Romans 7:18

Romans 7:18

For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. (Romans 7:18)


There’s an old adage, “The proof is in the pudding.” It means that the value of something is found in its true character, not in its outward appearance. Paul is making a true confession about himself and wants us to do the same. Without the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, you can do nothing good; in fact, you do not even have the ability. This is a hard truth to face, but you must face it if you are going to make any progress in righteousness. You cannot rely upon yourself but must learn to rely upon the Holy Spirit. 


But is it really that hard to admit the truth? It is hard only if you are still holding on to pride, want to gain some personal credit for righteousness, or still think you can stand before God on equal footing. So long as you are striving to attain righteousness by your own effort, you will continually fail (and fail, and fail, and fail again). Sooner or later, you will have to admit the truth that you have no ability to do it. It is at this point that you will turn to God in humility. And then God will begin to do his real work within you. Are you ready?



Lord, I am ready. I have tried and tried to be righteous by my own power. And I have failed and failed again. I confess that this is because of my pride. But now, I willingly admit the truth that there is no ability within me to live a righteous life. You must do a work within me. You must make me new. You must lead me in the paths of righteousness. Here and now, Lord, I lay down my pride and invite you to begin your work.