“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not” (Romans 7:18).
If such a man as the Apostle Paul would have to make such an admission, it would surely be at least as true of each of us. Before Paul accepted Christ as his Savior, he could boast that he was, as “touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless” (Philippians 3:6). Furthermore, he was highly educated, held an important position, and was greatly esteemed by all his peers.
But when he saw Christ, he recognized, as we also should, that “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). At our very best, “We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do” (Luke 17:10).
The popular credo that “I’m okay, you’re okay” is a deadly delusion. “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10) in the sight of the all-holy God who made us and must one day judge us. But the glorious truth of the gospel of Christ is that “when we were yet without strength,” and “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6,8).
So, when we, like Paul, cry out “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” we can respond with grateful hearts, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:24,25).
The Lord Jesus said: “Without me ye can do nothing,” but then He said: “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:5,7). With Paul, we can say: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). Therefore, “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (I Corinthians 1:31). HMM