#DailyDevotion Who Will Rescue You From Sin & Death?
Romans 721So I find this to be a rule: When I want to do what is right, evil is there with me. 22In my inner being I delight in God’s Law, 23but all through my body I see another law fighting against the Law in my mind and making me a prisoner to the sin ruling my body. 24What a miserable man I am! Who will rescue me from the body that brings me to this death? 25Thank God — He does it through our Lord Jesus Christ!
So, if you’re honest, you are probably finding yourself in this struggle St. Paul is talking about here. He calls it a rule so it must be true in all instances. You see a good that needs to be done. You want to do what it right. However, evil is right there with you telling you to rebel against and to break the Law of God and not do the good but the sin instead. Which will you choose? What will motivate you to choose one over the other?
The Christian delights in God’s Law in his inner being. He sees what is good and right and wants to do it. He sees what is wrong and wicked and hates it. In his body, St. Paul sees another law fighting against the Law of his mind. This other law makes him a prisoner to the sin ruling his body or rather flesh. Paul is right and saying, “What a miserable man I am!” Indeed we all feel like this when we look into the perfect Law of God for we find in ourselves nothing but sin and death if we examine ourselves honestly. I suggest reading the Sermon on the Mount or the Plain to get a better understanding of the Law if you think you are keeping it. James is a good correction of incorrect thinking about the Law of God as well.
But I think there is a slight shift in verse 23 in referents concerning the Law. There is the Law of God or rather the Torah and all its aspects and the Law in my mind. It is a matter of the difference of the Spirit and the letter. What is the difference? The Spirit is focused on the Gospel, the free forgiveness of sins. This is the Law of the Spirit Paul speaks of in chapter eight 2“The rule of the Spirit, who gives life, has in Christ Jesus freed you from the rule of sin that kills.” The Christian mind is ruled by the Law of the mind or Spirit. It lives by faith in God’s Son and what He has done for him. The flesh lives (or rather works by or walks) according the letter of the Law. Its focus is on do this and don’t do that. In so focusing on that, sin and its passions are stirred up to rebel against it or it deceives itself into thinking it has kept God’s law in the mere outward performance of it and not according to the heart.
It is a horrible thing for us to have to experience on a regular basis. Some days we are just living according the Law of the mind or Spirit. We simply are living by faith trusting in the grace and mercy of God in Christ Jesus. We aren’t paying attention to the Law as such, we are just delighted in living it out in our lives. Other days we get focused on the letter of the Law and our flesh gets excited and stirred up and rebels against it. We want to do the good we see that needs to be done but the flesh overcomes us and we fall into sin and experience death. We become alarmed! What will we do? Who will save us from this body of death?
25“Thank God — He does it through our Lord Jesus Christ!” God saves us. He saves through our LORD Jesus Christ. God saves us by sending his Son into the flesh so that in his flesh he can put sin and death to death but taking our sin into his own flesh and suffering its due in the flesh. He experienced the death we deserve. He shed his blood to atone for our sin. He gave his life unto death so that through his death we experience in baptism we may receive his life in our inner being.
Heavenly Father, we give you thanks for our LORD Jesus Christ and his victory over sin and death. Grant us faith always so his life may rule in our bodies and not sin and death. In Jesus’ name. Amen.