Journey Through The Bible
Old Testament Reading: Jeremiah 37-39
New Testament Reading: Romans 7
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am serving the law of God, but with my flesh, the law of sin (Romans 7:24-25).
In this chapter, the Apostle Paul portrays the tension in the Christian life between sin and righteousness. Even though Believers have been redeemed and sanctified, the old sin nature still lives within us. No matter how mature we become as Christians and how closely we walk with God, the lust of worldly things, the covetous nature within us, tempts us to sin. The Apostle John wrote, If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8).
Paul passionately describes the powerful battle with sin all Christians face. For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate (v15). No matter how much we hate sin and desire to always be obedient to God, we still stumble and do the very thing we do not want to do—we struggle daily with the sinful desire of our flesh. Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one that does it, but it is the sin that lives in me (v20).
The longer we walk with Christ, the more we see the evil that sin does in our lives and the reality of sin hits home. This leads to a frustrating life to where Paul exclaimed what a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? (v24).
Throughout the chapter, Paul builds the tension in the life of a person who tries to live the Christian life by his own power. He shows the Believer wanting and trying to do good but failing because in their flesh, they cannot do it alone. His summary statement is, with my mind I myself am serving the law of God, but with my flesh, the law of sin (v25b).
How horrible our lives would be if Paul had stopped writing this letter there, but he continues with an exclamation point, a glorious praise - Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (v25a). Jesus doesn’t save us and then leaves us to figure it out on our own. As we will see tomorrow in chapter eight, Paul describes the wonderful work of the Holy Spirit given as a gift to all Believers.
However, chapter seven stands as a constant reminder to all Christians of the ever-present danger of temptation. Sin is most potent in the Believer who forgets that they are always and totally dependent on the power of God to win the battle with the desires of our flesh.