In Romans chapter 7, the apostle Paul goes into great depth concerning the struggle of the flesh against the spirit. The anguish of this man can be heard, and as Christians, we can all empathise with what he is saying. All Christians who are truly born again children of God delight to do the will of God in their inner man. However although we agree wholeheartedly with the law and commandments of God, we all face this great dilemma; the flesh waring against the spirit. The flesh is so alive and wants to dominate our Christian life. Paul writes in Romans 7:24, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”. We can see in all his writings, that he had come to the conclusion that it is Jesus Christ himself and the victory that He wrought on the cross for us that will not only save us from our sin, but deliver us from this body of death. Sin and the law both dwell in our flesh and we will have this conflict raging in our members until we die and go to be with Him. In our hearts there is always a great yearning to please the Lord and to do His will. This can not be done in our own strength. Our strength is so limited. As we try to please the Lord in our own strength, we will eventually cry out, “Oh wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”. This is why the Apostle Paul writes in all his epistles about the cross of Jesus Christ, not as a message alone but as an instrument of righteousness.  As we take up our cross every day and identify with Jesus Christ in His sufferings, death and resurrection, we will be able to live a victorious Christian life by the grace of God.

In Romans 8, Paul launches into this wonderful chapter by stating so boldly, “THERE IS THEREFORE NOW NO CONDEMNATION TO THOSE WHO ARE IN CHRIST JESUS”. Hallelujah! When as a Christian we see our state; our wretchedness, our sin, and repent from our heart; we are immediately forgiven and set free from the condemnation and the guilt of that sin. In Hebrews 8, the writer to the Hebrews states quite plainly, “Their sins and lawless deeds I will remember no more.” This is the grace of God and the glory of the New Covenant – that He remembers our sins no more. Jesus Christ’s death on the cross dealt with our sin once and for all; past, present and future. We do not have a great high priest who cannot be tempted with our sins but one who was tempted in all regards as we are, yet He never sinned. So we can come boldly to the throne of grace in our time of need, repent and find grace and mercy to help us.

How wonderful it is to no longer live our Christian life in our own strength, but totally depend upon the grace of God every day. What a victory the cross was and is! What a powerful defeat to sin and the devil!  Jesus took the very handwritten code of the law that was written about us and stood against us and nailed it to the cross, triumphing over all sin and satan. He disarmed the principalities and powers of the devil, declaring us righteous, free and forgiven!. Is it any wonder that the Apostle Paul would declare so boldly, “We preach Christ and Him crucified”? For the cross is the power of God to all who believe.

Basil OCJ

 

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