Romans 7:21-24

Romans 7:21-24

So I discover this law: When I want to do what is good, evil is present with me. For in my inner self I delight in God’s law, but I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? (Romans 7:21-24)


Here Paul offers a summation: He has discovered that there is a law at work within him, that is, an active, living system distinct from his true self that is dominating and directing his thoughts, feelings, and actions. What a shock this realization has been! And try as he might, he cannot get free. He has discovered that he is a prisoner of this power and unable to overcome it. He also realizes that this power has been directing him away from God and that it will ultimately lead him to eternal separation. He has now come to a place of absolute desperation and calls out for deliverance. Paul wants us to do the same; that is why he led us here.


Throughout his writing of this great Book of Romans, Paul has led us up to this one desperate point. He has walked us down a trail of realization and self-discovery. He has been showing us our true condition and has led us now to the edge of the pit of despair. There is no escaping this ultimate conclusion: unless someone saves us, we will be eternally separated from God, whether we want to be or not. Someone must intervene!  


I think it best to pause here. We will soon hear Paul joyfully declare who it is that saves us, but it is not a bad thing to spend a day considering how lost we are without our Savior. A confession is a form of prayer by which we tell God that we understand our true condition. So rather than ending with a prayer, allow me to end with a confession. See if this might resonate with you.


My Confession:

Lord, I understand now my true condition. I see that there is a power at work within me, drawing me away from you. I thought that the problem was me, but now I see that the problem is within me. A power that is distinct from my true self has infected my soul. This power has been guiding me away from you, perhaps throughout my entire life. From this vantage point, I can look back and see how sin has been lying to me, influencing me, and guiding me down pathways of destruction. Now, I want deliverance, but like Paul, I have come to realize that I cannot deliver myself. So now, I reach out to you for grace, forgiveness, and a new beginning. I know that this pleases you, and I wait upon you for whatever you have in store for me next. I know I must trust you to guide me on a new path. Here I am; I am willing to follow.

Romans 7:19-20