"For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep doing…What a wretched man I am! Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!…Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
Romans 7:19, 24-25, 8:1
What a gift to a believer’s heart are these words from Romans 7-8!
From his own experience, Paul describes the struggle of having new creation wants and desires coexisting and battling within the same body that still houses the desires that he had before being indwelt by Christ.
He turns not to the law to resolve the inner conflict–he turns to Christ and the glory of the gospel!
"The law can tell us what obedience looks like and can chart our course for it, but it cannot give what it commands, and this is as true for the Christians as it is for unbelievers.
Only the good news of what God has done for us can empower us for service…one can move forward in the Christian life with full sails only if there is a strong wind.
And Christians overcome their unbelief and sin only by hearing the gospel, that external and objective announcement that despite whatever is going on inside of us, this is what God has done for us, outside of us in His Son. Only then can the law have a positive role in our lives, as it navigates, charting our course with perfect wisdom. Even so, the gospel remains "the power of God unto salvation" not only when one becomes a believer but throughout the Christian life.
There is never a "higher life" than this, a better way, a superior method of moving us along as pilgrims in this world. More quiet times, a newly discovered prayer technique, rededication at summer camp, a "second blessing"—none of these avenues can create faith in Christ.
If faith creates works and faith is created by the preaching of the gospel, a renewed appreciation for God’s history of redemptions is surely the key to transformed communities." ((Michael Horton, A Better Way, Baker Books 2002, 9. 77-78))