Scripture reading for July 22nd: Romans 7:15-8:8
The Jewish way of life produced frustration for the godly Jew who sought obedience. Paul knew what he was talking about as a Pharisee who was zealous for keeping the law. He knew that the law was holy and he wanted to keep it. But he found that the harder he tried, the more he broke that law that he had set out to keep! His description of this is classic!
“So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” Paul’s experience was that of failure and frustration over the sin in his members. If his experience ended here, there would be no hope. ” Thanks be to God–through Christ Jesus our Lord!” (Romans 7:25a)
It was Jesus Christ who set Paul and us free from sin in our members. Jesus was made sin for us and bore that sin in His body on the cross on our behalf. Those that have believed on Jesus Christ are no longer under condemnation or left in a wretched condition of helplessness. The new law of the Spirit of life set us free from sin and death. Now the requirements of the law are met in us through the Spirit. We are free now to live by the Spirit and not be under condemnation from failing to keep God’s law. We know God’s grace and forgiveness through Christ’s sacrifice.
Our minds must be set on the Spirit, however. A mind set on the Spirit produces life and peace in our everyday walk. We cannot set our minds back on the sinful nature. If we do that, death will result. The mind that is set on the sinful nature is hostile to God and cannot please God. (Romans 8:6-8) So we see that the Spirit gives freedom from condemnation, frustration, and a feeling of hopelessness. Are you making the choice to set you mind on the Holy Spirit today?