The War Between Your Selves (Part 1) – Gospel in Life

The War Between Your Selves (Part 1)

Tim Keller |  August 17, 1997

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  • Sin
Romans 7:1-25
RS 81-1


Everyone has a war within themselves. We all want to live according to a high moral code, but none of us can meet the demands of our moral code. The reason for this is that inside of ourselves there is a desire for evil as well as a desire for good. Therefore, none of us can win the battle. But the battle changes when we become a Christian. The deepest parts of ourselves change so that for the first time our most inner being delights in the law of God. We move from a battle we cannot win to a battle we cannot lose.

Romans 7:1–25

This section explores how the law and sin are connected, and how, as believers in Christ, we are freed from the law and led by the Spirit. The law is not bad, but it shows us our sin and the problems it causes. We look at the struggle between sin and wanting to do good, and find the resolution in the belief that Jesus Christ can set us free from this struggle. It’s important to understand the difference between the struggles we face before and after becoming a Christian. Being a Christian doesn’t mean moving from fighting to peace, but rather shifting from a battle we can’t win to one we can’t lose.

1. The battle you can’t win

Each of us has a struggle within us, like a battle between good and evil, similar to the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The command “Do not covet,” reveals how wanting more and more can lead to sin. This craving can cause negative feelings like anger, bitterness, and fear. It’s important to recognize this inner battle and how the law can reveal our hidden desires and moral faults as part of our Christian journey.

2. The battle you can’t lose

All people experience an internal struggle between good and evil, like a Jekyll/Hyde battle. But for Christians, the battle is between our sinful nature and the Spirit. Believing in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice changes how we relate to the law, making it something that helps us love God instead of something burdensome. As Christians, we can be sure that this is a battle we won’t lose, a comforting truth that deserves more exploration and understanding.

3. How you make the transition

To move from a losing battle to a winning one, we need to understand the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He became sin for us and died for us. This understanding changes our hearts, leading us to love and enjoy the law instead of resenting it. Being a Christian requires a big change in our lives, like dying and being reborn, which we can only truly understand when we grasp the deep meaning of Christ’s sacrifice for us.



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