Today’s Bible Reading: Romans 7
In today’s reading, Paul writes about a struggle that all followers of Jesus face. It is a hidden battle that is happening in each of us. A struggle between our old sinful nature and the new life we have in Christ. To solve this struggle, we try to defeat our sinful nature by being good Christians who follow the God’s law. The problem is we all fail miserably and we then start to blame the law for our sin. The Law isn’t the problem though, as it serves another purpose. It shows us how much we need Jesus.
7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life, and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. 13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.
Pastor Tim Keller writes this about the above verses:
“When we read God’s law properly, and when we look at our own lives honestly, we can only conclude that we are “wretched.” Without accepting this, we will never grasp the glory of the gospel. We will never truly appreciate the gospel of received righteousness. Only if our hearts truly cry at our wretchedness can we then know the hope and liberation of looking away from ourselves and to what God has done.
As we finish out this chapter, we see Paul’s authenticity and transparency. It is always encouraging and comforting to know that others share in our struggles. In this case, we read that the apostle Paul, a hero of faith who wrote much of the Bible’s New Testament, struggled with the war waging within him. He even refers to himself as a wretched man.
21 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? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
In verse 25, Paul answers his own question of who will rescue him by declaring that it is God who delivers him through Jesus Christ our Lord! What an encouraging verse. We can also know that when we struggle with sin, and keep doing those things that we have promised we wouldn’t do anymore, we too can nevertheless have victory through Jesus. We can stop trying, so that we may begin trusting God to save us from our wretched selves.
What are the areas of sin in your life that you find to be a constant struggle? Pride, anger, lust, etc?
Are you trying to overcome your sins on your own or are you trusting God to help you overcome your struggles?
This weekend Calvin shared that the Bible is key to overcoming temptation. When we overcome temptation, we avoid sin. Take time this week to evaluate the role the Bible plays in your life. Are you reading it regularly? Are you memorizing or meditating on it? Are you using it to shine light on decisions?
After evaluating, take time to write out a few steps that you can begin taking to connect with God through the Bible. Share these steps with someone else and ask them to help you take these steps.
Finally, trust God with your struggle. It is God who delivers us through Jesus Christ. Write out a prayer of surrender and start trusting God to save you.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for loving me even though I am a wretched soul. Please give me the strength to surrender to you fully and to trust your plan for my life. Please give me the courage to stop trying on my own, but to close my eyes and send my worries up to you in a prayer so that you may save me. Amen.
This post was written by the LivingItOut Team.
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