Romans 7:24,25 - Sinful Nature Conquered in Christ!

Rom.7:24,25; Sinful Nature Conquered in Christ!

Rom 7:24,25b (KJV)  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver 
me from the body of this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ 
our Lord.  

The intensely personal character of these verses and the use of 
present tenses indicate that this was Paul's own experience as a 
believer. [Ryrie SB] 

Paul is speaking of himself in a regenerate state as one 
progressing in sanctification, while in the process becoming more and more 
aware of the depth and gravity of indwelling sin. [Believer's SB] 

This is not the wretchedness of someone who is lost, but of 
someone who in his heart wants so desperately to be fully obedient to 
the law of God but finds himself still assaulted and overwhelmed by 
an opposing power that is still a part of himself.... It is rather a 
humble confession that he needs deliverance, that he is unable to win 
the battle alone, even though his inner man has already been 
renewed. Thus he cries out for rescue not from bodily existence as such, 
but from this corrupted body from which sin still wages war against 
his spirit. He yearns to be free from the constraining power exerted 
upon him by the lusts of the body (6:12; 7:5). [College Press NIV 

The distress resulting from the inner conflict, and sometimes 
agonizing struggle, between good and evil causes Paul to utter this 
apparently despairing cry and call for help. But he knows the source of 
deliverance from his troubles and hastens to declare it (Rom. 7:25). [SDA 

Paul concluded that there are two principles (or "laws") that 
operate in the life of the believer: (1) the law of sin and death, and 
(2) the law of the Spirit of life in Christ (see 8:2). He is 
dealing, then, with the presence of two natures in the child of God. It 
is not by submitting to outward laws that we grow in holiness and 
serve God acceptably, but by surrendering to the indwelling Spirit of 
God... We cannot fulfill the righteousness of the Law by our own 
strength; the Spirit fulfills it in us by His power (8:3-4)...We should 
accept the truths of Rom. 7--that we are indeed failures in ourselves, 
that the Law is good but we are carnal, and then allow the Spirit to 
work out God's will in our life. [Wiersbe Expository Outlines] 

The experience pictured here is not wholly autobiographical but 
is deliberately presented in such a way as to demonstrate what 
would indeed be the situation if one who is faced with the demands of 
the law and the power of sin in his life were to attempt to solve 
his problem independently of the power of Christ and the enablement 
of the Spirit...A parallel use of methodology may be detected in 
Ecclesiastes. The writer knows God but purposely and deliberately views life 
from the standpoint of the natural man in order to expose it as 
vanity, empty of lasting value. [Expositors Bible Commentary] 

A Christian is being depicted, despite his wretchedness. This 
was the conclusion of Augustine and of the Reformed interpreters. 
[Expositors Bible Commentary] 

"What a wretched man I am!" It is a powerful and moving cry, 
recalling the words of Isaiah when he became aware of his sin (Isa 6:5). 
[Expositors Bible Commentary] 

Significantly Paul's description of himself is part of John's 
picture of the church of Laodicea--"wretched" (Rev. 3:17). [Bible 
Knowledge Commentary] 

The person whose spiritual nature has been reborn through Jesus 
experiences a constant conflict between the spiritual and the human natures. 
We know what is right but desire to do what is wrong. This conflict 
can lead to an inner wretchedness and a struggle for peace. The only 
deliverance comes through Jesus. Following Him brings inner peace and 
eternal life. [Disciple SB] 

From one point of view this passage might be called a 
demonstration of inadequacies.  
(i) It demonstrates the inadequacy of human knowledge. If to 
know the right thing was to do it, life would be easy. But knowledge 
by itself does not make a man good.... it is only when we know Christ 
that we are able to do what we know we ought.  
(ii) It demonstrates the inadequacy of human resolution. To 
resolve to do a thing is very far from doing it. There is in human 
nature an essential weakness of the will.... The human will 
unstrengthened by Christ is bound to crack.  
(iii) It demonstrates the limitations of diagnosis. Paul knew 
quite clearly what was wrong; but he was unable to put it right. He 
was like a doctor who could accurately diagnose a disease but was 
powerless to prescribe a cure. Jesus is the one person who not only knows 
what is wrong, but who can also put the wrong to rights. [Barclay 

What the law cannot do, what the conscience cannot do, what 
unaided human strength cannot do, can be accomplished by the plan of the 
gospel. Complete deliverance is available through Jesus Christ, and 
through Him alone....... "Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory 
through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 15:57). [SDA Commentary] 

The power of Divine grace, and of the Holy Spirit, could root 
out sin from our hearts even in this life, if Divine wisdom had not 
otherwise thought fit. But it is suffered, that Christians might 
constantly feel, and understand thoroughly, the wretched state from which 
Divine grace saves them; might be kept from trusting in themselves; and 
might ever hold all their consolation and hope, from the rich and free 
grace of God in Christ. [Matthew Henry Commentary] 

Let no one think he can overcome without the help of God. You 
must have the energy, the strength, the power, of an inner life 
developed within you. You will then bear fruit unto godliness, and will 
have an intense loathing of vice. You need to constantly strive to 
work away from earthliness, from cheap conversation, from everything 
sensual, and aim for nobility of soul and a pure and unspotted character. 

No amount of earnest striving after obedience will avail against 
the law of sin in the members, until the struggling sinner 
surrenders in faith to Christ. Then surrender to a person takes the place 
of legalistic obedience to a law. And since it is surrender to a 
person dearly loved, it is felt as perfect freedom. [SDA Commentary] 

The surrender of all our powers to God greatly simplifies the 
problem of life. It weakens and cuts short a thousand struggles with the 
passions of the natural heart. MYP30 

We may have begun to realize that we have character flaws that 
are beyond our control. Deep down inside there is a sense of 
brokenness that is a constant reminder of our humanity. Hopefully, we will 
get to a place where our behavior is under control, and we will be 
able to maintain sobriety. But as long as we are in this human body, 
we will have to contend with our lower nature. 
Paul said of himself, "I know I am rotten through and through so 
far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn 
I can't make myself do right. I want to but I can't.... There is 
something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my 
mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still 
within me" (Romans 7:18, 23-25). King David described God's tenderness 
toward us because of our human condition: "He is like a father to us, 
tender and sympathetic to those who reverence him. For he knows we are 
but dust and that our days are few and brief" (Psalm 103:13-15). 
No matter how far we progress, our lower nature will always be 
inclined toward and susceptible to the lure of our addictions. We can't 
afford to forget this or let down our guard. Maintaining sobriety is 
something we will need to nurture for the rest of our life, one day at a 
time. But we also have a reason for great hope. By recognizing our 
helplessness against the power of sin, we open our life to the transforming 
power of God. [Life Recovery SB] 

If we would know what Christ wants to be to us, we must first of 
all know Him as our Saviour from sin.  When the angel came down from 
heaven to proclaim that He was to be born into the world, you remember 
he gave His name,  "He shall be called Jesus, for he shall save his 
people from their sins."  HAVE WE BEEN DELIVERED FROM SIN?  He did not 
come to save us in our sins, but from our sins... 
Let us look at Him as He hangs upon the Cross, and see how He 
has put away sin.  He was manifested that He might take away our 
But Christ is not only a Saviour.  I might save a man from 
drowning and rescue him from an untimely grave; but I might probably not 
be able to do any more for him.  Christ is something more than a 
Saviour.  When the children of Israel were place behind the blood, that 
blood was their salvation; but they would still have heard the crack 
of the slave-driver's whip, if they had not been delivered from the 
Egyptian yoke of bondage; then it was that God delivered them from the 
hand of the King of Egypt.  I have little sympathy with the idea that 
God comes down to save us, and then leaves us in prison, the slaves 
of our besetting sins.  No; He has come to deliver us, and to give 
us victory over our evil tempers, our passions, and our lusts.  Are 
you a professed Christian, but one who is a slave to some besetting 
sin?  If you want to get victory over that temper or that lust, go on 
to know Christ more intimately.  He brings deliverance for the 
past, the present, and the future. D. L. Moody; [Time with God SB] 

When you were a child, did you ever try to pick up a box  that 
was much too heavy for you to lift? Try as you might, you could only 
raise one side an inch or two off the floor But you were powerless to 
lift the entire burden, much less move it from one place to another. 
Then, just as you were about to abandon the project in frustration, 
along came an adult to help you. He reached down, picked up both you 
and the box, and together you "carried" the box with ease! 
Now think of the above example as a "Parable of Paul's 
Dilemma... and Yours" (7:19-25). What is the "box"? What is the 
"frustration"? Who is the One who helps? What should your response be toward 
him today. . . and every day? Talk to him about it right now. [Daily 
Walk Bible] 

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of 
death? Rom. 7:24 NIV 
The word for mourn in Matthew 5:4 is the strongest word for 
mourning in the Greek language. It is the word used of mourning for the 
dead. As such, it is a passionate lament for a loved one. In the Greek 
Old Testament it is the word selected to express Jacob's grief when 
he believed his son Joseph was dead (Gen. 37:34). It reflects deep 
grief. Thus William Barclay amplifies the second beatitude as "blessed 
is the man who mourns like one mourning for the dead." 
Yet while mourning for the dead catches the intensity of the 
experience of Matthew 5:4, it does not reflect its meaning. The deep 
experience of the second beatitude is caught in today's scripture--"O 
wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this 
death?" (Rom. 7:24). That cry tells us something of what is meant by 
mourning. It reflects a person so grief-stricken that he or she cries out 
in agony of spirit. Christians know the experience of feeling 
utterly hopeless because of their failures. 
"For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh)," cried the 
apostle Paul, "dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; 
but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that 
I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do" (Rom. 
7:18, 19). 
Christians mourn because of their deep sense of unworthiness. It 
is no accident that the very first word of Jesus in Matthew is 
"repent." To repent is to recognize my sinfulness and disown it. It is to 
mourn that I am a sinner and to turn to God for forgiveness. 
This is no surface experience. It is heartfelt. It is like 
mourning for the dead. But with the mourning comes hope. After all, "if 
we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our 
sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). 
Thus mourning brings victory. The negative comes before the 
positive. I am convicted of sin so that I can experience the joy of 
salvation. [Walking With Jesus By Knight] 

A do-it-yourselfer went into a hardware store and asked for a 
saw. The salesman pulled a chain saw from the shelf and commented, 
"This is our finest saw. Guaranteed to cut ten cords of lumber a 
"I'll take it!" responded the customer jubilantly.
Next day he came back, haggard and exhausted, to return the 
chain saw. "Something must be wrong," he moaned. "I could only cut 
three cords of lumber a day with that thing." 
"Let me try it," urged the salesman, pulling on the cord to 
start the motor. "Vvvrooommm," went the chain saw. 
"What's that noise?" exclaimed the customer.
Chapters 7 and 8 may remind you of the plight of that 
do-it-yourselfer: wanting to do the right thing (chapter 7), but 
failing to apply 
 the power for victorious living that God has supplied in the person 
of the Holy Spirit (chapter 8). See if you can find five promises 
in chapter 8 regarding the Holy Spirit's role in your daily life. 
Then select one and draw upon it today. That's why they're there! 
[Your Daily Walk SB] 

Now on whom dost thou trust?" (2Ki.18:20).  Such was the 
challenge which the blatant Assyrian field-marshal, Rab-shakeh, flung at 
the beleaguered king Hezekiah, more than two-and-a-half millenniums 
ago.  Little did he guess that before many more sunrises 185,000 of 
his proud army would be corpses, cut down by an invisible scythe of 
the Almighty!  Hezekiah did not reply to Rab-shakeh, but despite the 
hopeless-looking circumstances his heart was fixed, trusting in 
Jehovah (18:5).  
 This was his secret of victory. 
Even so today, the first mark of the true Christian is reliance 
on Jehovah-Jesus.  We rely on Him exclusively as the vicarious 
Sinbearer through whom we have the salvation of our souls. 
But we are to rely on Him continually as our victorious Champion 
through whom we have victory in our daily life ... So long as we rely on 
Him we have victory.  Temper, fear, lust, pride, envy, grudging, 
moodiness, impatience, despondency, worry ; over all such we gain victory 
as we really rely on Jesus. 
Again, we are to rely on Him as our vigilant Provider, who 
"supplies all our need" (Phi.4:19; Psa.34:22).  He does not always employ 
ravens to feed His Elijahs, but by one means or another He sustains 
them if they really rely on Him. J. Sydlow Baxter; [Time with God 

If the burden God has given you seems too heavy to carry, be 
assured God never expects you to carry it alone. [Your Daily Walk SB]