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? (Romans 7:22–24)
Today’s big question: how hard is it to live in the harsh reality?
Don’t ever kid yourself. True Christians have a constant battle with sin and it will not end until the day we are taken from this world. Whenever we read of another Christian leader who has a “fall from grace,” we should think of Romans 7 and remember that we are wretched people who must totally rely on our Deliverer.
We should all acknowledge that God “is able to keep you from stumbling” (Jude 24) and His amazing grace through Christ covers our sin when we fail. It’s easy to point the finger at other Christians when they fail, but it’s more difficult to accept that we also fail every day.
Romans 7 teaches us a harsh reality about the Christian’s life in this present world. The moment we trust our own flesh, we fall. Herein is the great truth rarely taught by Christian authors today: never trust yourself. Yes, I said it. Don’t ever trust yourself! You are at war, and though your mind wants to follow Christ, there is another law in your body which desires to serve self. Left to our own devices, we choose self.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told His listeners that if the hand or eye caused one to sin then he or she should remove that member because sin leads to hell (Matthew 5:29–30). Jesus was not saying to actually complete this physical surgery, but that we must do everything in our power to stay away from that which leads us toward sin. We should not trust our members but cut off at the source anything that contributes to our sin problem. This means that if your computer or phone is a source of sin, you need to get rid of it. Don’t do that which leads you to sin, and don’t trust yourself to conquer it.
It’s very difficult—and it should be. If we don’t find the Christian life to be a struggle against sin, we are probably embracing sin. Paul found this struggle to be immensely difficult, and as a result, he asked a big question with unmistakable passion: “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Then he gave the big answer. “I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Today’s big idea: life is hard, so trust Christ—not self.
What to pray: ask the Lord to identify that which leads you toward sin, and cut it out.