When reading Romans 7, it is written with deep frustration. Paul is calling people beyond where they were. The law is holy, righteous and good. The law is spiritual. But Paul writes of frustration how we agree with the law and desire to serve God but our bodies will not respond. That our body responds to our fleshly desires to sin. That what we want to do we do not do but instead we do what we hate to do. Our inner being wants to do good but we don't carry it out. That it is the sin inside of us. Paul finds out that our fleshly bodies refuse to do what God delights in but what our bodies desire and that our flesh is quickly aroused by sin.
But that is not the end. Verse 24 starts out with the proclamation of "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?" Its a cry for help. Our fleshly body continually chooses death time after time as we just delight in what our flesh desires. It almost seems hopeless. When reading this passage we feel frustrated, defeated and stuck BUT that is not the end. That is not what Jesus has for us. We do not have to stay in this miserable, sad, unhappy state because of sin. "Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord." Jesus is the one to set us free.
Our standard that we look to should not be lack of sin. No longer should we be focusing on "how many times a day do I do this sin or that sin?" That standard is dependent on us and what our bodies control. And when we stand on that standard of law it will be miserable. We will fail. We will lose hope. Paul is trying to tell us to move our standard from the law to the spirit. The only thing that defeats sin is Jesus. He already won. You share in that victory. It is a whole new way of life. Jesus is the new standard. Life through the spirit is what we can walk in. Paul doesn't expose the weakness of our flesh to discourage us. God delivered us from that. He exposes the weakness to show us the fullness of the spirit we can walk in.
God, I thank you that you already won. I thank you that you are going to be the one to deliver me from what my flesh desires. I pray that this week you would open our eyes to see our life through the spirit. That we are led by the spirit. We are children of God. We are no longer bound to slavery. That on the cross you were victorious for all of us. Not one of your children is the exception. Thank you that no one is disqualified from the fullness and abundant life you have for us. God, that we would continue to walk under the standard of your spirit which is dependent on you rather than the standard of law which is dependent on us. Lord, we give all we have to you.
- Ashley Gibson