Powerless in performance
What a group of paradoxes! The law of God, instead of an inspiration to obedience, an incentive to disobedience!
Mr. Moody told how, when he went to sleep in a room, and saw a card on the wall, “Don’t turn me round till morning,” he got up, and turned it round. The prohibition prompting to disobedience!
Then, while there is a spiritual approval of the law of God, there is a carnal slavery to the law of sin. While the will consents in purpose, it is powerless in performance. There is the law of the mind, the true ego or self; and the law of the members the false ego or self; the spirit is in sympathy with life and holiness, but the flesh in sympathy with disobedience and death.
The love of good on the one hand, and the hatred of evil on the other, but the good undone and the evil done. And so there is a double service—the law of God on the one side served with the mind, and the law of sin on the other served with the flesh. Such are the paradox es in this passage; but, the vital point is, that the Apostle recognises this conflict as abnormal, and utters a cry of despair, with a shout of anticipated victory. You have got to the cry of despair; the Lord would have you get to the shout of anticipated victory.
A. T. Pierson, A Spiritual Clinique: Four Bible Readings Given at Keswick in 1907 (New York: Gospel Publishing House, 1907), 3–4.