Read: Romans 7:7-25

Today’s reading could be one of the most simultaneously discouraging and encouraging passages in all of Scripture. If that sounds conflicting to you, reread the passage and notice how much tension lives in the opposing forces.

It is discouraging because it points out how pervasive sin is. It is everywhere, and the presence of the law only makes it more apparent how our hearts and lives are filled with sinful impulses. Furthermore, we are powerless on our own to stop sinning. Paul takes it as a fact that all people will struggle with this inner battle of doing the wrong they know they shouldn’t do instead of the good they know they should do.

It is encouraging because we see that we are not alone. Paul, one of the most outstanding Christian leaders of all time, is putting himself out there to say, “Look at me, I struggle with this!” Friends, we are not alone; we all find ourselves in this passage when we rely on ourselves to overcome sin.

To ask, “What will resolve this tension?” would be the wrong question. The right question is “Who?” Paul sets the best example possible for how to respond to this struggle. We don’t need a rescue plan; we need a rescuer. “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

Reflection:

  1. What are the specific struggles that come to mind for you when you read about Paul’s wrestling? List them and acknowledge that you are powerless to stop these in your strength.
  2. How do you respond when you are aware of a personal struggle with sin?

Heavenly Father, in your perfect wisdom, you knew that we would need to be aware of our sin through the law but also be broken by our powerlessness to stop sin. We thank you that your power is made perfect in our weakness as we trust in the saving work of Jesus. Amen.