In Romans 7:7-25, we are introduced to a person who wanted to please God by how he lived, by what he thought, and by what he desired, yet he was frustrated because of his continued failure to live a life pleasing to God no matter how hard he tried (Romans 7:14-20).
The standard for this person’s behavior was the Ten Commandments, the law (Romans 7:7).
This man delighted in the Ten Commandments (Romans 7:22).
He knew the law was holy, righteous, and good (Romans 7:12).
He understood from Psalm 1 and Psalm 119 that to live according to the Ten Commandments would bring, life, freedom, and peace.
However, he discovered the more he tried to obey the Ten Commandments the more he sinned, bringing death, bondage, and torment, which was the purpose of the Ten Commandments (Romans 5:20).
He continued to try and follow the Ten Commandments, however, the more he tried the more he failed, and this happened over and over for him, producing great frustration (Romans 7:14-20).
His inability to obey the Ten Commandments lead to torment...death...condemnation (Romans 7:8-11).
The Ten Commandments had done its job, convincing this person he was a sinner and in need of a Savior (Romans 7:13).
So in his frustration, he asked a question: “Who will save me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24).
Then he answered his own question: “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25).
God used the Ten Commandments in this person’s life to educate him about sin, expose his sin, and enlighten him to the fact that he needed a Savior...Jesus Christ.
Upon his discovery of Jesus as his Savior, the One who rescued him from the body of death, he exclaimed in gratitude - “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Romans 1-7:6 expounds upon all that God did for us through, or in, Christ.
He took upon himself our sins and died our death.
He now offers us his resurrected life.
He took upon himself our debt and offers us his forgiveness.
He took our unrighteousness and offers us his righteousness.
He took our guilt and offers us his innocence.
He took upon himself the law (the Ten Commandments) and offers us his grace.
How do we receive his life...his forgiveness...his righteousness...his innocence...his grace?
We receive these by faith in Jesus (Romans 3:21-26; 5:17).
They are free and are received simply by faith in Jesus.
God now relates to us through what Jesus did for us and not according to our obedience to the Ten Commandments (Galatians 2:20-21).
When we place our faith in Jesus, there is no more condemnation...death...or guilt (Romans 8:1).
They have been permanently removed through Jesus’ death and replaced by his grace...his forgiveness, righteousness, innocence, and life.
Romans 8:1 says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Upon placing our faith in Jesus, God sends his Spirit into our hearts (Romans 8:14-16), pouring God's love into our hearts (Romans 5:5).
God’s Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus in us, makes us alive...brings us life, eternal life (Romans 5:21).
We call God our Father, and we are his children (Romans 8:14-16; Galatians 4:4-6).
We do not live as slaves in fear of condemnation.
We are now live in peace (Romans 5:1-2; 8:6)
His Spirit in us begins changing us from the inside out (Romans 8:9-12), even though the Spirit in us and flesh are in conflict and will battle (Galatians 5:16-18).
Our old identity (guilty, unrighteous, fear, condemnation) immediately changes when we place our faith in Christ.
Our new identity is a loved, forgiven, righteous, innocent child of God who no longer lives as a slave in fear of condemnation but who now lives in peace as result of God’s salvation freely given to us in Christ (Romans 8:14-16).
Whereas our identity changes immediately, our behavior changes over time as we live in the Spirit, meaning as we live in a love relationship with God as our Father and not live trying to obey the Ten Commandments (Galatians 4:4-6; 5:18).
I am confident we all can relate to this person’s failure to obey the Ten Commandments and his guilt and frustration for not obeying.
I pray we now receive his grace and forgiveness.
My prayer is each of us experience the same joy and peace this person experienced when he came to faith in Jesus, realizing there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ.