Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Romans 7:24, ESV)
Under divine grace the renewed man learned three things. First, he has come to the discovery that in him, that is, in his flesh, there is no good thing; but, secondly, he has learned to distinguish between himself, who wills good, and sin which dwells in him; but, further, that when he wills good, sin is too strong for him. Having thus acquired knowledge of himself, he does not seek to be better in the flesh; he seeks deliverance, and he has it in Christ. Power comes after. He has come to the discovery and to the confession that he has no power. He throws himself upon another. He does not say, How can I? or, How shall I? but, Who shall deliver me? Now it was when we were devoid of all strength that Christ died for the ungodly. This lack of strength is discovered; and we find grace at the end, when with regard to what we are, and to all hope of improving ourselves, grace is our only resource.
But thankfully, when we cast ourselves upon grace, there is nothing but grace before us. Deliverance is accomplished by our not being alive in the flesh at all: we have died away from it, and from under the law, which held us in bondage and condemnation. Now we are married to another: Christ raised from the dead; and as soon as the distressed soul has said, “Who shall deliver me?” the answer is ready, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The answer is not that He will deliver. Deliverance is already accomplished.
The man was wretched in conflict under law, without knowledge of redemption. But he has died in the death of Christ out of the nature which made him so; he is completely finished with self. The deliverance of God is complete. The two natures are still opposed to each other, but the deliverance is not imperfect. This deliverance from God, and the progress of its manifestation, are developed in the next chapter.
(Adapted from John Darby’s synopsis of the new testament, romans 7)
A Thought to Keep
Do you live with the confident knowledge that deliverance is already accomplished?