Paul says today, what all us I am sure have said at one point or another in our lives, "I am all too human!" The one thing about Paul is that he had seen how trying to obey the law in his own power didn't work. The Law's purpose was to reveal his fallen human nature and to show him his need for Jesus. I love Paul's honesty about his own powerlessness when he says, "I don't really understand it. Though I want to do the right thing, I don't do it. Instead I do the opposite." In another version he concludes, "What a wretched man I am!"
Paul says it is not the Law that it is problem, but the problem is with me. It is great to see Paul taking personal responsibilty for his own attitudes and actions. This is something that is often missing in our world today. People want to blame the authorities, or their parents, or someone else, rather than admitting that the problem lies within ourselves. But the Good News is that God has given a solution to those who are willing to admit they are powerless over their sinful nature.
Notice this is the exact same principle espoused in A.A. and other 12 step programs. In order for an addict or an alcoholic to get sober they need to admit that they are powerless over their drug of choice. It is only as they acknowledge that they can get the help they need. And the program correctly points the power they need is God. They use the term "higher power", but for Christians this is God, who through Jesus Christ, has set us free from the power of sin and death.
Before we can truly obtain the power we need for living the Christian life, we need to say with Paul, "I am powerless over sin and it has made my life unmanageable!" When left unchecked our sin leads to death." But the Good News is that this admission of powerlessness leads us to the One who is ALL powerful, and who has set us free to live a life worthy of our calling. It is the truth that sets us free Jesus said. Come clean today! Admit with Paul you need help, and receive the new life Jesus can bring to you!