The War Within Us

Reading In Romans 7 this morning Paul used the covenant of marriage as the Jews knew and understood according to the law, as an analogy to explain how a marriage dissolved by death freed a woman to marry another without becoming an adulteress or making the new husband an adulterer. In this analogy, the law would represent the old husband and old relationship requirements in their relationship with the law. Now that former “husband” (AKA the law) was dead and gone, they were freed from that commitment and were now “married” to Jesus and the old ways of the old marriage were gone. They were free from their previous commitment of having to walk out the physical steps they had to do for each of their individual sins, because now they were in a new marriage covenant with Jesus where they are now under his grace.  Instead of submitting burnt offerings they are now submitting their hearts to Jesus and allowing his grace to actually change them (and us) instead of just forgiving them from the trespass so they wouldn’t die. This is huge!! Paul credits the law for giving him the awareness of sin, because as he put it, “How else would I have known what it is to covet if the law had not saiddo not covet’?” But then he gets real and addresses the problem that we all have. We are still prone to sin. Our flesh is flesh and it’s at constant war with us to take over and be selfish. Paul is so relatable as he describes what we all know so well. We want to do what’s right, and the spiritual part of us longs to please God but then we’re also still very selfish and immature in our walk so when we’re weak or emotional, or tired or angry or just plain woke up on the wrong side of the bed we struggle hard to do the right thing even when we know what the right thing is. Paul says “I do what I don’t want to do, and I don’t do the things I do want to do!”  We all relate to this because this is our daily relationship with sin and growth. We’re going to fail. It’s just going to happen, but our goal is to grow and mature from it and not get caught up in shame and obsess with our failures.  I love that Paul ends this chapter so dramatically with “What a wretched man I am! Who will save me from this dying body? I thank God through Jesus Christ my Lord!”

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