Rom 7:22-25 “For I delight in the law of God after 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 shall deliver me from the body of this 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.”
Only a sinner who has tasted that the Lord is gracious can have fellowship with Paul’s statement in verse 22. I delight (rejoice within myself – see Strong’s) in the law of God, not carnally but spiritually. My flesh is still sinful, but the man of God within me loves the spiritual law of God.
However, to delight in the law of God after the inward man also reveals (causes us to see) the depravity of the carnal nature. There is a law in our members (in our flesh) that fights against the understanding of the inward man. No liberty exists in the law of sin in our flesh. It is always and only leading us to captivity.
Our sinful actions have not always made us miserable. When we were without the law of God, we took pleasure in the captivity of sin. The wages of sin has always been death, but without the law of God we were not aware that we were earning such an awful payment. With the law of God came the understanding of the wage we were to receive. Misery (wretchedness) was waiting for us in that sobering realization.
Yet, the law of sin condemned in our flesh soon made it apparent that we were not capable of escaping our bondage. When we realized that we could not save ourselves, we began to look for someone to come to our rescue. Then we were faced with the knowledge that we did not really deserve to be rescued. Who would be willing to receive the payment of death we justly deserved so that we might be free from the captivity of sin?
Your parents cannot rescue you from this situation because they are in the same boat. Your spouse, your children, your neighbor, nor your pastor can deliver you, because they are in the same captivity within their members. The church cannot deliver you from your sins, and water baptism will not wash them away. Where are we going to turn?
There is only One source that is worthy of our gratitude, and that is the One who gave us the law. We must thank God, not only for His law that caused us to know our condition, but for His grace given us through Christ Jesus our Lord to rescue us from that condition. By His grace we can serve the law of God with our understanding while knowing that the flesh still serves the law of sin. Were it not for knowing that Jesus makes intercession for us before God the Father, our misery would know no bounds.
May we be blessed to spend our days here thanking God that our Lord, Jesus Christ, led captivity captive (Ephesians 4:8)!