14 We know that the law is holy. But I am not. I have been sold to be a slave of sin. 15 I don’t understand what I do. I don’t do what I want to do. Instead, I do what I hate to do. 16 I do what I don’t want to do. So I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, I am no longer the one who does these things. It is sin living in me that does them. 18 I know there is nothing good in my sinful nature. I want to do what is good, but I can’t. 19 I don’t do the good things I want to do. I keep on doing the evil things I don’t want to do. 20 I do what I don’t want to do. But I am not really the one who is doing it. It is sin living in me. 21 Here is the law I find working in me. When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 Deep inside me I find joy in God’s law. 23 But I see another law working in the parts of my body. It fights against the law of my mind. It makes me a prisoner of the law of sin. That law controls the parts of my body. 24 What a terrible failure I am! Who will save me from this sin that brings death to my body? 25 I give thanks to God. He will do it through Jesus Christ our Lord. So in my mind I am a slave to God’s law. But in my sinful nature I am a slave to the law of sin.
There is an intense struggle going on within us. Paul is showing us that nothing good indwells his flesh, but sin is present in him.
Becoming a Christian does not instantly solve all our problems. Until we hate sin, we will never turn from it, just the same it is only when we acknowledge we need God, we will look to God. And the solution to both is the cross of Jesus Christ.
Sin is complicated, but the solution is simple. Paul already said it—sin is beyond our comprehension. We cannot understand it. But we don’t need to understand it in order to solve the dilemma it poses. Whatever form sin might take, the solution is the same. We need to go to the cross of Jesus Christ.
Remember the self-righteous scribes and Pharisees. They did not come to Jesus for forgiveness simply because they didn’t think they needed it. I hope I always have the agony and intensity that Paul has.
V24 Wretched person that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ my Lord. God has provided a righteousness that I cannot produce by myself; it is the power of the Holy Spirit living in me.
Lord, help me to grasp the immensity of the struggle with sin. Help me to stop all efforts to serve You in the strength of my flesh. Help me to acknowledge that my flesh is a body of death from which I must be delivered. Amen
Written by Cathy Croft