“O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:24-25
Can you think of something that you were never any good at — but wanted to be? You tried your best. You took lessons. You read books. You practiced. But it was no use — you were never going to be any good at it.
Painting in art class was that way for me in high school. Just no good. The art teacher did me a big favor by suggesting I take wood shop as my next elective. I just didn’t have the imagination or creative juices flowing in me to create a painting from scratch. I found it difficult to paint “outside” the lines. Somehow that just seemed wrong to me. I even tried copying a painting with the painting guy on PBS, you know the guy with the whispery voice and big hair? When my painting wasn’t EXACTLY like his, I was not up to my standard.
In Romans 7 Paul is expressing his frustration over sin. He wants to eradicate it completely, but as he grows, he continues to discover sin in his life like a multi-layered garbage dump.
Dear Christian, sin will be resident within you until death opens the door to heaven. You will hate things you say and things you do. You will wonder how a holy God could still love a person like you. You have not finished sinning. And there’s more to come. Much more.
Can you feel Paul’s anguish? “O wretched man that I am!” More importantly, can you exercise Paul’s faith that ultimate deliverance will come through Jesus Christ?
The truth is none of us are going to completely master the ins and outs of a holy life. We need to know that our failures and sins cannot keep us from the love of God. We need to know that God’s forgiveness covers all our sins: past, present and future.
Someday you and I will enter Heaven and be in the presence of His incredible glory. Clothed in the righteousness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I trust your heart yearns for that coming glory.