The Apostle Paul struggled with a problem which harries all Christians – that of doing wrong over right. Doing right is not an automatic or passive action. Unfortunately being saved does not eliminate the power of our self-willed minds. Christians must constantly guard against succumbing to urges of our sinful flesh and self-will.
Lest one might think that the faithful Apostle Paul had no real problem with doing right we only have to read Romans chapter 7. Therein Paul delineated with disgust his struggle to do right and sometimes losing. “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate that I do.” Romans 7:15. Again he said, “I find then a law that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.” Romans 7:21
Every Christian, like Paul, will have this struggle of refraining from doing wrong when they know what is right. We know it is not always an easy choice to do right when tempted by wrong because of the abiding sin nature within us. In spite of Paul’s failure to always do right I think he was victorious much more often than not. Here are some truths that undoubtedly helped Paul and will us with our struggle to do right.
Paul’s first help, and so for Christians, was his penchant for the Word of God. “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man.” Romans 7:22. Paul loved the Word of God that spoke to and guided the inward man or righteous man. A daily meal of God’s Word fortifies us against the wrongful impulses of our fleshly self.
A second aid to Paul in his desire to do right was the Holy Spirit of which Paul wrote, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16. To walk in the Spirit means to be under the control of the Holy Spirit – letting the Holy Spirit be our leader in all things. When we wrench control from the Holy Spirit we become susceptible to the urgings of our sinful nature.
Another truth that can assist Christians in doing right was written by the Apostle John. “He that saith he abideth in him (Jesus Christ) ought himself also so to walk, even as he (Jesus Christ) walked. I John 2:6. Any Christian who walks (conducts) himself or herself like Jesus surely will surely choose right over wrong when faced with the option.
Yes, Paul struggled with the Christian dilemma of doing wrong at times when he knew to do right. We all do but we can consistently win the struggle if we hold to God’s Word of direction. (1) Read and ponder God’s Word every day (2) Let the Holy Spirit control us in all things (3) Conduct ourselves after the manner of Jesus Christ. He had no problem with doing right.
No, we cannot be perfect like Jesus was but we can experience more victory than defeat in our struggle if we diligently apply these three truths to our lives. GOD, HELP US WITH OUR STRUGGLE TO DO GOOD!