If you find this meaningful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal.
Did what is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, working death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.
For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
More Like Paul than We Might Expect
You know, it’s easy both to be impressed and intimidated by the great men and women in the Bible. I mean, they risked so much for the sake of their faith, and they stood firm in the face of persecution and death in order to share with others the love and grace they’d experienced. Now, this strength and courage is certainly impressive, while at the same time it might also be pretty intimidating. You see, in our society, we face far less opposition and far fewer situations in which we’re called to put up or shut-up, at least as it relates to Jesus. And so, as we read about everything these great Christians did, it’s easy for us to feel second-rate.
But before we buy into this perspective, I think this passage reminds us that we may be more like Paul than we might expect. You see, just like us, Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, a man who faced death for the sake of the truth, struggled with sin. And like us, he found that he seemed unable to do the things that he knew were right. Instead, he constantly slide into living the kind of life that was wrong. And like us, there were times when he was frustrated by his inability to be the kind of Christian God had called him to be; therefore, he found himself relying on God and his grace to save him. This is something that we share with that super Christian, Paul.