So, is there a way to live pure and sinless lives? I mean, can we really overcome temptations and sin? God is just and fair. He did not claim anything from us, before he equipped us with what we need so we can accomplish. If we could not live free from sin, we would not be asked to do it. We know that His Son, Jesus Christ came to live on earth in our likeness, so that we have the perfect life model, and the necessary tools to live righteously. The more we understand who we are in Christ, the less we sin. The more we want to please God, the more we will overcome temptations. Now, let's look closer to what Paul says.
Romans 7: 14,15 ”For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do."
The law which Moses received from God for His people, can not be accomplished by merely flesh which is enslaved by the law of sin. This is what Paul is actually talking about. It's not possible to live the Christian life without the power and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
If we analyze only this chapter, we conclude that Paul was a great sinner. And then, how could he write to the Corinthians to imitate him and his way of living? "Therefore I urge you, imitate me” (1 Corinthians 4:16) or "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).
Actually Paul identifies with the Christians that are desperate by their incapacity to give up to their sinful old way of living, just to give them the solution to their problem.
Romans 7:18-20 "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. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.”
Romans 7:24-25 “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin."
If we plan to follow Christ only by the power of our mind and decisions, we have no chance. But if we live following Holy Spirit's instructions, which after our new birth in Christ is united with our spirit and indwells us, we WILL LIVE!
We know He is in us, because we are no longer drawn and led away by our old sinful desires, and on the contrary, we are free from the bondage and desire of sin that once had us.
Romans 8:1-6 "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death or what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."
Romans 8: 11-16 “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,”
We are no longer slaves to sin, but the adopted children of God. But our fight does not end here. We are struggling daily with the flesh, to keep it under submission to the Holy Spirit, as Paul says in:
1 Corinthians 9:26,27 "Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
The more we study God's Word, asking the Holy Ghost to help us understand it and cause it to become "living and powerful" (Hebrews 4:12) in us, the more we will know what God expects of us, and what must we do to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. When we identify what must change in us, or a sin that we could not renounce to, what can we do? After we recognized that we have a problem and admit that we need to change, we pray for the Holy Spirit to help us and give us the determination to fight to victory. Then we need to find out what Scripture says on that subject, so we seek verses on the matter. It is essential that we agree with what God says on the subject, so we will work on changing our mind and way of thinking. We write the verses, and we meditate on them daily, forcing our brain to admit the new truth about the problem and escape the wrong way we were seeing it. Would that work? Oh yes, it will work because God's Word has power.
The Lord told us in John 15:7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you."
His Word, the Bible, transforms us, by revealing to us, who we are in Christ Jesus, and how to become who we are in Him. Living in the sinful world, got us far away from who we were created to be. Studying passionately the Word of God and meditating on it until Holy Spirit will reveal it to us and bring it to life, is the only way for us to get back to what God wants us to be. He created us to be His children, to live under the direction of the Holy Spirit and radiating the light of Christ.
We are in a constant struggle, but we don't fight alone. God the Father has provided us the power and anointing of the Spirit that make His Word to come alive and to bring transformation in those who abide in it. While Jesus Christ is Lord over us and we live in total surrender to Him, we know that we are "more than conquerors" and we will become more like Him, sinning less and less.