Many Christians are exceedingly slow in learning that a Christian’s life is not to live by will power. To be willing for spiritual things is one thing, but to live with will power to achieve spiritually is something else. Many Christians consciously or unconsciously depend on the strength of their will in order to maintain a particular standard, which they believe to be a Christian standard. They are in a similar state, which Paul was in in Romans Chapter 7 verse 18.
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.
Like this verse, they emphasize will power as the way to enter into a triumphant Christian life, but they are under serious apprehension. Not only are they in error of understanding, but they also take many Christians into that false understanding—leading them into bondage of the law of sin and the law of death.
The word of God in Romans 7 explains that doing evil is the natural outworking of one law called “the law of sin,” while doing good is the natural outworking of another law called “the law of death.”
The experience of a vast number of Christians is exactly the same as the experience of Paul in Romans 7:18.
The confession and realization of the continued experience of Romans 7:18 is that the willingness is presence, but the power to carry it out is either weak or non-existent. In simpler words, they are willing but unable.
To be willing is one thing, but to be able to do God’s will is something else. Those emphasizing only the willing aspect are those with a life void of the flow of God’s life.
Romans chapter 7 and 8 introduces three categories of Christian experiences and living.
- The first category is in the realm of the law of sin. That means the believer struggles with the issue of overcoming sin or sins in his life. This type of a Christian normally has a humble spirit and genuinely wants to change his or her ways but is constantly failing.
- The second category is in the realm of the law of death. That means the believer depends on the achievement of his good deeds and spiritual work-like activities. This type of Christian normally has a proud mind and a hard self-will. Unfortunately, it will take God a longer time to deal with such a person, and painful experiences will often times be necessary to break his or her selfish will power.
- The third category is the one living in the realm of the law of the Spirit of life. This type of a Christian not only has a humble spirit but also has a sharp spiritual sense and can detect God’s leading in his spirit and can serve God and His Church according to the leading of the Spirit.
Romans 8:2 “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”