Mercy Street Church of Christ
Abilene, TX
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Who will deliver me from this mortal body?

Who will deliver me from this mortal body? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 7:24-25)

Sometimes itís hard to be honest with ourselves. There are some truths about us that we really donít want to face. And one of those truths is that our good intentions are not always enough when it comes to following Godís laws. Part of us doesnít like facing the fact that we need Jesus and his grace. Weíd rather forget that our ability to be righteous or holy comes through the cross and not through our efforts or good intentions alone.

Paul provides a good dose of honesty in todayís passage. In no uncertain terms, he tells us that even though we may want to do good, we canít if we rely only on ourselves. In fact, we find ourselves at times doing the very things we donít want to doóthe things we know arenít right. And so we end up crying out with Paul, ďWhatís wrong with me?Ē

Of course, we know what is wrong. Sin is a very powerful force, and the simple fact of our baptism isnít enough for us to be completely free of its grasp. Yes, God has freed us from slavery to sin. We are all a new creation in Christ, and his life in us has changed everything. But that change wonít take root and flourish in us unless we choose to yield to him and the new life he has given us. Itís only as we practice leaning on Christ and drawing our strength from his love and grace that we will find true freedom from sin, not just good intentions.

What sinful areas in your life are the most stubborn? What do you do when you become frustrated by your failures to follow God? Are you tempted to grit your teeth and try harder to fix it yourself? Donít do it! Rather, confess the truth about yourself, and turn to Christ. Thank him in the midst of your powerlessness, and surrender to him as Paul did. Come to him, and trust him to bring this good work in you to completion.

ďFather, thank you for saving me. Help me to keep trusting in your saving power.Ē

Psalm 119:66, 68, 77, 93-94; Luke 12:54-59

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