SUGGESTED READING: ROMANS 7:18 -25
SCRIPTURE TEXT: “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death”
Romans 7 is unique. The very best things said or written about it still leave this chapter unique.
Verse 24 of the seventh chapter of Romans is a heart-rendering cry from the depths of despair. It is difficult to think of this as exactly St. Paul’s own experience.
As a Christian, he seems above it; as a Pharisee, below it. Self-satisfaction was too engraved on his Pharisaic temper. The performance of the Pharisaic righteousness was too well within the compass of the average will, but St. Paul was not an ordinary Pharisee. He dealt too honestly with himself so that sooner or later the self-satisfaction, natural to the Pharisee, must give way, and his experience as a Christian would throw back a lurid light on those old days of which he was now ashamed.
The whole description is so vivid and so sincere, so evidently rung from the anguish of direct personal experience, that it is difficult to think of it as largely imagination. It is really not so much imaginary as imaginative. It is not a literal engraving of any stage of the apostle’s career, but a constructive picture drawn by him in bold lines from elements supplied to him by introspection….
The process described comes to different men in different times and in different degrees; to one early, to another later. In one man it would lead up quickly and suddenly; in another, the slow growth of years. We can lay down no rule.
Prayer Thought: “Lord, create within me a new heart, fully in unity with You and Your purposes ” Amen.
SOURCE: Culled from DEVOTIONS FOR A DEEPER LIFE BY OSWALD CHAMBERS.