Law Cannot Save from Sin
13 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 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. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 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. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
So, now that we’ve seen that the law is incapable of saving us from our sins, how then shall we live? I mean, yeah, we’re broken from the bondage to our sinful life, but does that mean that we’re incapable of sinning? Unfortunately, no. We’re still in our same sinful bodies and, as it’s that seed of Adam that’s in us, passed to us from our fathers, we’re still capable of sinning against God. We now, however, have a heart for doing things that are good before God, and we seek to please Him. So then, how can a sinning person maintain a strong relationship with God? In constant prayer and repentance. In fact, that’s one of the signs of a genuine convert to Christianity – that when we sin (and we all do) there is a heartfelt pain that’s associated with it that shows us that we are breaking the heart of our God and Father who has forgiven us and that we know we’re adding pain and torture to Jesus on the cross to pay for the sins we commit. This is one of the most comforting portions of scripture as it shows that even Paul, an apostle chosen by God for the purpose of carrying the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world, is still a man just like us. This is just like hearing the pope declare that he has a trouble with pornography or that he is struggling with the sin of pride. It takes him from the high and elevated place that we put him on when we talk about this great man of God who spent so much time and effort to declare that all sins can be forgiven to both the Jews and the Gentiles, and places him down among us, where we can all have fellowship with him. It states that, while we are saints, wholly forgiven by God, we still sin, but our sin is not something that states that we are unforgiven and condemned by God but that we are still in our sinful bodies and subject to the whims of our physical bodies. The sin that we commit now is merely the sin that dwells within our sinful bodies and it’s a sign to us that God has promised that He will come and get us and that we will be given new bodies that are incapable of sinning. If anything, our sin now is an reminder of who we were before and also that God is not done with us yet.