19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. . . . 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! - Romans 7:19-20, 24-25
We come upon Paul’s most confusing, circular, repeated, head spinning treatise which comes down to this. Our sinful nature of the flesh is constantly in a war for our souls with our spiritual nature which is being restored and renewed by the indwelling presence of Jesus Christ. We want to honor God and Christ by living in their likeness but at times we honor our sinful nature by choosing to live in a way, our make a decision, contrary to the way of Spirit-filled living. Maybe that is a little easier to follow than Paul’s description. Think of your sinful nature and your righteous nature occupying the same defined space. Maturity in Christ is illustrated by our righteous nature occupying more and more of the space and our sinful nature being crowded out. The less space sin occupies the less influence it has in your life. The good news is we are rescued or delivered from our sinful nature through Jesus Christ our Lord! I love the image of being rescued. It perfectly depicts our relationship to God. By definition of rescued, we are helpless to help ourselves. That’s mercy. That’s grace. And He does it, unconditionally.
Heavenly Father, we give thanks for a loving Father who rescues us from the desire to do what we don’t want to do and from neglecting what we ought or want to do. We affirm that we live under your mercy and grace and we seek to live godly lives following the path that Christ has given us. Forgive us for loving ourselves more than we love you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Pray the Prayer of Invitation to the Holy Spirit
Come, Holy Spirit, come. Come as the wind and blow through me. Come as the fire and burn in me. Convict me, convert, me, consecrate me, until I am fully thine. Amen.