In my last post, we looked at putting God’s Word into our hearts. This is the first step toward a change in our lifestyle. Let’s continue with Paul’s teaching in Romans.
For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.
So far we’ve been talking about following God’s law. Now I’m looking at a different law in my body. It’s not God’s law. It’s the law of sin and death.
According to this verse, it’s on an aggressive, active military campaign with two objectives. The first purpose is to destroy the law of God in my mind and heart. It wants to totally wipe out God’s law from my inner man.
The second objective is to make me a prisoner of war to the law of sin in my body. That’s why the flesh – the desires of the body – is our greatest weakness.
Please remember that Paul is talking from the perspective of a baby, carnal Christian. He describes this phase of the Christian experience.
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Wretched, now that’s an interesting word! In the Greek language it’s a compound word. It combines a money balance and a severe trial. The word picture is of a balance that’s overloaded on both sides and is in danger of breaking.
That’s what the war between the flesh and the spirit feels like sometimes. It prompts the cry of the baby Christian who’s intent on growing up. “Who will rescue me from this?”
Notice that it’s not the complacent, “I Don’t want to grow up.” Instead, it’s a cry for deliverance from this body that’s aligned itself with death.
Even the word used for, deliver, is important. It means to flow like river sweeping us away from the problem. It doesn’t ask for the strength to endure, but a total escape from situation.
The good news is that the Lord has the answer.
The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
2 Timothy 4:18
The condition we face is an attack of the flesh. But, thank God, we have the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Paul concludes this section by summarizing.
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
With my mind, I serve God’s law. But my flesh is in slavery to sin’s law. It’s just like an overloaded balance. But, there is deliverance. This situation can be stopped, not just endured, or will-powered through. Jesus Christ can bring deliverance from this mess.
In my next post we’ll begin looking at Romans, chapter 8. There, Paul will show us the way to freedom. You won’t want to miss it.
Question: How have you experienced this battle between your flesh and your spirit?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi