By Neil Anderson
Romans 7:25; 8:1
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! . . . There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus
Romans 7:22, 23, pinpoints the battleground for the contest between me and sin: “For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.”
Where does my desire to do what’s right reside? Paul uses the phrase “the inner man,” referring to my new self where my spirit and God’s Spirit are in union. This is the eternal part of me. And where does sin wage its war to keep me from doing what I really want to do? In the physical members of my body (James 4:1). Sin operates through my flesh, that learned independence that continues to promote rebellion against God. This is the temporal part of me. Where then do these two opponents wage war (Galatians 5:17)? The battleground is my mind. That’s why it is so important that we learn how to renew our minds (Romans 12:2) and to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Paul concluded his description of the contest between sin and the new self with the exclamation: “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24). Notice that he didn’t say, “Sinful man that I am !” Wretched means miserable, and there is no one more miserable than the person who has allowed sin to reign in his mortal body. If we use our bodies as instruments of unrighteousness, we give the devil an opportunity in our lives, and he brings only misery.
The good news is that Romans 7:24 is followed by Romans 7:25 and Romans 8:1: “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! . . . There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” The battle for the mind is a winnable war.
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, for knowing me, understanding me, and providing for me a way of escape for every possible temptation.