Useful Bible Studies > Romans Commentary > chapter 7

The power and weakness of our desires

Romans 7:20-21

By nature, our desires operate in a strange and frightening manner. We know that our desires are powerful. However, we still cannot achieve whatever we want. So, our desires can spoil our relationship with God; but, without Godís help, our desires cannot mend that relationship. Our desires can easily bring about evil things. However, without Godís help, our desires cannot bring about good things (Psalm 127:1). Nothing truly good happens in the world unless God does it (James 1:17). The whole world depends entirely upon Godís work (Colossians 1:16-17).

God did not intend that peopleís desires should operate in this wrong manner (5:12). However, God never intended people to form their desires separately from him. He created people to have a relationship with him. Then, they could do his work in this world (Genesis 1:28).

Sin (wrong and evil thoughts, words and actions) is the result of peopleís desire to live separately from God. The things that they desire separately from God, are the result of sin. That is why peopleís own efforts, without God, cannot achieve anything truly good. People might please themselves by those efforts. They may even become very great in this world. However, they lack the most important thing: a real relationship with God (Matthew 16:26).

Godís Spirit lives in his people (8:9). Therefore, the desires of God's people should achieve what God wants. In the present age, this does not always happen. God's people do not always permit Godís Holy Spirit to direct their lives (Galatians 3:1-4). Instead, they often allow their own weak human desires to direct their lives, and the result is sin. However, God is working in the lives of his people (Philippians 1:6). In Romans 8:29, Paul shows Godís plan for them in the future age.

Next part: The law of God and the law of sin (Romans 7:22-23)


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© 2018, Keith Simons.