Observations on Romans 7:13-25
Wretched man that I am, who will save me from this body of death? – Romans 7:24, ESV
Since the beginning of the year the Lord has really put Romans 7 on my heart in such a way that in everyday life I find myself thinking on this passage and it’s implications. I wanted to share a few observations the Spirit has revealed regarding this text that they may help you.
The Direction of the Sins of Christians is Christ
Set aside those who would call themselves Christians and let us focus on those who are truly saved. Those who are truly saved still sin. This sin is because of our flesh. The flesh is that part of us which is still human. This is reflected in Romans 7 as Paul contends that the law is holy, but finds us sinful. God is holy, his law is just, and it finds us in guilt. What can a Christian hope to do with the guilt that God has heaped upon us by our own sin? We have to conclude that we are wretched and unsalvageable. Then comes Christ and the full glory of God was crucified on the cross and then rose on the third day so that we might believe. Therefore the sin of the Christian calls not to their guilt, for the guilt of the Christian was put on the lamb as he was slaughtered, and instead points to Christ. The holiness of the law is reflected in God’s wrath on the son because of the sin of the believer.
Looking to Sin to See Christ
Last night at church I had a discussion with someone who made the point that Christians spend too much time considering our sin and not enough the victory of Christ. I would agree with him that if we focus on our sin and do not see Christ then we have despair. Rather than look to our sin and not see Christ we should instead look to our sin and see Christ! Notice how Paul thinks through the law and sin. In verses 7:7-12 Paul concludes that the law is holy, which is righteous and good. Paul then looks at his life and our lives and concludes that no matter how much he knows or doesn’t want to sin that he still sins. Even though he is in grace he still sins. (verses 7:13-20) So then as he piles conviction and condemnation and guilt upon himself he comes to the highest emotive height when he calls himself “wretched” in verse 24. At this point you can imagine he might pout, cry, drink, smoke, ect. However Paul knows where his guilt has gone and says, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” So Paul goes from the holiness of his law, to the depth of his sin, to the glory of Christ.
I live in Colorado along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Driving down 1-70 towards the mountains one can see, at sometimes, three sites. The first is the beautiful Jefferson County Courthouse, the second is (at times) a wildfire or smoke from a wildfire, but the last glorious site is the Rocky Mountains. Paul sees the law, a good sight like the Jeffco Courthouse. Paul sees sin, as destructive as a wildfire. But Paul then sees the glory of God, the greatest glory, like the Rocky Mountains. Christian, if you are saved the law is holy. If you break the law you are in sin. The point of your sin is not that you sin but that Christ has overcome! Do not look at your sin and mourn as though you don’t have hope, rather sin and repent to the glorious God of the universe who has made a way for you.