Who Shall Deliver Me?
For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God; through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. (Romans 7:22-25)
There are two laws within every believer. One law is the law of God, written on our hearts (Psalm 40:8; Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10). Another law (or principle) is the one within the members of our body, which is the law of sin. It is the latter that gives us trouble, setting up an internal war for which there is only one solution.
The internal war is the war between flesh and spirit. It is an ongoing war, one will not cease until the believer goes home to be with the Lord in heaven. New believers are often surprised that this war exists, as the initial days of living as a Christian are often trouble free. But in order to grow, the Lord must allow troubles and pressures … otherwise the believer would never learn how to rely upon God’s strength. That is usually when this war within is discovered.
Rather than being disillusioned by the inward struggle, the believer must cry out in honest confession: “O wretched man that I am!” Admitting the problem is the first step. We are, indeed, wretched on the inside.
Notice that the apostle cries out, “Who shall deliver me?” He is not looking for a what or a thing to deliver him, but to a person. Techniques or human solutions will not work, and the law itself (i.e. more rules) is no help either.
For deliverance of this sort, there is only one Person the believer must have in mind, namely the Lord Jesus Christ. Like Paul, we must realize our own insufficiency; and therefore turn directly to the Lord for help.
For Further Review
1. Using your own words, describe the war that is being waged within each and every believer. Find scripture to support your statement.
2. What happens when a believer becomes disillusioned by the presence of this inward struggle? What are some typical ways we tend to use to deal with the situation? Cite both healthy and unhealthy approaches.
3. Why is it important to cry out to a “Who” rather than to a “what”? What is the difference between the two?
4. Remember a time when you cried out and the Lord brought deliverance from the struggle. How did the deliverance manifest itself? How is this a pattern for future times of struggle?
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