Sin is a problem that lives within each person. Even the believer is powerless against sin. In talking about sin’s control over his every action, Paul says, “For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do.” No matter how earnest he is about resisting sin, Paul is controlled by it.
Why do we sin even though we are aware of its temptation? The issue is not that we do not know about sin, but rather that we do not have the ability to control it within us. We are helpless against its power. The constant problem for Paul is the problem we face today. We cannot control our sinful nature within us. We are helpless against it by ourselves. “What a wretched man I am,” says Paul in his desperation, “Who will rescue me from this body of death?” Paul knows that he does not have the power to save himself. He cannot attain his own salvation from sin. So instead, he looks for someone to come and save him in his helplessness. And thank God that Paul is given salvation through Jesus Christ!
Through Jesus, God saves us from the power of sin within us. Yes, God provides us awareness of our sinfulness through His Law, but knowledge of sin is not what saves. Because of the power of sin, knowledge is not enough for us to resist its control over our lives. Jesus is the only One Who relieves us from the bondage, the oppression, the enslavement of sin. Sin is powerful. But Jesus is even more powerful, and has wielded His power to save us from our sin.