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This passage tells me a lot about myself. It also tells me a lot about the Apostle Paul that I can really appreciate.
Paul was not a “holier-than-thou” Christian – He was a saint. A sinner saved by grace – just like you and I. Not a super-saint. Not a holy man. Just a man who wanted to know Christ and serve him whole-heartedly. He didn’t ever try to come across as “I’m a better Christian than you.” He wanted to live a holy life but he failed again and again. Just like you and I do.
Paul struggled with sin just like I struggle with sin – And he was man enough to admit it. He was being real. But it was a real struggle. A struggle he faced every day. The life that he wanted to live he found he was not capable of living. He just wasn’t strong enough by himself to overcome the sin that was living inside him. This passage is an indication of the fight he faced but also an indication of a cry for help (v.24)
Paul took his fight with sin seriously – He recognized that he was in a war and he was willing to fight. He was willing to engage the enemy. He was not going to be content with letting sin get the best of him. Too many believers tuck their spiritual tails between their legs and give in without putting up a fight. Paul loved his Savior too much to let that happen. He was willing to “own” his sinful nature. He never used the excuse “The devil made me do it.” And he didn’t let his sinful nature keep him from becoming a Spirit filled, Spirit fueled man. But it was a fight every step of the way.
Paul knew his only hope was Jesus – Verse 25 is the refrain of Paul’s life – and it should be of ours as well – “Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Paul knew what you and I need to learn and re-affirm every day. That it is only through Jesus that we can fight sin. It is only through Jesus that we can come into the presence of God. It is only through Jesus that we can pursue a life of holiness. It is only through Jesus that we can too can be Spirit filled and Spirit fueled. It is only through Jesus that we can experience the joy of the Lord. He is our only hope!
May you be encouraged to fight the good fight this week as you find your hope in the Lord Jesus .
Next Week’s Passage: Romans 8:1-4
Memory Verses: Romans 8:1-15