4-5. Rags To Riches

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” (Rom. 7:23).

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Self is the believer’s indwelling enemy; its degrading bondage is his deepest heartache. However, the reign of self is overthrown by its own enmity, since it creates the needs that cause us to hunger for and appropriate Christ’s life and liberty.

“A sense of spiritual poverty is necessary to spiritual growth. This awareness of failure becomes acute to the believer during those days when he is attempting to attain holiness of heart through self-effort. Knowing what he ought to be and do, he proceeds to try to reach those goals. He purposes, resolves, promises, struggles, weeps, and fails again. His testimony, with Paul, is, The things that I want to do, I do not do, and the things that I do not want to do, I do’ (Rom. 7:15).

“What a delightful day it is for him when he realizes that in him, that is, in his flesh, dwelleth no good thing’ (Rom. 7:18). Only then does he, in his failure, cry out, Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?’ I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord’ (Rom. 7:24, 25) comes back the reply. He begins to recognize that God expects only failure from the flesh, never success, but that in Christ’ is his sanctification, his growth. Thus it is that freedom comes through bondage, life through death.” -W.W.

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2).

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