I published this post on Saturday…and realized that many people didn’t get to read it. The principles in it are worth reading again…and internalizing. So here goes.
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. (Romans 7:24-25 ESV)
If we are going to win the battle against sin, we have to…
- Have the right view of ourselves.
- Paul says, “wretched man that I am.” John Newton got this right in the old hymn: Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. The word wretch comes from the Greek word “pierce.” To be wretched is to be pierced through with the reality of your sin. God saves wretches. God saves sinners.
- Ask the right question.
- Paul’s question is as important as his answer. He doesn’t ask, “what will set me free.” Rather, he asks “who?” His question calls for a rescuer, a person, someone to step in and save the day.
- Have the right view of our sinful nature.
- Paul calls his old sin nature, “this body of death.” This is war terminology, referring to a prisoner of war who has the dead body of a fallen comrade attached to his own body–nose to nose, toe-to-toe. The POW must walk around with this dead body staring him in the face, maggots included. If the POW doesn’t die from the emotional strain, he will die from disease. Your sin nature is that nasty, that gross, that capable of sin–even after you come to Christ.
- Trust the Answer to the question
- Paul answers, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” God provided an answer–his only Son. God offered his best for our worst, his strength for our weakness, his Son for our sins. In J.D. Greear’s book, Jesus Continued, he writes:
So when you feel abandoned, that’s all it is, a feeling. A lying, deceptive feeling. It has to be. Jesus faced the full measure of our aloneness in our place and put it away forever. By his death, he reconciled us to God, so that we can know that he will never leave us or forsake us. In some strange way we can never hope to comprehend he was abandoned…for us.