“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want but I do the very thing I hate… (for) I know that nothing good dwells in me (that is-in my flesh). For I have the desire to do what is right but not the ability to carry it out. (for) I do not do the good I want but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inner being—but I see in my members another law waging against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then (just to summarize): I myself serve the law of God with my mind but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. Romans 7:5, 18-19, 21-25
Tons of logic-speak going on in Chapter 7: If then, then that; if not this, then not that; and etc. It takes reading slow and methodical to unwind. But, when we do, boy is it clear-or not. It is time to renew our minds….Here’s to mortifying the man of flesh!
Paul’s letter to the Roman Church can be challenging. There is a lot of doctrine to go through. I admit that early in my walk I ignored Romans in favor of a little less challenging Epistles-you know the ones that had a bunch of Sunday School sound bites? Boy I tell you-did I cherry pick scripture-lifting them out; sometimes in context, sometime out of context. And doing that, I constructed a personal doctrine that looked pretty good-but there were times where this “doctrine” only vaguely looked like mature, informed Christianity.
Above are “lifted” sections (only because I am not supposed to write the whole chapter down) that I think reminds me of what really is happening in me. I love God. Saved, redeemed, adopted, forgiven, etc. Praise His Holy Name!
But as soon as I turned my head I committed some act of sin-I did something I shouldn’t have and didn’t want to do. But I did it anyway. I was crushed-at least I was crushed after I did what I did and after enjoying what I did. Holy Spirit is faithful by convicting me of my sin so I could repent. But just about every time (not really) I looked at the man in the mirror and asked “Why am I yo-yoing back and forth? Why can’t I walk always pleasing God?” Quote: “I do not the good I want but (I do) the evil I do not want is what I keep doing…” (Ro 7:5b
This describes all believers-every one of us. We all go through this yo-yo effect. Here’s the down and dirty doctrine: We are redeemed by the Mercy and Grace of God-born again. The miracle of Conversion. Auggh! The Old Man of sin, of the flesh is still hanging around. Indwelling Sin. It is the difference between Justification and the subsequent Sanctification. (the big words come in handy at times) that describes what is happening.
God’s justification of us (by His Sovereign Grace) is to be praised and savored every day. Getting rid of the Old Man? We act in cooperation with the Holy Spirit to mortify (put to death) that wretched creature. How? Through the acts of an engaged disciple.
Father: I like that phrase “an engaged disciple.” Thanks for popping that into my noggin this morning. Renew my mind, Holy Spirit! Help me, cause me to see myself through Your eyes; convict my heart. I ask You to reveal any wayward way in me. Help me do away with my double mindedness, my stubbornness on getting my way and not Yours. AMEN.