“…I delight in God’s law…” Romans 7:22
In concluding his teaching on the inner struggle between good and evil, God breathed into Paul to write on the reality of this quandary – personal to everyone – each experiencing in one’s own way. Here’s how Paul described it:
“So, I find this law at work: when I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (vv. 21 – 24)
While delighting in God’s law, many still struggle with temptation in its many forms… all stemming from covetousness (v.8). Some struggle with greed, others with control or power; still others with envy, and others with lusts of the flesh, just to name a few. Having conquered the temptation once, why should we have to face it again… and again… and again.
Seems a bit hopeless, doesn’t it? Yesterday, I struggled with the words, “nothing good lives in me”. I rewrote it three times as I was trying to remain true to the text – without giving away today’s good news. While Paul recognized the wretchedness of his own sin, he was articulating the question everyone poses when confronted with one’s own sin, “Who will deliver me?” In other words, we are unable to change ourselves and we need a Redeemer – a Savior, Who will rescue us from ourselves.
The Roman Christians who lived in a quagmire of licentiousness and immorality were under the constant challenge to deny society’s expectations and their own lusts. Paul was simply agreeing with them about the life they faced daily, while agreeing with God’s answer to mankind’s problem – The Savior, Jesus Christ (v.25). Thank God for His provision of a Savior!
Paul recognized that the struggle will always be with us while we live on this earth: “So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.” The natural man/woman will always strive against the spiritual man/woman, and we have a warrior Who comes to live in the domain of the heart and mind to fight our battles for us as we die to sin daily.
In this passage we discover only Jesus can set us free; neither God’s law or one’s own strength is able to set one free from the law of sin. (Read 1 Corinthians 15:56) Paul’s inspired letter was organized in a way to present a systematic theology, and this passage leads the reader into the light of intentional living which Paul wrote about in chapter eight.
Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ, He will deliver me – making for a very blessed day!