For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
History and Context:
As noted before the book of Romans was written by Paul to the church in Rome, probably around 55 - 57 AD. The history and beginnings of the church in Rome is not fully known. Most scholars believe that they established themselves without the help of any Apostle and without seeing any signs or miracles. There was a strong mix of Jewish and Gentile Christians in Rome at this time and they seem to have gotten in many arguments. The Jewish Christians wanted the Gentiles to be circumcised and to follow the law to the letter, whereas the Gentile Christians attempted to say that they were better and that the Jews were rejected as God's people. The Gentiles also believed that the law was abolished. Paul addresses both of these issues in his letter.
Paul has just gone through the famous war within himself. The passage of scripture in which he talks about doing what he doesn't want to do but not doing what he does want to do. I think we can all relate to this passage of scripture which leads him to this verse saying, "O wretched man that I am!" He recognizes the problem in himself and cries out for a solution. Who will deliver him? Of course it is Jesus Christ! Jesus is the only one who can bring us deliverance from our wretchedness, from our "body of death". He then continues this revelation in chapter eight, verse one by saying that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. He has given us the ability to walk in the spirit and not in the flesh and has taken all condemnation away from us.
On Sunday, at church, Travis shared a testimony regarding this verse. We need to come to an understanding that we will never win this war on our own. There is only one way to win it and that is through total surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ. We are all wretched by nature, we are all in a body of death, but we all have the option to come to Jesus, walk in His Spirit and be freed from all condemnation and death. My challenge today is simple, study Romans 7-8 and see what God shows you regarding this topic.
Lord, thank you for your sacrifice! Thank you for your deliverance, for delivering me from the death that I was bound up in. Thank you for setting me free from the captivity that sin brought me into. In Jesus' name, Amen!