I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. -Galatians 2:20
When we have faith in Jesus- God’s GRACE (his free and unmerited favor) gives us the ability… the strength to live righteously. Paul describes our bodies in his letter to the Roman church as “bodies of death” completely incapable of walking by the Spirit on its own. Our very flesh betrays us leading us time and again to “kick against the goads”. However, when we deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus- we are crucified with him and no longer live according to the desires of our flesh, but by grace through faith in Christ. I know this, yet more often than not, I feel like Paul:
I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate. -Romans 7:15
How many times have I asked myself: “why did I do that?” Followed by a resolute, “Never again!” Yet, if I am not careful, it will happen again. Jesus warned his disciples to “watch and pray”, so that they do not fall into temptation. We must pray, because although our spirit is willing- our flesh is weak. Thankfully, GOD’S GRACE IS SUFFICIENT! We are undeserving, yet he continually bestows his favor (act of kindness beyond what is due or usual) on us, when we pray, and his strength is perfected in our weakness.
Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time. -Hebrews 4:16
We obtain this grace to help us be more like Christ, even whilst we are still in these dying bodies waiting to be transformed. Because of his sacrifice and our faith therein- we are able to practice what we want to do (righteousness) and not what we hate (sin). We do not set aside the grace of God, but we cling to it for dear life knowing that his grace=our righteousness.