I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate I do. (Romans 7:15)
When God raised us from death to life, He rescued us from the dominion of sin, Satan, and death. Our salvation sets us free from the power of darkness and allows us to live a life that is pleasing and acceptable to God. However, sin still remains within us, even though it no longer reigns over us, so we are in a constant need of being rescued from ourselves.
When Paul said, “What I want to do, I do not do,” he was frankly confessing that there was a battle going on inside his heart and mind, a struggle that required God’s continuing intervention in order for Paul to gain victory. The same is true for you and me today.
Here are a few things to remember: We must never underestimate the power of sin that remains in our lives, and we must never overestimate our own power to conquer it! It is only when we are fighting in the power of the Holy Spirit that we will be successful in slaying the sin that remains in our lives. We must depend completely upon our Lord to liberate us from the sin that so easily entangles us.
When Paul needed rescue from his bitter battle with remaining sin, he did not look within. Rather, Paul looked up, and he was strengthened by remembering that what began in God’s grace (his salvation) would continue in God’s grace (his sanctification). Paul knew from personal experience that only by resting in the rescue that Jesus had provided on the road to Damascus would he experience the rescue he needed each and every day as he made his way toward glory. Paul’s heartfelt cry – “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” — was not a cry of despair, because he knew Who his rescuer was: “Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25)
Always remember that rescue is available to you through Jesus Christ our Lord. Press into His presence each day and deepen your dependence upon Him. To acknowledge that you are “wretched” is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of ultimate strength, because when you are weak, then Jesus is strong in your life to slay every sin and set you free to live a life of freedom, joy, and faithfulness to Him.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!