Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What a wretched man I am!

"So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?"  Romans 7:21-24

What Christian hasn't found themselves wrestling, like Paul, with the sinful nature?  I do find a small consolation when I read the words of someone as great as the Apostle Paul, and reading his confession, but the bottom line is universal.....we all still wrestle with sin. Paul is really being hard on himself in the paragraph preceding the text above, and I have to agree as I ponder personal sins, "What a wretched man I am!" 

I recently read and agreed with the author of a Christian newsletter when he wrote the following:

As much as I desire to continually be in the freedoms of Romans 8, I find myself still entangled with the law and my inability to keep it, in Romans 7.

Don't forget the beautiful words which begin Romans 8, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death."

The contrast of the two chapters brings the intensity of the message to every believer. Paul considered himself to be the "chief of sinners," we observe him as the "chief of saints."  What is it that makes this theme so important to the weakest and the strongest of Christians.  "Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?" 

Paul found the answer, and we can, too. It's found in the words which follow Paul's question, and it's the only possible answer,  "Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

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