For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. (Romans 7:19)
Christians do not live only in defeat. But neither do we live only in perfect victory over sin. And in those times when we fail to triumph over sin, Romans 7:13–25 shows us the normal way a healthy Christian should respond.
We should say:
- I love the law of God. (verse 22)
- I hate what I just did. (verse 15)
- Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? (verse 24)
- Thanks be to God! The victory will come through Jesus Christ my Lord. (verse 25)
In other words, no Christian wants to live in defeat. No Christian settles for living in defeat. But if we are defeated for a time, we shouldn’t lie about it.
No hypocrisy. No posing. No boasted perfectionism. No churchy, pasted smiles or chipper superficiality.
And even more, God save us from blindness to our own failures and the consequent quickness to judge others.
God, help us to feel worse about our own shortfalls than the failure of others.
God, give us the honesty and candor and humility of the apostle Paul in this text! “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24–25).