2 Important Things to Remember about Fighting Sin—Romans 7:13-25

Written by Derek J. Brown |
Friday, July 5, 2024

Growing in spiritual maturity means that we will become more discontent with ourselves, not less. That is not to say that we can find and should look for areas where the Lord has given grace and growth; even Paul had the spiritual capacity to say that he was mature enough to be imitated (Phil. 3:14-17) and had been able to accomplish many things by the grace of God (1 Cor. 15:10).

The longer I am a Christian, the more I realize how great a sinner I am. This realization is not necessarily a virtue in and of itself: if I am only acutely aware of my sin, I will wallow in despair and fear. On the other hand, it is by recognizing the depth of our sin that we can be brought to greater joy in Christ. This appears to be Paul’s understanding in Romans 7:13-25.

In verses 13-24, Paul openly and honestly wrestles with the sin that still resides in his heart and that actively opposes his new nature. The thing he wants to do—fully obey Christ—he is not able to wholly accomplish; at the same time, he finds himself committing the very sin he hates. This struggle with indwelling sin culminates in verse 24 where Paul cries out, “Wretched man that I am!”

Perhaps you have felt like this—perhaps you often feel like this. The question is whether or not the pervasiveness of our sin causes us to search for a remedy the way Paul did. Immediately after Paul cried out in agony over the depth of his sin, he asks rhetorically, “Who can save me from this body of death?” The answer? “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (v. 25). The implication? It is only God through Jesus Christ who can save Paul from the relentless power of sin. With this in mind, I see two conclusions we can draw from this passage.

1. Dealing honestly with our sin can and should lead us to resting and rejoicing in Christ.

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