TLIC DAILY. DAY 239. AUGUST 27: WRETCHED MAN!

Romans 7:24. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

If you’ve ever read any of Romans 8 then you know that it is one of the most glorious chapters in all of scripture. It begins with “no condemnation,” and ends with the everlasting love of God. Romans 8 is what life in Christ is supposed to be. It is the normal Christian life.

But (this is crucial) there is no Romans 8 experience without first a Romans 7 experience. Romans 7 is all about the internal battle that rages between our flesh (indwelling sin) and the Spirit (indwelling Christ). Between trying to live under the law, or under grace (6:14). And this battle climaxes with 7:24 – Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

If you’re thinking right now “Gee, I don’t think I’ve ever had a Romans 7 type struggle. I don’t feel a battle going on inside of me. I don’t feel wretched. I don’t need deliverance. I’ve got my sin under control.” If you think and believe this, then, Christian, you have a big problem.

Honestly, I’m way more worried about Christians who can’t recognize or feel the struggle then I am those who are beat down from the battle. Why? Because we only desire and receive grace from the place of desperation. Only the person who knows they are wretched will cry out for God’s gracious deliverance. Only the drowning person will cry out for rescue. And only the crucified person will experience resurrection.

So although Romans 7 is not to be the normal Christian life, it is the necessary Christian experience if we are to move forward into the Spirit empowered life of Romans 8. If you are living in true Romans 8 victory, you only got there through Romans 7:24.

Chuck: changed by a new mindset.

But why does Paul call himself wretched? Why so desperate, and despondent? Why so dramatic?

Because this is where self-righteousness always leaves us. This is what all law keeping eventually leads to. This is what all performing and proving ourselves to God results in. The wretched stench of death.  

In ancient Rome it is said that one of the ways the empire would torture criminals is by literally sewing them to a dead body. The living man’s body attached to a body of death. The slowly rotting corpse eating away at the living body. It isn’t hard to imagine the desperate cry of the criminal – Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

You see, there is no true progress in the Christian life without first experiencing complete and utter failure. Only the Christian who cries out in desperation for deliverance from carrying the heavy, rotting, disease laden load of their dead self, their old self, will experience any kind of spiritual growth by faith alone in Christ alone. Only the Christian that is despondent from all their striving, earning, performing, and proving is ready for God to do his work of grace in their life.  

I can overcome this habit with accountability partners and changed behaviors.

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

I can solve my family crisis with better communication techniques.

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

I can grow spiritually by studying the Bible.

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

I can keep the law of God by the Spirit.

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

I can find God’s blessing in my obedience.

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

I can get back on the right track by re-dedicating my life to God.

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

“To live is Christ” allows us to take a deeply honest look at our own wretched failure as law keepers. Then and only then can we place our hope in the one who will deliver us from the body of death.

You

Have you had a Romans 7:24 experience?

You in Christ

How does being in Christ end the demand for us to perform for God?

Christ in you

What is the difference between doing things for God and Christ living his life through you?

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Playlist: Wretched Man.

Click Here to this playlist on Spotify!

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To see today’s post from the TLIC Family blog –> Click Here

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