimed our hope in today’s verse. He said that those of us who are in Christ Jesus will not be condemned. Though we have sinned and even when we still struggle with sin, we now serve the law of the Spirit and have been set free from the law of sin and death.
Paul knew that if he tried to war against his flesh in his own strength, he was doomed to failure. He loved God’s law and he hated his sinful desires, but he still struggled to overcome them. He knew that the only hope he had was daily dependence on Jesus Christ. He expressed his gratitude that God had sent the Spirit to live in him and give him the power he needed to overcome the law of sin and death. Paul sought to walk by the Spirit rather than by the flesh but he also knew that the Christian walk is a process. No one is perfect, no one can justify themselves, and being transformed into God’s image takes time.
“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25a). That is the good news! There is the hope we need! God is the One who delivers us through Jesus Christ. Our Lord paid the price that we owed for our sin and He rose again victorious over it all! When we walk with Him, we walk in that place of victory and freedom.
Friends, I know how hard it is to feel like a failure because you continue to struggle with sin. But take heart! Day by day, He strengthens us and He has promised the ultimate victory. When you struggle with sin, remember that your hope is not in your own ability to conquer sin. Your hope is that Jesus already has conquered your sin. He’s justified you. He is the One who gives you the strength to make progress and experience victory. And one day, the battle will be over. We will win because He has already won. Amen.
Lord, I confess that I often do the very things that hate and fail to do what I know is right. I get so frustrated that I fall and fail so often. I need your power and your help to experience victory in the areas of sin in my life. Help me to walk by the Spirit instead of the flesh. Thank You for the promise of the ultimate victory in You. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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