Scripture Reading: Hosea 6:1-7:16 / Romans 7:7-25 / Psalm 88:9-18
Paul understood the warfare between sin and righteousness. “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.” (Romans 7:21-23)
He so desired to live according to the ways of The Lord but there was always the constant pull of sin. “I do not understand what I do, for what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (vs.15) We can echo Paul’s words…”I do not understand.” The redemptive work of Christ is powerful and life changing. He makes us a “new creation” and frees us from the judgment, punishment and hold of sin. It is difficult to understand… if we are delivered from the power of sin, why do we struggle so much with sin?
Paul lived in a sinful world and daily contended with his sinful nature. He was delivered from the power of sin but not from the presence of sin. Christ frees us from the judgment, punishment and hold of sin. He makes us a “new creation” but our flesh is not transformed. The flesh is corrupt, sides with sin and fights against the creative work of salvation in our lives. It’s constant battle against the creative work of Christ, drains and overwhelms our lives.
The Apostle Paul finally cries out in desperation, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (vs.24) He experienced deep conviction and guilt when he would sin. Like Paul, we feel just as wretched and question our commitment and faithfulness to Christ. We live in defeat, wondering how we will ever be able to be victorious over sin.
I am thankful that Paul did provide an answer to our helplessness. The same power that delivered us from the power of sin, gives us victory over the body of death… “Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!” The blood of Jesus is not only able to deliver us; it is able to keep us!