I think we can all relate very well to Paul in Romans 7. In verse 15, he says, "I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate." He continues with a statement that clearly shows his frustration with his sinful nature. Verse 18 says, "I want to do what is right, but I can't. I want to do what is good, but I don't. I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway."
Doesn't that sound like the inward battle that can be a part of our lives sometimes? We really don't want to gossip about someone, but it is so easy! We really don't mean to tell that little white lie, but it makes the story so much better or makes us look like we were right. We really didn't mean to lash out at that person, but they can be so infuriating! I am sure I could go on, but you get the picture. We all struggle with the things we know are right but are hard to put into practice.
Paul has been explaining to the Roman Christians that they have been delivered from the law. So, does that mean that we shouldn't worry about those things we have been struggling with? Do we not need to follow any rules? Paul says, "By no means!" The law is the very thing that gives us direction and stability in our lives. It is the sin within us that corrupts the law and brings judgement. Yes, whenever we read the law and try to follow it with our strength, we will be frustrated because we will fail often and fall short of the perfection the law calls for. So even though the law is pure and good, it cannot save us.
But the great news of this passage comes in verse 25. Paul asks, "Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ, our Lord!" Jesus has bridged the gap between our sinful nature and the purity the law requires.
Praise be to God and his Son Jesus! Let us look to him for victory in our battle today.
Claims Cambodia as his second home, current Elder at Foothills