August 13

Romans 7:23-25 23but 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. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord! 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.

Paul has described the knowledge of the Law causing us to be even more sinful. Once we know the will of God, we discover we cannot help going against it. Our mind desires to do good, but the sin that lives in us has mastered us. We set out to do good and find ourselves doing evil. He saw his life as a prisoner of sin that worked in him.

Remember that the Apostle grew up as a Pharisee. He loved the Law. He memorized it and the rules around it. But he was honest enough to know that he was constantly not living up to its high demands. This creates guilt. Guilt makes us miserable. We realize we cannot do what we want no matter how hard we try. In desperation he asks if there is someone who can deliver him from this vicious cycle.

Thank God there is Someone! Jesus Christ our Master! Then he summarized his old condition. My mind is a slave to God's good law, but that nature that reigned in me was a slave to the evil law of sin. Jesus sets me free from that terrible agonizing conflict. When He becomes Lord, He reigns in my members as I offer them for His service (Romans 6:19).

The entire chapter that follows describes this new life, set free from the control of sin. 8:2 says that, through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. The conflict of chapter 7 is often quoted as if it were our normal experience. NO! We are to be set free by letting Christ be the Master of our bodies and (as we saw in chapter 6) we should become instruments of righteousness.

Consider: Are you wretched or rescued?