Our decisions are based on what we desire and for the believer, the Father—through the Spirit, is ever at work causing us to choose rightly. “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for [His] good pleasure” (Phil2:13). “Therefore choose life that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deu 30:19).
Self cannot cast out self anymore then “Satan can cast out Satan”, so it must be done by an external entity—the Holy Spirit. “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Gal 5:17).
This accomplishment is not a legal matter, such as our good works overcoming the indwelling sin, because our good works are for the sole purpose of acknowledging God (Mat 5:16). It’s a matter of Grace, by just being aware of our old, Adamic nature and continually yielding it to Christ’s atonement, then“casting your care” of it on Him (1Pe 5:7). The Spirit through the Cross’s power will “bind the strong man” (Mat 12:29) and you will noticeably grow in your fellowship with the Father and the Son. -NC
“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD (Zec 4:6).
2-19. NOT OBLIGATED
"The carnal mind is enmity against God" (Romans 8:7).
Early in the Christian life we naturally feel that it is our obligation to overcome self and become spiritual. We do not yet realize that time and processing are required before we are able to give up self-effort for our growth. It is the work of the Holy Spirit, not our obligation. "God hath chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit" (2 Thessalonians 2:13).
The self-life is surely our first and most bitter foe, and the believer who will serve God acceptably must learn His way of victory over this subtle and dangerous enemy. The flesh is irrecoverably fallen and you and I make no real progress in the Christian life until we have learned in experience to say with the apostle: 'For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh dwelleth no good thing' (Romans 7:18)." -J.C.M.
"Paul's great endeavor, in all his great struggle of Romans Seven, was to make 'the flesh,' his old self-life, consent to do that holy law which his new self approved. Paul had not yet despaired of himself. The fact is, he had not yet realized the absolute distinction between the old and the new creations. And it was through this terrible experience that he found the new or 'inward' man to be distinct from the old man; that the realm of 'the spirit' was absolutely separate from that of 'the flesh', that all of the old self, with its life and energy, was to be despaired of, not sanctified."
"For it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:7).
The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ.'" -MJS
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